Dec 9

FELE Test Cost Guide: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

The Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) is an examination designed to assess aspiring school administrators’ achievement of the benchmarks set by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). 
As part of the certification process, prospective school administrators in Florida are required to demonstrate their leadership skills by passing the FELE exam. The examination evaluates their knowledge and qualities for effective educational leadership.

Principals and assistant principals are assessed through the FELE exam on whether they are competent to excel in leadership positions within the state's educational institutions.

In this guide, we’ll provide information on the costs associated with the FELE test. If you’re planning to take the FELE exam or subtests, read on to understand the financial aspects of pursuing certification in Florida.

We’ll also share ideas on how to pass your FELE exams.

What is FELE?

The Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) is an assessment designed to test the readiness of individuals aspiring to become educational leaders in Florida.

The exam is administered by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). You must pass FELE to be certified as a school administrator, such as a principal or an assistant principal.

The main purpose of the FELE exams is to assess how well candidates meet the standards set by the Florida State Board of Education. These standards are established to ensure that educational leaders in Florida can effectively lead educational institutions to achieve the state’s educational goals.

The FELE consists of three subtests:

  •    Subtest 1: Focuses on instructional leadership, student performance, and learning environment. Includes questions related to curriculum design, instructional strategies, assessment, and data analysis.
  •    Subtest 2: Covers topics related to organizational structure, resource management, and ethical and legal considerations. Includes questions on personnel management, school operations, and community involvement.
  •    Subtest 3: Addresses aspects of educational leadership, such as community and stakeholder relations, ethics and integrity, and educational policy. Includes questions on professional development, school improvement, and educational law and policy.

You must pass all three subtests to obtain certification.

The FELE exam is different from the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE).

The FTCE assesses the subject area knowledge and general knowledge of teachers, while the FELE is specifically tailored for individuals seeking certification in educational leadership roles.

The table below highlights the key differences between FELE and FTCE.

Purpose Designed to assess the readiness of individuals seeking certification in educational leadership positions in Florida.  Designed to assess the readiness of individuals seeking initial teacher certification in Florida.
Target audience Aspiring educational leaders, including individuals pursuing roles such as school principals, assistant principals, or district-level administrators Aspiring certified teachers in Florida
Components Subtest 1: Leadership for Student Learning
Subtest 2:
Organizational Development
Subtest 3:
Systems Leadership

General Knowledge Test (GKT)
Subject Area Examinations (SAEs),
Professional Education Test (PEd).
Content areas Leadership skills, educational management, and the ability to lead and improve student learning results at the school and district levels. General knowledge, subject-specific knowledge, and professional education skills necessary for effective teaching.

The FELE is specifically targeted towards those aspiring to become school administrators. It focuses on leadership and management skills crucial for effective school governance.

If you want to advance your career in school administration, you need to take the FELE exams. Certification through the FELE demonstrates to employers and educational institutions that you possess leadership qualities to excel in administrative roles.

Completing the FELE is not only a mandatory requirement for certification but also a significant achievement that can open doors to fulfilling leadership positions in Florida's schools.

FELE Test Costs and Fees

The costs for taking FELE vary depending on the specific exam subtests you need to take. 

The table below shows a breakdown of the FELE test costs.

First Attempt $215 All three subtests (Complete FELE exam)
Single section  $150 If you only retake Subtest 3 (Systems Leadership)
Subtests combination $225 If you retake a combination of two subtests

Payment Methods

When registering for FELE, You’ll need to pay during registration. 

The accepted payment methods include:

  •    Credit cards: Only VISA or MasterCard are accepted for payment.
  •    Debit or check cards: These cards must be usable without entering a personal identification number (PIN).

The payment amount depends on your specific testing circumstances.

If you are taking a particular test for the first time, the applicable fee is the first-time fee, which is $215 for the complete FELE exam.

If you have previously taken a test and did not pass, and you wish to retake it, the retake fee applies. The retake fee varies based on the components you need to retake.

For instance, if you are retaking a single section, you’ll pay $150. For any combination of sections, you’ll need to pay $225.

Have the appropriate payment method available at registration, and carefully select the correct fee category based on whether it is your first attempt or a retake.

FELE Test Structure

When taking the FELE, test takers are given 6.5 hours to complete the entire FELE exam. This time includes all three subtests and the writing performance section.

The exam consists of 140 multiple-choice questions that assess a candidate's understanding of leadership principles, educational management, and critical thinking. These questions are designed to evaluate a candidate's ability to apply knowledge in practical leadership scenarios.

For example, you may find multiple-choice questions such as this one:

DIRECTIONS: Read the question and select the best response.

School officials are currently working on formulating a data report intended for conveying standardized assessment results to teachers in the classrooms. To enhance and refine instructional planning, the reports would be most beneficial if they:

A.   Present details about each student's achievement in every section of the test.
B.   Integrate diverse summary statistics, including mean, range, and standard deviation, to describe student scores.
C.   Evaluate an individual's present performance in relation to past test performances.
D.   Indicate how each class performed on individual test questions in comparison to other classes at the same grade level.

In addition to the multiple-choice questions, the FELE includes a writing performance section. It helps assess a candidate's ability to communicate effectively in a written format. 

Candidates are presented with scenarios or prompts related to educational leadership and are required to construct well-reasoned, articulate responses.

For example:

  •    Describe your approach to resolving a conflict between two teachers on your staff.
  •    Develop a plan for improving student achievement in a school with low standardized test scores.

Other Examination Information

The FELE is structured around ten key standards, divided into three distinct subtests, each assessing specific aspects of educational leadership. 

The table below shows a detailed breakdown of the standards covered in each subtest and their formats.

Leadership for Student 
Learning (Multiple Choice)
Subtest 2
Development (Multiple Choice)
Subtest 3
Systems Leadership 
(Multiple Choice and Written Performance Assessment)
Student Learning Results Faculty Development Decision Making
Student Learning as a Priority Leadership Development School Management
Instructional Plan Implementation Professional and Ethical Behavior Communication
Learning Environment

The written section in Subtest 3 presents candidates with real-world scenarios or prompts related to educational leadership. They are expected to provide detailed written responses demonstrating their understanding of the standards and their application in leadership roles.

For instance, candidates may be asked to:

  •    Develop a plan for resolving a school management issue.
  •    Articulate a communication strategy for addressing a community concern.
  •    Outline a decision-making process for a challenging scenario.

FELE Competencies and Skills

The competencies and skills assessed in the FELE were revised and updated in January 2014. 

These revisions aim to ensure that candidates are evaluated on the most current and relevant educational leadership standards. 

Let’s focus on these competencies next.

Subtest #1: Leadership for Student Learning Skills

In Subtest 1, candidates are assessed on various skills crucial for effective leadership in promoting student learning outcomes. 

The skills evaluated include:

  •    Knowledge of effective facilitation of positive achievement results: The ability to implement strategies that lead to positive academic results according to student learning goals and the state’s benchmarks for educational achievement.
  •    Knowledge of effective prioritization of student learning: Candidates must demonstrate their ability to prioritize student learning through leadership actions. For example, through building and supporting a learning organization dedicated to student success and continuous improvement.
  •    Knowledge of effective development and implementation of an instructional framework: This skill involves aligning the school curriculum with state standards, employing effective instructional strategies, addressing student learning needs, and conducting assessments that show the impact of their instruction method.
  •    Knowledge of effective structuring and monitoring of a school environment: Candidates show their capability to create and maintain a school environment that enhances learning for all student populations. For instance, implementing mechanisms contributing to an inclusive learning atmosphere.

Subtest 1 focuses on the role of educational leaders in shaping an environment where student learning is prioritized and positive results are achieved through strategic leadership actions and effective instructional practices. 

Subtest #2: Organizational Development

In Subtest 2 of the FELE, candidates are evaluated on critical skills related to organizational development. 

The skills assessed in this subtest include:

  •    Knowledge of effective recruitment and induction practices: This involves the ability to implement strategies for recruiting and inducting a high-performing, diverse faculty and staff. Candidates should demonstrate an understanding of practices that contribute to developing a competent and inclusive educational team.
  •    Knowledge of effective practices for the development and retention of high-performing, diverse faculty and staff: Candidates are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of strategies that help nurture the development and retention of high-performing faculty and staff. For example, supporting professional growth and encouraging a diverse and talented workforce.
  •    Knowledge of effective practices that cultivate, support, and develop leaders within the organization: Candidates are assessed on their understanding of practices that nurture and support leadership development within the organizational structure. Educational leaders must encourage the growth of emerging leaders.
  •    Knowledge of personal and professional behavior consistent with quality practices: Prospective educational leaders must show understanding and application of ethical behavior and adherence to standards that contribute to effective leadership.

The subtest assesses educational leaders' abilities to shape the organizational culture, develop and retain a high-performing team, and provide good leadership within the educational institution.

Subtest #3: Systems Leadership

Subtest 3 focuses on evaluating candidates on critical skills related to systems leadership within educational institutions. 

The skills assessed in this subtest include:

  •    Knowledge of effective decision-making processes: The ability to make informed decisions based on research, best practices, and leadership theory. Candidates should demonstrate their capacity to support the school’s vision and improvement priorities through well-founded decision-making.
  •    Knowledge of effective organizational theory, research, and management practices: Candidates must demonstrate their understanding of organizational theory, research, and management practices related to school operations. For instance, maintaining a safe learning environment through efficient organizational structures.
  •    Knowledge of effective utilization of resources and fiscal management practices: Candidate's ability to strategically utilize resources and implement management practices that contribute to a productive learning environment within the school.
  •    Knowledge of school legal practices and applications: Candidates must understand legal practices and applications within education. For instance, creating a safe learning environment through compliance with state laws and regulations.

In the exam, you must demonstrate your decision-making skills,  ability to properly manage resources, and understanding of legal practices concerning education and students.

Use these competencies as a guide for your study and preparation.

Prepare Well for the FELE Test

If you desire to advance your teaching career by exploring an administrative role,  you should approach the FELE with thorough preparation by considering various factors surrounding the exam, including the cost of the exam.

Once you’ve determined the costs and registered, you must prepare thoroughly to pass the exams. Understand the test structure and competencies assessed, and aim to hone these skills.

For comprehensive preparation, explore resources provided by The Learning Liaisons. We are test preparation experts with all the tools you need to pass the FELE exams.

We’ll provide video tutorials, study guides, practice exams, study groups, and one-on-one coaching to help you confidently face the exams and ace them.

Reach out to us today and see your dream of becoming a school administrator come closer to a reality.