Prepare for the TExES Exam

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What are the TExES exams?

The TExES exams, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, evaluate a prospective educator's readiness to teach in Texas public schools. The TExES exams measure both content knowledge and professional skills, and in order to gain a teaching certificate an applicant must pass the relevant TExES exams. These computer-based tests are produced by Pearson.

There are three categories of TExES exams which are explained in more detail in the following sections:

  • Pedagogical and Professional Responsibilities
  • Core subject content exams
  • Specific subject content exams

Teacher certification in Texas

The TExES exams are a mandatory part of becoming a certified teacher in Texas, a process that includes five requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Educator preparation program
  • Educator certification exams
  • State application
  • Fingerprinting/criminal background check

Candidates seeking an initial certification must receive approval from their educator preparation program in order to take the TExES certification test matching their desired area of certification. An out-of-state educator seeking Texas certification must submit their credentials to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for testing approval. Educators who are already certified to teach in Texas may take a TExES exam to obtain certification in an additional area.

Texas teachers must recertify every five years. Recertification does not require a TExES exam.

Which TExES exam do I need to take?

Those applying for an initial classroom teaching license must take a TExES pedagogical exam such as Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Early Childhood through Grade 12 (PPR EC-12). In addition, candidates are required to take a TExES content-pedagogy exam specifically related to their desired area of certification.

The chart below lists some common areas of initial certification and the associated TExES content-pedagogy exams.

TExES exams by age/grade level
Age/Grade Level Exam
Elementary Elementary TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (291)
Middle School TExES Core Subjects 4-8 (211)
TExES ELAR 4-8 (117)
TExES Mathematics 4-8 (115)
TExES Science 4-8 (116)
TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118)
High School TExES ELAR 7-12 (231)
TExES Mathematics 7-12 (235)
TExES Science 7-12 (236)
TExES Social Studies 7-12 (232)
All Grades TExES Special Education EC-12 (161)
TExES Music EC-12 (177)
TExES Art EC-12 (178)
TExES Physical Education EC-12 (158)

The following are some examples of TExES exams offered for additional certifications. To take these exams, a candidate must already possess initial certification in another area.

  • Reading Specialist EC-12
  • ESL Supplemental
  • Gifted and Talented Supplemental
  • School Librarian EC-12
  • Special Education Supplemental

When should I take the TExES exam?

The TExES content tests are usually taken after obtaining a degree. These tests can be taken:

  • During a teacher certification course, with permission from the certification program.
  • After graduating college, but prior to enrolling in an alternative certification program. Those taking this route may need to take the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) before taking a content exam.
  • Following teacher certification, to increase the number of classroom certification areas a teacher holds.
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What are the TExES exams?

The TExES exams fall into three general categories.

  • Pedagogical and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) — The PPR exam tests a candidate's understanding of classroom management, instructional design, responsive instruction, and professional responsibilities.
  • Core Subjects — There are two grade level options for Core Subjects exams (EC-6 and 4-8), and the exams cover general knowledge in the areas of English Language Arts and Reading, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. The EC-6 Core Subjects exams also include the Science of Teaching Reading and Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education.
  • Content Exams — There are a wide variety of specific content exams. Each addresses content knowledge in one area for a target grade level and corresponds to a specific area of certification.

The TExES exams consist of a range of question formats. The majority of the TExES exam questions are multiple choice, including both single and clustered questions. Some TExES exams also include constructed response questions. In some exams, uniquely formatted questions such as entry boxes or drag and drop questions are included.

What is on the TExES PPR exam?

The TExES PPR exam, or Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam, is required for most initial certifications. This five-hour, 100-question, computer-based exam covers a candidate's grasp of an educator's responsibilities in four domains. Each domain is further defined by one or more statement of competency. The domains tested are:

  • Designing instruction and assessment to promote student learning — This domain encompasses knowledge and application of the principles of human development and student diversity as well as the ability to plan appropriate learning goals and objectives, effective instruction, and appropriate assessment.
  • Creating a positive, productive classroom environment — This domain addresses creating a safe, organized, and productive learning environment and managing student behavior.
  • Implementing effective, responsive instruction and assessment — This domain covers effective communication, engaging and appropriate instruction, effective use of technology, and performance monitoring to ensure timely and effective feedback.
  • Fulfilling professional roles and responsibilities — This domain focuses on communication and interaction with families and professional colleagues as well as on understanding the ethical responsibilities of educators and the structure of education in Texas.

What subjects are covered by a TExES content exam?

There are TExES content exams for each area of certification offered by the state of Texas. The content exams cover both the content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge deemed necessary for an educator to effectively teach in the content area. The following table shows some of the more common TExES exams.

Exams in the category of administration, pedagogy, and instructional support include:

Bilingual Education Supplemental (164)

  • Foundations of bilingual education
  • First- and second-language acquisition process
  • Primary language literacy development and assessment
  • Biliteracy development and assessment
  • Content area instruction in L1 and L2

Principal as Instructional Leader (268)

  • School culture
  • Leading learning
  • Human capital
  • Executive leadership
  • Strategic operations
  • Ethics, equity, and diversity

School Counselor (152)

  • Understanding students
  • Planning and implementing a developmental guidance and counseling program
  • Collaboration, consultation, and professionalism

Special Education EC-12 (161)

  • Understanding individuals with disabilities and their needs
  • Student learning and development
  • Promoting student achievement in ELA, reading, and math
  • Professional roles and responsibilities

Special Education Supplemental (163)

  • Understanding individuals with disabilities and their needs
  • Student learning and development
  • Professional roles and responsibilities

Exams addressing multiple subjects:

Core Subjects EC-6 (291)

  • ELA, reading, and the science of teaching reading
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Fine arts, health, and physical education

Core Subjects 4-8 (211)

  • ELA and reading
  • Math
  • Social studies
  • Science

Exams in the humanities:

Art EC-12 (178)

  • Creating works of art
  • Art, culture, and history
  • Aesthetic knowledge and analysis of art
  • Art education

Business and Finance 6-12 (276)

  • Finance
  • Business management
  • Ethics, law, business communication and international business
  • Technology and information systems
  • Leadership and career development

Music EC-12 (177)

  • Listening
  • Music theory and composition
  • Music history and culture
  • Music classroom performance
  • Music education

Social Studies 4-8 (118)

  • Social studies content
  • Social studies foundations, skills, and instruction

Social Studies 7-12 (232)

  • World history
  • U.S. history
  • Texas history
  • Geography, culture, and the behavioral and social sciences
  • Government and citizenship
  • Economics and science, technology, and society
  • Social studies foundations, skills, research, and instruction

Exams in science:

Computer Science 8-12 (241)

  • Technology applications core
  • Program design and development
  • Programming language topics
  • Specialized topics

Life Science 7-12 (238)

  • Scientific inquiry and processes
  • Cell structure and processes
  • Heredity and evolution of life
  • Diversity of life
  • Interdependence of life and environmental systems
  • Science learning, instruction, and assessment

Physical Education EC-12 (158)

  • Movement skills and knowledge
  • Health-related physical fitness
  • Creating a physical education program

Science 4-8 (116)

  • Scientific inquiry and processes
  • Physical science
  • Life science
  • Earth and space science
  • Science learning, instruction, and assessment

Science 7-12 (236)

  • Scientific inquiry and processes
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Cell structure and processes
  • Heredity and evolution of life
  • Diversity of life
  • Interdependence of life and environmental systems
  • Earth's history and the structure and function of earth systems
  • Components and properties of the solar system and universe
  • Science learning, instruction, and assessment

What is on the TExES Core EC-6 and the TExES Core 4-8?

The TExES Core Subjects exams determine if a candidate has the level of foundational knowledge and skills necessary for an entry-level educator in a range of instructional subjects. The Core Subjects exams are offered at two different levels—early childhood through sixth grade (EC-6) and fourth through eighth grade (4-8).

The Core Subjects EC-6 exam consists of:

The Core Subjects 4-8 exam consists of:

What is on the TExES Special Education EC-12 exam?

The TExES Special Education EC-12 (early childhood through grade 12) exam covers the special education skills and knowledge necessary for a beginning educator in the state of Texas. The five-hour test consists of 150 selected-response questions divided into four domains.

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TExES test scores

The TExES exams are criterion-referenced exams, which means your test scores measure your performance on the test itself without comparing your scores to other test-takers. The number of questions on individual TExES exams varies, but all TExES scores are scaled to fall within a range of 100-300.

What are passing TExES scores?

TExES exam scaled scores fall between 100 and 300, and a score of 240 is required in order to pass. Scores for the Core Subjects EC-6 and Core Subjects 4-8 exams are reported as "Pass" or "No pass." To receive a passing score for the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of 240 or higher on each subtest of the Core Subjects exam.

In addition to your scaled score and designation of pass or no pass, for most TExES exams you will receive details about your performance on the specific domains and competencies represented on the exam. If you need to retake an exam, this information can help you plan your studying.

While there is not a set number of questions you can miss on an exam and still pass, it is helpful to note that incorrect answers do not subtract from your score, so it is beneficial to answer every question.

How long will it take to get my TExES score?

TExES exam scores are reported online and are made available online within one to four weeks depending on the type of test. For TExES exams that are computer based and administered continually, scores are available within a week. Scores for paper-based tests will be available within a few weeks. Certain TExES exams have a specific testing window, and scores are available after that window closes, within 6 to 10 days for selected-response exams and within a few weeks for exams included constructed response questions.

How to prepare for the TExES exam

The TExES exams are a mandatory part of your teacher certification process, so it is important to be well-prepared. Consider these steps to maximize your time in the preparation process.

Choose your exam and register. If your certification requires multiple exams, determine which exam you will take first. Once you have an exam date, you can work with your timeframe to plan your course of study.
Preview the contents of the exam. Each exam covers multiple domains, which are broad areas of information, and each domain has related competencies, which are more specific applications of the information within the domain.
Take a practice test or answer practice questions for each domain on the exam. Use the results to identify areas of confidence and challenge.
Acquire study materials. Be sure to locate more than one source of information for areas you identified as challenging.
Create a study plan. Use a calendar to designate dates and times for study. Assign a topic of study to each study session.
Develop memory aids for challenging material. Visuals, rhymes, songs, and movements can all be used to commit material to memory.
Collaborate with others who will be taking the same test. Talk through difficult information, hold each other accountable for following your study plans, and share resources.
Understand the format of the exam. Review the different types of test questions and strategies for answering different question types.
Prepare for the practical details of the test. Locate your testing center prior to the test, determine how long it takes to get there, and establish an alternate route in case of traffic or construction incidents. Review the testing center's rules for what to bring and not to bring. Plan your schedule so you get a good night's sleep the night before the test.

How do I register for the TExES exam?

Follow these steps to register for any TExES:

  1. Create a Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) account—this account is separate from your TEA account. Complete the educator profile and receive a TEA ID number.
  2. Create an account with Pearson, the test provider.
  3. Register for your exam. This will include providing background information, requesting accommodations if needed, and paying for the exam.
  4. Schedule your exam. This can be done when you register, or you can return and schedule the exam later, but it must be scheduled within 170 days of registration. You have the option to choose your testing location, date, and time. You will receive email confirmation, but it is not necessary to print an admission ticket for the exam.

TExES test dates

When you register for the TExES exam, you are given the opportunity to choose the date and time of your testing appointment. Most of the exams are offered on a continuous basis throughout the year, while a few tests are offered only within specific testing windows. Each testing window is two weeks long.

See the table below for a sample of test availability.

Tests offered on a continual basis year-round (partial listing only) Tests with two-week testing windows repeated throughout the year Tests with limited testing windows each year
  • Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12
  • Special Education EC-12
  • School Counselor
  • Superintendent
  • Math 4-8 and 7-12
  • ELAR 4-8 and 7-12
  • Science 4-8 and 7-12
  • Core Subjects EC-6 and 4-8
  • Physical Education EC-12
  • Art EC-12
  • Life Science 7-12
  • Business and Finance 6-12
  • Spanish
  • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency (Spanish)
  • French
  • German
  • Latin
  • Braille

TExES test dates

The cost of most individual TExES exams is $116. The Core Subjects EC-6 and 4-8 exams each consist of multiple subtests that can be taken individually for $58 per subtest if you need to retake just one part of the exam.

Your total TExES costs will depend upon how many TExES exams you take and if you need to retake an exam. Other costs to consider when preparing for TExES exams include the cost of study materials, tutoring, or preparatory coursework.

How can I renew my certificate?

You can take engaging courses on to complete your required Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours to renew your certificate. Learn more about it here.

TExES exam FAQ

What do I need to bring to the TExES test?

On the day of your TExES exam, be sure to bring two forms of identification, one of which must be government issued. Both IDs must include your:

  • name
  • photograph
  • signature

The following items are prohibited in testing locations:

  • weapons
  • tobacco
  • visitors
  • personal items
  • purses, bags, and wallets
  • hats
  • sunglasses
  • electronic devices
  • food and drink, including gum
  • handwritten or printed materials

If you wear glasses, they will be checked to ensure that they do not contain communication devices, and any medical devices must receive prior approval.

Can I use a calculator on the TExES exam?

For TExES exams that allow calculator use, an on-screen four-function calculator is provided within the exam. The exceptions to this rule are the Mathematics 7-12, Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 6-12, and Physics/Mathematics 7-12 exams, for which you must bring an approved graphing calculator.

What is the TExES exam retake policy?

The official policy of the Texas Education Agency states that you must wait 45 days before retaking the TExES exam. It is important to check with your educator preparation program, as some programs also require that you receive a new approval to test before retaking the exam. Candidates may only take each TExES exam five times. If you have taken the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 or 4-8 exams and have only failed one of the subject sub-tests, you can retate that sub-test again without retaking the whole exam. If you did not pass two or more of the subtests, you will need to retake the entire exam again.

Do TExES scores expire?

TExES scores do not expire as long as the test remains unchanged. If a test is changed, test-takers will be informed in advance. Once you have completed the certification process, your certification will not be affected by any test changes. Recertification is not based on TExES scores.

Are testing accommodations offered for TExES exams?

ETS, the company that administers the TExES exams, has a policy of offering reasonable accommodations for test-takers with disabilities providing the accommodations are appropriate to the purpose of the exam. After creating an online ETS account and registering for an exam, a test-taker can use the appropriate form to request accommodations. It takes approximately six weeks to process these requests, so be sure to plan ahead if you require accommodations.

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