TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Study Guide

TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam

The TExES Core Subjects 4-8 (211) exam is one of a suite of tests used by the Texas Department of Education to measure the knowledge and skills of prospective educators. Individuals wishing to teach classes in grades 4-8 in the state of Texas will need to pass this exam to receive TExES certification.

The TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam is a proctored, computer-administered test consisting of 200 selected-response questions. The total testing time for this exam is 5 hours. Test-takers can take this exam through a Pearson Professional testing center. Registration and scheduling are done online by creating a Pearson account.

Subject material for the exam is divided into four subject areas, or "domains." These domains are English Language Arts and Reading (806), Mathematics (807), Social Studies (808), and Science (809). Each of these domains is defined by its own group of standards and competencies. The standards used in this exam have been put forth by experienced educators and are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). They form the foundation of the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam. The competencies help to define the content of each domain. They are comprised of the knowledge and skills that all new teachers in the Texas education system should know and be able to do.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

Sections of the TExES Core Subjects 4-8

As mentioned before, each of the four domains of the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam is defined by educator standards. Standards for the English Language Arts and Reading domain include oral language, foundations of reading, word analysis skills and reading fluency, reading comprehension, written language, study and inquiry skills, viewing and representing, and assessment of developing literacy.

The Mathematics standards deal with number concepts, patterns and algebra, geometry and measurement, probability and statistics, mathematical processes, mathematical perspectives, mathematical learning and instruction, and mathematical assessment.

Social Studies standards cover comprehensive knowledge, integration of social science disciplines, social science instruction, history, geography, economics, government, citizenship, culture and science, and technology and society.

Finally, Science standards focus on safety and ethics, materials and resources, scientific inquiry, science instruction, learning assessments, the history and nature of science, the influence of science, physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and unifying concepts. In addition to domain standards, each domain also has a list of competencies and skills that will be required to pass the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam. These are listed under the sub-headers below.

English Language Arts and Reading

The English Language Arts and Reading domain consists of 74 selected-response questions which account for approximately 37% of the total number of questions on the TExES Core Subject 4-8 exam. This portion of the test takes 1 hour and 55 minutes to complete. Competencies for this domain include understanding the importance of oral languages, early literacy development, word identification skills, reading comprehension, and study and inquiry skills. Test-takers should have a working knowledge of the components and developmental processes of oral language, reading comprehension, and written communication. They should know how to apply various strategies and learning methods to help develop student skills in listening and speaking, word identification, reading fluency, reading comprehension, and study and inquiry. They should also know how to evaluate, interpret, analyze, and produce visual and written content utilizing various forms of media and how to provide students with opportunities to grow their skills in this area.


The Mathematics domain is comprised of 42 questions and accounts for roughly 21% of the entire exam. This section takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to complete. Mathematics competencies cover number operations, number theory, mathematical reasoning, the theory of probability, computational algorithms, transformational geometry, statistical inference, number system structure, the Cartesian coordinate system, Euclidian geometry, and the conceptual foundations of calculus. The test-taker will need to be able to relate quantity and symbolic representations; probability theory, sampling, and statistical inference; and variables, expressions, equations, inequalities, relations, and functions.

Prospective educators will need to know how to analyze multi-dimensional figures, how to use numbers and graphs to analyze data and its patterns, and how to model and solve problems using numbers, linear equations, nonlinear equations, and relations. They will need an understanding of how children learn math and they must be able to provide instruction aligned with the TEKS to effectively teach mathematical skills, procedures, and concepts to a diverse group of students. They will also need to understand and apply appropriate assessments to measure student learning and the methods used to assist those needing additional instruction.

Social Studies

There are 42 questions on the Social Studies portion of the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam. This domain makes up 21% of the test and takes 50 minutes to complete. Prospective educators should have knowledge of history, geography, economics, government and citizenship, culture, social studies foundation and skills, social studies instruction and assessments, and science and how it affects technology and society. They will need to know about significant historical events and developments, economic systems, government (local, national, and global), democracy, citizenship, cultural development, adaptation, diversity, and geography.

Test-takers will be expected to analyze various historical interpretations, identify different types of economic systems, and recognize the geographical relationship between people, places, and environments. They should have a working knowledge of the foundations of social studies education and be able to apply foundational knowledge in the classroom. They must also be able to promote student learning in social studies while utilizing appropriate teaching methods and assessment tools.


The Science domain contains 42 selected-response questions which account for 21% of the total exam. It takes 50 minutes to complete. Test-takers will need to have knowledge of the process of scientific inquiry, the history and nature of science, the history of the Earth system, the physical and chemical properties of matter, the physical and chemical changes in matter, energy, the interactions between energy and matter, the conservation of energy and matter, energy transformations, reproduction, adaptation, and the theory of evolution. They will need to understand the relationship between forces and motion, the structure and function of living organisms, heredity, regulatory mechanisms, regulatory behavior, how energy affects weather and climate, characteristics of the solar system and universe, how organisms and environments interact, and the structure, function, and cycles of Earth systems. Prospective educators will also need to be able to safely and ethically manage learning activities, tools, materials, and resources and how to effectively teach and assess students' scientific learning.

TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam Registration

TExES registration for the Core Subjects 4-8 exam is done online. Prior to registration, test-takers will need to obtain a Texas Education Agency (TEA) ID. This can be done by creating a Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) account and completing the educator profile. Next, test-takers will need to create an online account through the Pearson website. Once created, they will be able to register for their exam, schedule their exam, pay the testing fees, and check their test scores. Registration for the exam can be done year-round and test appointments at a Pearson Professional testing center can be made at one of many nationwide locations. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so test-takers may wish to schedule early so that they can test at their desired location. The TExES exam cost for the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam is $116 for the complete exam and $58 per subject exam. Payment can be done online with a Visa or Mastercard or with a debit or bank card that does not require a PIN entry.

TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam Testing Policies

On test day, test-takers should arrive early at their TExES testing centers to allow time for the check-in process. They will need to bring with them two pieces of original, valid identification with their photo, signature, and name. This may be a driver's license, passport, state identification card, or military identification. Guests are not allowed during test appointments and personal items will be stored in lockers outside of the testing location. Food, drink, and medication may be accessed during breaks only.

Before testing and after breaks, test-takers will be asked to undergo inspection. The exam proctor may ask them to lift their hair, push up their sleeves, and turn out their pockets to ensure there are no prohibited items on their person. Accessories such as glasses, large jewelry, and hair items will be inspected. Video and audio recordings may be used during the test. Digital signatures, digital photos, and palm scans may also be taken.

Test-takers will be provided with a Definitions and Formulas page, an on-screen scientific calculator, and a periodic table during portions of the exam. No outside materials will be allowed in the testing area. Test-takers who do not pass and wish to take the TExES Core Subject 4-8 exam again will need to wait 30 days after their original testing date. They will have a total of five attempts to pass the TExES.

TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam Scoring

Scores for the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam are reported on a scale from 100 to 300. Each correctly answered exam question is worth one raw point. Test-takers will need a score of 240 on each subject exam to pass the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam. Final test scores will be reported as "Passed" or "Not Passed." Test score reports will be made available through the test-taker's online account by 10:00 p.m. on their TExES score report dates. Score report dates are dependent upon test appointment dates. Since this exam is comprised only of selected-response questions, scores are generally reported within 7 days of testing.

Preparing for the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam

Preparation is a key factor to passing the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam. A great way to begin preparing is with a TExES 211 study guide. Study guides give test-takers an overview of what content will be on the exam and may provide test-taking advice and tips. Test-takers may also wish to supplement their study guide with grades 4-8 generalist study materials. Many TExES resources can be found online for purchase or for free including the TExES 211 study guide.

The TExES Core Subject 4-8 exam is comprised solely of selected-response questions. However, there are two different types of questions on this exam. One type is the single question in which test-takers will be asked a direct question or asked to finish a phrase or sentence. They will be asked to choose from one of four possible answers. To answer these questions, test-takers should:

  • Read the question carefully and critically
  • Eliminate obviously wrong answers
  • Make a choice from the remaining answers

The second type of question is the cluster question. These questions will have multiple questions associated with one passage or stimulus (such as a graph, table, or other items). There are several approaches to these types of questions. The test-taker could use one of three methods:

  • Inspecting the stimulus first, then reading over the questions while referring back to the stimulus for answers
  • Reading the questions first, then looking over the stimulus so that they know what information they are looking for
  • Using a combination of both: Inspecting the stimulus first for shorter or more familiar stimuli and reading the questions first for longer or unfamiliar stimuli

Test-takers may also prepare by creating a well-balanced study plan. Once they know the content that will be on the exam, they should focus their study efforts on the areas in which they are not confident. They should set aside some time and plan to study. Balancing study time with brief exercise, snacks, or other activities can help make studying less tedious. Developing a plan for when and what to study will help test-takers stay on track while preparing for the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam.

TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam Practice Test

TExES practice test pairs perfectly with the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 study guide. Taking multiple practice tests helps test-takers get a feel for the content, flow, and format of a test. It can also give them insight into which areas of content they need to focus on during their studies. Taking a practice test before creating a study plan will help test-takers more efficiently use their study time. Repeated testing during TExES test preparation will help reinforce learned material and assess how well the test-taker retains content. It also provides practice for exam day and helps to build test-taking confidence. The TExES Core Subjects 4-8 free practice test can be found online and is an important part of the test-taker's preparation toolbox.

Expert Contributor

Zenobia Denny

Zenobia Denny, M.A. has been a dedicated educator for over 10 years. She holds teaching certifications in Elementary Education, Special Education, and ESL. She has taken and passed numerous Praxis and TExES exams, including the TExES Principal Certification exam. Zenobia completed an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Walden University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I teach if I pass the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam?

    Prospective educators who pass the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam will be able to teach any basic subject taught in Texas schools for grades 4-8. In order to specialize in a particular subject, educators will need to receive a subject-specific endorsement on their teaching license.

  • How many questions are on the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Exam?

    There are a total of 200 selected-response questions on the TExES Core Subjects 4-8 exam - 74 in the English Language and Arts domain and 42 each in the Mathematics, Social Science, and Science domains.


Take a TExES Core Subjects 4-8 Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of TExES Core Subjects 4-8.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

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The correct answers are highlighted with green below.

  1. Which of the following best identifies the prevalent economic industry that developed in Western Texas?

    • Correct Answer
  2. Use the image below to answer the question that follows.

    Which number ends the third quartile of the data?
    Use the image below to answer the question that follows.<br clear="all" /> <br clear="all" />Which number ends the third quartile of the data?
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  3. Students are grouped together to write a paper. They are required to adhere to each stage of the writing process. Before they begin, they must submit a time management plan for approval. One group submits the following time management plan: Monday: Brainstorming, Tuesday: Outlining, Wednesday & Thursday: Drafting, Friday: Editing. Which answer accurately recognizes whether the group's time management plan should be approved.
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  4. Which is the solution for the problem below.
    Which is the solution for the problem below.<br clear="all" />
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  5. A car dealer has two lots and space for 150 cars. The first lot contains five more than half of the number of cars it can hold, while the second lot is filled to capacity with 60 cars. How many more cars would the dealer need to fill its first lot?

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  6. Autoclaves and sharps containers are important for scientific classrooms because they
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  7. Where was Sam Houston Born?

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  8. An ice cream parlor has 7 different toppings people can select from, but customers are encouraged to use no more than 2 toppings per ice cream cone. How many different 2-topping cone combinations can a person create?

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  9. Which example refers to an endothermic reaction?

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  10. Differentiated instruction is the result of modifying

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  11. The different types of galaxies, like elliptical, SP, and spiral galaxies, are classified based on various characteristics like shape and composition. What is the classification system that identifies galactical characteristics and features to classify the galaxies appropriately?

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  12. Population growth has been largely impacted by scientific advancements and vice versa. What three scientific periods have prompted the developments of society and help to foster the development of different populations of people?

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  13. Within social studies class, students will be introduced to various resources, like timelines, historical documents, and maps. Students in a fourth-grade class are reviewing a map of Texas that shows the divisions between the counties and localities therein. There are not other markings, like recognition of landscapes, buildings, atmospheric conditions, or structures. The students are reviewing a

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  14. What was the main event that ignited the feud between the nations of the world in World War I?

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  15. Which of the following questions will help students to develop critical thought in the science classroom?

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