TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 Practice Test & Study Guide

What is the TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 Exam?

The TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 (231) Exam, or ELAR test, is the certification exam that teaching candidates for upper-grade (7-12) English Language Arts and Reading must pass in order to be certified instructors within the Texas public school system.

The questions in this English content exam are based on the Texas curriculum framework and are categorized into four domains:

  1. Integrated language arts, diverse learners and the study of English
  2. Literature, the reading processes, and skills for reading literary and nonliterary texts
  3. Written communication
  4. Oral communication and media literacy

These domains are broken down further into competencies.

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

English 7-12 TExES Exam Format

The TExES ELAR exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response questions based on the grades 7-12 framework. Teaching candidates are given five hours to complete the test.

English 7-12 TExES Exam Content

The English 7-12 TExES Exam's four domains are not equally represented in the test, but are as follows:

Domain Percent of Test
Integrated language arts, diverse learners,
and the study of English
Literature, reading processes, and skills
for reading literary and nonliterary texts
Written communication 30%
Oral communication and media literacy 15%

More information about the content per domain are found in the sections below:

Domain 1: Integrated Language Arts, Diverse Learners and the Study of English

Domain 1 is broken down into three competencies:

1. Integrating ELA Instruction:

  • The integration of language arts and other areas of the curriculum to use knowledge and improve the students' grasp of language and literature.
  • Demonstrating to students the ways expressive and receptive use of language impact one another.

2. Instructing Diverse Students:

  • The ways culture, language, attitude, or disabilities affect language, and the ability to create learning experiences that respond to that diversity.
  • Promoting understanding of the situational nature of language and the student's ability to use standard English.

3. The Structure and Development of the English Language - includes:

  • Historical influences on the development of the English language and the understanding of formations and the origins of words.
  • Rhetorical relationships between words.
  • Grammar and punctuation rules.
  • How the ways purpose, audience, and register changes communication.
  • Monitoring student progress and adjusting learning materials to address student weaknesses and strengths.

Domain 2: Literature, Reading Processes and Skills for Reading Literary and Nonliterary Texts

This domain accounts for about 40 questions or 40% of the exam. Four competencies are included:

1. Teaching Reading Processes:

  • The ability to promote reading as an active process in various texts, while understanding how the reader's background can influence perceived meaning.
  • How text characteristics and purpose influence reading strategies.
  • The ability to teach how to use the proper word analyzing skills, word structure and order, and context strategies.
  • How to intervene in students' reading processes when necessary to teach students better comprehension strategies while proving reading experiences that enable respect for diverse cultures.
  • The role visualizations, metacognition, self-monitoring, and social interaction play, and the levels of reading comprehension needed for teaching these reading skills.
  • Monitoring students' reading progress and using assessments to plan and adapt lesson plans to meet student needs.

2. Teaching Strategies for Reading Nonliterary Texts:

  • Characteristics of non-literary texts, their purposes, and reading strategies associated with them.
  • How the types of nonliterary texts are organized and strategies for decoding of text structures (locating, retrieving and retaining information).
  • How to evaluate nonliterary texts in terms of credibility and accuracy, the characteristics of research tools, and the procedures for engaging students in inquiry and research.
  • Assessing students' reading skills and adapting lesson plans to address strengths and weaknesses.

3. Understanding Literary Texts:

  • Genre characteristics, literary elements, and devices, and the ways they can contribute to meaning and style.
  • A substantial body of classic and contemporary American, British, young adult, and world literature, their characteristics and the historical context they emerge from.

4. Responding to Literary Texts:

  • Strategies to motivate students while guiding their selection of independent reading based on individual needs and interests.
  • Encouraging response to reading material while promoting comprehension and engagement in literature.
  • Promoting engagement and response to literature, while engaging students in discovering and exploring the human experience.
  • Analyzing assessments and adapting lessons to address students' strengths, weaknesses, interests, and needs.

Domain 3: Written Communication

Domain 3 includes two competencies and accounts for 30% of the test (about 30 questions). Domain 3 tests the teaching candidate's knowledge in developing competent writings and teaching effective writing.

1. Developing Competent Writers:

  • Different stages of the writing process, and how they allow students to construct meaning, examine thinking, develop perspective, and influence the world around them.
  • Functions of grammar and how to apply them.
  • The ability to evaluate writing.
  • How technology enhances the writing process.
  • Assessing students' work to address students' needs.

2. Teaching Effective Writing:

  • Distinguishing features of different forms of writing.
  • Promoting students' ability to compose, organize ideas, logical progression, precise language, and use of literary devices for different forms of writing.
  • Utilizing tools for reflection, exploration, learning, problem-solving, and personal growth.
  • Evaluating the sources used for writing, while using such tools for inquiry, research, and learning.
  • Assessing students writing development while using assessments to adjust learning materials to support students' strengths, weaknesses, needs, and growth.

Domain 4: Oral Communication and Media Literacy.

Domain 4 accounts for 15% or the exam (~15 questions) and include two competencies:

.1 Promoting Listening and Speaking Skills:

  • The similarities and differences between oral and written languages
  • Aiding students in understanding the role culture plays in oral communication.
  • The ability to create opportunities for student interaction and communication, including with diverse audiences.
  • Active listening skills and strategies for evaluating the content of spoken messages.
  • Using assessments to adjust lesson plans.

2. Teaching Media Literacy:

  • The types and purposes of media and the influence of visual images.
  • Ethical and legal factors associated with media products.
  • Skills for responding to, evaluating, interpreting, analyzing, and critiquing different types of media.
  • Producing illustrations, charts, graphs, videos, and multimedia presentations.
  • Creating and using assessments.

TExES English 7-12 Prep

The TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 Practice Test covers a lot of information. Creating a study plan and using a study guide can aid with reviewing the information in an organized manner. Look online for a TExES practice test that provide the correct answers and the reasoning for those answers as a start point to assess what material needs the most review time.

Everyone is different, and some may need more or less time than others. As a general rule of thumb, candidates should aim to study for 3-5 times the length of an upcoming exam. Given the ELAR exam is five hours in length, candidates should aim to study for a minimum of 15-25 hours. Creating a study schedule will encourage a teaching candidate to study. Study groups can also benefit preparation, and they can be found on college campus bulletin boards, on Facebook, or on Reddit.

English 7-12 TExES Study Guide

TExES ELAR 7-12 Exam study guides offer the material for the exam in an organized format. Using TExES exam study guides is one way to assess the skills and knowledge the teaching candidate already has, and what skills need further review. Many study guides come with TExES English 7-12 practice tests.

English 7-12 TExES Practice Tests.

English 7-12 TExES practice tests help teaching candidates to assess their knowledge and pinpoint skills that need more review. Practice tests also help teaching candidates to familiarize themselves with the content of the TExES ELAR 7-12 test, including the types of questions, style and platform, which can lessen anxiety.

Look for an English 7-12 practice test that gives correct answers and the reasoning for that answer. Most practice tests have a fee. Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website includes an abbreviated version.

English 7-12 TExES Passing Score

TExES scores are usually released a week after the test date via the website. Teaching candidates receive a TExES ELAR 7-12 score between 100 and 300 points. In order to pass the test, a score must be 240 or more. The score will include information on each Domain, including the number of questions asked and the number of questions answered correctly.

Tips for TExES ELAR 7-12 Test-Takers

Some tips for taking the TExES ELAR 7-12 exam inlcude

  • Review test policies.
  • Bring proper and valid identification.
  • Leave unauthorized medical devices unless prior approval has been obtained.
  • Leave electronic devices of any kind at home.

How to Register for the English Content Exam in Texas

All teaching candidates must receive approval to test in the state of Texas. They'll need to go to the Texas TEA website and click ECOS for Educators to create a TEA Login (TEAL) account. Then they'll complete an educator profile, obtain a TEA ID number, and can view approved exams.

Candidates may schedule the TExES exam locations and time of their test when they register, or within 170 days of registering.

Exam Cost

The TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 is $116. Candidates can pay for exam fees using a VISA or MasterCard or a debit or check card that carries the VISA or MasterCard logo. Cash and checks are not acceptable forms of payment.

Expert Contributor

Amy Mayers

Amy Mayers, M.Ed. has taught middle school math for over 7 years. She is a Texas certified teacher for grades 4-12 in mathematics and has passed the TExES Math 4-8 and the TExES Math 7-12. Amy graduated with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Houston and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should I study for TExES content exam?

    Everyone is different, and some may need more or less time than others. As a general rule of thumb, candidates should aim to study for 3-5 times the length of an upcoming exam. Given the ELAR exam is five hours in length, candidates should aim to study for a minimum of 15-25 hours.

  • What is the ELAR test?

    The ELAR test is the certification exam that teaching candidates for upper-grade (7-12) English Language Arts and Reading must pass in order to be certified instructors within the Texas public school system. It's comprised of four domains with several competencies within each one.


Take a TExES English Language Arts & Reading Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of TExES English Language Arts & Reading.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

You have answered 0 out of 15 correctly.

The correct answers are highlighted with green below.

  1. When a teacher displays what they expect from their students before the class attempts the same skill, this is called

    • Correct Answer
  2. To which of the following genres does Homer's The Odyssey belong?

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  3. What is the real name of famous YA author S.E. Hinton?

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  4. Which of the following literary terms best describes the practice of using existing information and context to make an educated guess?

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  5. When a teacher wants to test a student's level of reading fluency, the teacher often relies on timed readings to track WCPM. What is the meaning of the acronym WCPM?

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  6. Which of the following is NOT a strategy that can be used to help enhance listening skills?

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  7. Consider the following sentence: 'The sky was the feathered wing of a bluejay, speckled with white and disappearing behind a line of jagged trees.' Which of the following narrative mechanisms is being used here?
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  8. When choosing an organizational style for a writing project, a writer should always consider which two elements?

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  9. Which of the following is the primary risk when utilizing "implicit error correction" after a student who's learning English as a second language mispronounces a word in class?

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  10. What is the primary reason a teacher should strive to develop a student's ability to "self-select" their own reading materials?

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  11. Which of the following strategies is used to help improve reading comprehension?

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  12. Which of the following is considered to be one of the 6 formal language arts?

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  13. In order to show a character's search for self, contemporary American writers often use all of the following techniques, EXCEPT:
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  14. Which of the following best describes how context clues help students enhance their reading comprehension?

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  15. What type of essay contains claims, reasons, and evidence?

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