Texas Teacher Certification | TExES Exams

TExES Study Guides

What Is the TExES Exam?

The TExES (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards) program was developed by the Texas Education Agency to vet aspiring teachers and make sure they're ready for the classroom. The TExES exams assess an educator's content and professional knowledge as an entry-level teacher. TExES refers to not one, but all of the content tests offered by the state of Texas. Individual test content was developed by elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educators, community members, expert contributors, and professional educator organizations. There are many unique exams offered by the TExES program. They are broken up into three categories:

  • Pedagogical and professional responsibilities (PPR)
  • Core subject content exams
  • Subject content exams

These encompass elementary, middle, and high school level exams, special education, English as a second language (ESL), and bilingual education exams. In addition, tests for other faculty positions, including school counselors, principals, and librarians, are offered by the TExES program.

TExES exams are computer-administered tests (CAT). The passing score is 240 on a scale from 100 to 300, with 100 equaling a 0% and 300 equaling 100%.

Who Has To Take the TExES Test?

If you have decided to become an educator in the state of Texas, you will be required to take one or more TExES exams. They are intended to be taken by individuals who possess a bachelor's degree in education and are taking or have completed an educator preparation program (EPP). In some cases, you may be required to take an exam before entering an EPP; this exam is called the TExES Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT). Already certified educators can take additional exams to supplement their certification or increase their capabilities to extend to a different subject area/grade level.

Which TExES Test Do I Need To Take?

Every individual who would like to teach in Texas is required to take the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (exam code 160). Then, depending on the grade level and subject you would like to teach, you will have different requirements. Your educational preparation program (EPP) may mandate additional exams before or after entering the program. It is important to check with your program/agency to ensure you are taking the exams required for your certification. If you would like to teach elementary or middle school grade levels, you will have to take a TExES core exam. For subject-specific teaching, you will need to take a separate content exam(s) about the subject area. Check the TExES website to see which tests may apply to you and the subject area you'd like to teach.

TExES Test Prep, TExES Practice Tests and TExES Study Guides

Preparing for any exam, and especially one that can affect your TExES teacher certification, can seem daunting. Luckily, there are a number of free resources available to help you prepare to the best of your ability. It is important to familiarize yourself with the exam's content in order to get a baseline for what you already know and what you need to study. Each TExES exam has a unique preparation manual that provides detailed information about the exam, study guides, practice questions and testing tips. These materials are located on the Texas Examination Certification Program website.

TExES exams are broken up into standards and domains, each of which measures different competencies. Competencies are listed with a competency statement outlining the general overview of what the competency covers and descriptive statements outlining the practical application of the competencies. These statements will give you an in-depth look at what you may be asked on test questions and what you are expected to know.

What Is on the TExES PPR Exam?

The TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 (exam code 160) is required for all educators in the state of Texas, regardless of their grade level or subject area. It is a 100-question, computer-administered test (CAT). The TExES exam passing score is 240 on a scale of 100-300. Questions are formatted as selected-response, also known as multiple choice. You will have a 5 hour time period to complete the exam, including a 15 minute tutorial on CAT and a compliance agreement. The table below outlines the domains, competencies, and standards that will be assessed.

Domain Competencies Approximate Number of Questions Percentage of Test
I: Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning 1. Child Development; 2. Teaching Diverse Students ; 3. Planning Instruction and Assessment; 4. Learning Processes and Factors. 34 34%
II: Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment 1. The Positive Classroom; 2. Classroom Management 13 13%
III: Implementing Effective, Responsive, Instruction and Assessment 1. Effective Communication; 2. Teaching Skills to Students; 3. Using Technology; 4. Assessment 33 33%
IV: Fulfilling Professional Roles & Responsibilities 1. Family Involvement; 2. Effective Collaboration and Improving As A Teacher; 3. Legal Basics 20 20%

TExES Teacher Certification Exam Preparation

There are a number of free resources available to help prepare you for taking the TExES exam. Preparation manuals are available for every exam. You can also find TExES study guides, practice questions, and practice tests. Study guides and study plan worksheets can help you work out a timeline for what/when you are going to study. Practice tests should include answer keys and rationale for why an answer is correct; these are fantastic for familiarizing yourself with the test questions. These will also help you determine how to find the most correct answer based on your knowledge of a specific competency.

To prepare for an exam, follow these 7 study tips:

  1. Devote 2-3 hours each day to test preparation.
  2. Start preparation at least 6-8 weeks before your testing appointment.
  3. Start prepping even earlier than 6-8 weeks if you do not plan on dedicating 2-3 hours each day
  4. Read and reread the domains and competencies to develop a strong understanding of what you will be tested on.
  5. Analyze the material after thoroughly understanding domains and competencies.
  6. Narrow down the information asked in the question, paying special attention to grade-level details.
  7. Practice using sample questions to familiarize yourself with the questions that may be asked on the exam. This will help you discover where to place your focus in studying.

TExES Content Exam Practice

When practicing for a content-specific exam, you will need to not only gain information about the subject but also have a solid understanding of the pedagogical knowledge necessary to teach the subject in a classroom setting. In addition to English, language arts, and mathematics exams, there are many content-specific TExES exams. The following list includes some of the exams you might find:

These exams cover administration, pedagogy, and instructional support:

  • Bilingual Education Supplemental (161)
  • Principal as Instructional Leader (268)
  • School Counselor (152)
  • Special Education EC-12 (161)
  • Special Education Supplemental (163)

Multiple subject exams can include:

  • Core Subjects EC-6 (291)
  • Core Subject 4-8 (211)

Examples of humanities content exams are:

  • Art EC-12 (178)
  • Business and Finance 6-12 (276)
  • Music EC-12 (177)
  • Social Sciences 4-8 (118)
  • Social Studies 7-12 (232)

Science content exams could be:

  • TExES Health EC-12 (157)
  • Computer Science 8-12 (241)
  • Life Science 7-12 (238)
  • Science 4-8 (116)
  • Physical Education EC-12 (158)

For a complete list of exams, you can visit the TExES website. Remember to check with your program/agency to ensure you are taking the correct exam(s) for your certification.

TExES Practice Tests

Interactive practice tests are available for free and for a fee from different resources. Taking a practice exam can be beneficial because it allows you to develop a realistic expectation of what the real exam will look like. By providing accurate graphics, directions, and options for selecting answers you will be immersed in an exam experience that will prepare you for test day. Although you can take as much time as you would like to complete a practice test, it may be beneficial to treat the practice exam as the actual test and practice your time management.

Expert Contributor

Amy Lopez

Amy Lopez, M.A. is a high school teacher with over 8 years of experience teaching Family Consumer Science Education. She has passed the TExES PPR exam and the Praxis Family and Consumer Science Exam. Amy completed a B.S. in Family Consumer Sciences from Tarleton State University, an M.A. in Teaching from Grand Canyon University, and an Education Specialist degree from Northcentral University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What score do you need to pass the TExES test?

    A passing score on most TExES exams is 240. Your exam is graded with the raw points you correctly answer verses the total raw points available. This score is then transferred onto a sliding scale of 100-300, where a score of 100 is 0% and a score of 300 is 100%.

  • Is the TExES content exam online?

    TExES exams are computer administered tests (CAT) that are normally taken at a Pearson testing site. However, there are alternative exams for individuals who need to take the test in Braille. There is also the option to take a TExES exam from home, as long as you meet the at-home testing requirements.

  • How do I study for the TExES?

    The most important part of studying for any exam is ensuring you give yourself enough time to prepare. It can be beneficial to get a baseline of what you already know and what you still need to study before choosing a testing appointment in order to allow yourself ample study time. Utilizing online resources such as practice questions/tests, lessons, and study guides can help you stay on track.

  • What is on the TExES exam?

    Each TExES exam will have different content areas that are organized by standards, domains, and competencies. You can find detailed information about your exam on the TExES website under the Preparation Manual section.

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