The 2024 Guide to TExES Test Prep Exams

The TExES exams (Texas Examination of Educator Standards) are a series of tests overseen by the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program. They are a necessary step to achieving certification and licensure in the state. Without it, candidates cannot teach in a Texas public school. 

In our guide, we'll provide an overview of the TExES tests, how to prepare, and what you can expect on the big day. 

Don't panic. Passing the TExES exams can be done, and we're here to help

Do I Need to Take TExES Exams?

The TExES exams are only for educators seeking certification in Texas. If you live in one of the other US states, then you do not need to take the TExES exams. 

However, if you are a teaching candidate in Texas, read on.

Exam Overview

The TExES exams are a series of over 55 tests designed to determine a teacher candidate's readiness to work in a specific grade, subject, or specialty. The exams are categorized as follows:

  •    Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR)
  •    Core
  •    Content

Purpose of the Exams: The TExES exams assess a candidate's knowledge and skills that will be required to teach a particular grade level or subject matter. 

Selecting Your TExES Exams
: Teaching candidates in the state should consult the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to determine which of the over 55 exams apply to them. Educators only take the exams that apply to the particular grade level, subject, or specialty in which they seek certification. Most candidates only need to take 2-3 TExES exams to teach in their required grade and area. 

The TExES exam names and codes depend on the grade level and subject. Here are a few examples:

Exam format: TExES exams are generally Computer-Administered Testing (CAT). They provide tutorials on how to navigate their CAT exams, select answers, and use their tools. 

Many tests are multiple-choice (selected response). However, some exams include constructed-response questions, such as English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 (231)

Exam Format and Administration

Total Length of Exam: Exam times vary, but many are 4 hours and 45 minutes of testing time with 15 minutes for the tutorial and paperwork (compliance agreement). 

Breaks: Breaks are allowed, but typically, the time comes from the available exam allotment.

Registration, Fees, Arrival Time, and Required Items

Registration Process: Candidates must create an account with Texas Educator Certification to register for an exam and, later, access their score report.  

: At the start of 2024, a TExES exam typically costs $116, and if applicable, a subject exam can be added for $58. However, there are a few exceptions and potentially additional fees, depending on the exams being taken. 

Dates: Most exams are available year-round, Mon-Sat, but booking in advance is essential. Consult the Exam Dates and Sites page. 

Venues: TExES exams must be taken at a venue selected while booking. Click to see some examples of testing sites. 

Arrival time
:  Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment. 

Required Items
: Two forms of state-approved ID:

  •    Driver's License
  •    Passport
  •    State Identification
  •    Military Identification

Most exams do not require equipment to be brought. However, there are exceptions, including some engineering, physics, and higher-level mathematics exams. Always check your exact exam for any specific requirements. 

The following are NOT allowed:

  •    Cell phones and other communication devices
  •    Watches
  •    Calculators (some exceptions, but check in advance)
  •    Any reading material or paper, including a dictionary
  •    Bags
  •    See the full list here

Security: Testing centers are monitored, including by audio and video recording. If candidates take a break, they will have to be checked before being readmitted into the exam room. 

Rescheduling, Canceling, & Refunds: Candidates may reschedule their exam for free up to 48 hours before their scheduled testing date.  

Alternative Testing Arrangements: Nursing parents and people with disabilities can make special arrangements for accommodations if they are not on the pre-approved list. Examples include needing a sign language interpreter or extra time. Their video can help you walk through the accommodations process. 

Preparation Tips and Strategies

Few people love taking exams. But the experience will go smoother and be less stressful by putting some thought into preparation and strategies.

Select Study Resources

Select study resources that apply to the TExES exams you must take. A teaching candidate planning to work in early childhood education should not be worrying about the exam Physics/Mathematics 7-12 (243). 

An excellent way to prepare is by taking courses or boot camps tailored to preparing for your TExES exams. These in-depth programs provide helpful resources such as:

  •    Lesson videos
  •    Digital flashcards
  •    Practice tests
  •    Quizzes
  •    Access to study groups

Other resources to use include:

  •    University library
  •    Articles
  •    Websites
  •    In-person and online study groups
  •    Practice tests

Create a Study Plan

Exams are much more manageable to prepare for when the studying is broken down into manageable chunks spread out on a timeline. The best way to do this is by creating a study plan. It is like creating a lesson plan for the classroom, but instead, you're making it for yourself. 

To help you get started on creating your study plan, we've put together some tips:

  •    Select your tools. Some people like good old-fashioned paper calendars and colorful pens. Others enjoy daily planners that they can shut with a satisfying thud. There are also digital tools that can be used across your devices. These can be as simple as the calendar app already installed on your laptop or phone. But if you prefer bells and whistles, consider using a study app:

     o    Classify IOS | Android
     o    Chipper Android
     o    Power Planner IOS | Android
     o    MyStudyLife IOS | Android

  •    Take stock of your life's obligations. Write down everything you do that can't be cut from your life, such as work, school, and therapist appointments. 
  •    Schedule your study appointments. We make appointments with important people: doctors, lawyers, and a school principal. Make an appointment with the most important person of all: yourself. By scheduling your time, you will ensure there is space to prepare. 
  •    Add in buffer zones. Making plans is all well and good, but then there is reality: power outages, tornado warnings, and the stomach flu. Don't let life's unexpected movements cause panic. Instead, ensure you've scheduled extra study appointments to give yourself some wiggle room.
  •    Study with an objective. Outline the purpose of each study session, such as reading specific chapters, doing practice exams, or working with flash cards. If the objective is already set out, you won't waste precious study time fretting over where you should focus. 
  •    Variety keeps the brain engaged. There is a reason people are advised to count sheep when the sandman is elusive: it's boring. Keep your brain awake and focused while studying by using various strategies in your preparation, such as study groups, flashcards, videos, and lesson activities. 
  •    Monitor your progress. Studying is worthless if you keep repeating the stuff you already know. Keep records of what you have done, where you are strong, and what areas still require strengthening. Time is precious, and you want to use it efficiently. 

Practice and Review

Stress and anxiety are normal companions when tackling significant events, such as exams. However, it's easier to think clearly when calm. However, telling yourself to "calm down" has a success rate of about zero. Instead, consider giving these suggestions a try:

  •    Take a break from the news and social media. Being socially aware is important. But taking breaks from the latest global fiasco and doom-scrolling is okay. When preparing for an exam, it can be helpful to not have your mind filled with horrors you can't solve. One way to cut back is deleting social media apps (temporarily) from the phone and only checking in with friends when using your laptop. Another is putting your devices on modes such as "focus" and "do not disturb" more frequently. 
  •    Sleep. Getting enough sleep reduces stress. Frustratingly, being stressed can make it challenging to get the required shut-eye. If you are struggling, consider talking to a medical professional or using some of the advice provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine
  •    Cuddle Animals. Sure, it's lovely to have a pet, but not everyone has the time, money, or space. Thankfully, studies have shown that even 10 minutes of petting or cuddling an animal can do wonders for lowering stress. Thus, if you are pet-less, consider visiting one of Texas' many cat cafes, volunteering at an animal shelter, going to a petting barn, or strolling over to your local dog park. 
  •    Listen to music. Classical music has been shown to help people focus when studying. But a 2021 study also found that music can reduce stress, pain, and anxiety. 

Texas Prep Exam Strategies And Time Management

The biggest advice on taking the exam is not to cram the night before. Instead, sleep and eat well so you will have enough energy to focus for the nearly five hours of testing. 

When you arrive at the testing center, pack your things in your locker, use the bathroom, and then make your way to the testing room. Once you are in there, make use of the following tips: 

  •    All of the directions are important. Pay special attention to the tutorial given at the start of your exam. When going through the test, read the directions and the entire question before answering. 
  •    Don't rush. Rushing to finish the test results in wrong answers.  
  •    Don't let one question eat up all your time. Spending too much time on one question leaves little for the rest. It's better to answer the questions you are confident in first and return to the more challenging ones afterward. 
  •    Check your answers if you finish early. Testing centers generally require candidates to remain in the exam room for the entirety of the allotted time. If you finish early, use those extra minutes to double-check your answers.

Scoring and Results

Passing Score: The TExES exams are scored between 100 and 300; generally, a 240 or higher is a pass. 

TExES Score Report: The score report is broken into multiple categories:

  •    Total Test Score: A 240 or above is a pass on most examinations. 
  •    Performance by Domain: Scores are broken down into each major content area. There will be two columns. The first shows the "Points Possible," i.e., the maximum points available for that area. The second column is "Points Earned." 
  •    Performance by Competency: Scores are broken down into subsections of major content areas (domains). The first four columns break it down into:

     o   # of Questions
     o   # Correct
     o   Scaled Score
     o   Status (passed / not passed)

  •    Holistic Scores: These are only provided for exams with constructed responses. They will provide a score and a written explanation of what the score represents regarding competency and comments on specific performance characteristics. 
  •    Score Report Release Dates: Score reports are available within 7 days of most exams. However, exams with constructed-response assessments typically take 28 days to release score reports. More information can be found on the Texas Examination website.
  •    Retaking the Exam: A candidate is allowed 5 attempts (initial attempt + 4 retakes) to pass each TExES exam. There is a 30-day wait to reschedule after receiving the score report. 


The TExES exams are an achievable challenge. But it isn't one you have to face on your own. We at  The Learning Liaisons not only have tools to help you get ready but can also connect you with others who are preparing for the tests. Together, we'll help you reach for success.

Additional Resources