Sep 7

What Is TExES? (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards)

The Texas Examination of Educator Standards(TExES) is a teacher examination in Texas designed to measure prospective teachers' knowledge and determine their teaching readiness and skill using an established criterion.

TExES measures the knowledge and performance of aspiring teachers against a set criterion rather than against that of other candidates. To teach in Texas, you must also take and pass one content examination to earn an intern or probationary certificate.

TExES examinations test teachers in more than 60 specialties. Getting certified in more than one speciality gives you a competitive advantage over other candidates in the job market.

The TExES examinations are also divided according to grade levels and special certification areas such as core subjects, physical science, mathematics, computer science, health, and English language arts.

If you hope to get certified for teaching in Texas and start inspiring the future generation while earning from it, you must know when to take your Texas teacher certification examinations.

In this article, The Learning Liaisons will cover all the relevant information on taking the TExES examination, including registration, scheduling, preparing, and retaking.

What Is the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards or TExES?

TExES (Texas Examination of Educator Standards) are criterion-referenced examinations for aspiring teachers in Texas that test the understanding and teacher readiness and skill in over sixty teaching areas. 

The examination uses a set of criteria to measure the aspiring teacher’s knowledge against some established standard rather than comparing it to the performance of other candidates. 

The significance of TExES criterion-referenced exams is to help identify aspiring teachers with the required level of knowledge and skills that have been established to be important for educators seeking employment in Texas public schools.

 If you perform well against the set standard of the exam, you’ll acquire a teaching license.

TExES exam frameworks are specifically aligned with suitable Texas standards for educators and with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the student curriculum in Texas State. 

TExES program combines content-area knowledge assessments for teachers and professional knowledge assessments for administrators. 

TExES examinations can be taken by several categories of educators, such as:

  •   Aspiring educators participating in educator preparation programs for teacher certification in Texas. You will need the approval of your teacher preparation program before taking the exams. 
  •   Educators certified outside Texas. The Texas Education Agency must approve you before taking these content tests. 
  •   Texas-certified educators who want to get certified in an additional teaching area. 
  •   Educators in charter schools may need to take a contest test in their teaching area. 

What TExES Exam Do I Need to Take?

It may be overwhelming to analyze the information and the numbers on the TExES examination you must take for your certification. However, knowing the TExES tests you need helps you plan and quicken your teacher certification process.

Let us delve into the tests you need to register for per teaching grade:

Teaching elementary school

To teach in elementary school, you need to take CORE subjects EC-6. This test consists of 267 multiple-choice questions that range from Early Childhood to grade 6. The CORE Subjects test is divided into five distinct subject areas:

  •   English Language Arts and Reading & the Science of Teaching Reading.
  •   Social Studies
  •   Science; and Fine Arts
  •   Health and Physical Education
  •   Mathematics

You must pass all five subtest areas to attain a Pass score. Once you pass the CORE EC-6 test, you are certified to teach grades from Early Childhood to grade six. 

Teaching middle school

To teach in middle school in Texas, you must take the CORE Subjects 4-8 exam. The test has 200 multiple-choice questions aligned with grades 4-8 curriculum.

 The CORE 4-8 has four distinct content domains:

  •   Science
  •   Social Studies
  •   Mathematics
  •   English Language Arts and Reading

  At this level, approximately 37% of the test (74 questions) focuses on (English Language, Arts and Reading (ELAR), while the three remaining subject domains take up 21% each (about 42 questions each).

You must attain a minimum score of 240 for each test to record a passing score.

If you need to retake the test, there is a 45-day wait time between attempts.

If you want to get certified to teach specific subjects between the 4th and the 8th grades, TExES will offer individual and combined subject tests to 4th - 8th grade children.

TExES Exam Registration

Registering for the TExES examination is essential to having your TExEs Teacher Certification. First, consult your program or agency to know which tests are required for your certification before registering.

Then, familiarize yourself with the exams you are to take, review the preparation materials, examine the rules and policies of the TExEs exams, and ensure a testing date available that will allow you to provide your TExEs scores on time.

After completing this pre-registration research, and deciding on the exams to take, follow the following simple steps to register for your TExEs exams.

  1.   Create an online account with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). You will receive a TEA ID, which you should keep in your records.
  2.   Register for your online Pearson account on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. You will require your TEA ID when creating the Pearson account. You can register, reschedule, and access your score information for the TExES examination on this site.
  3.   Register for the examination. Select the exam name and code while ensuring you have the right authorization to take the examination, answers to background questions, and proper documentation for alternative testing. On registering, you will have 170 days to schedule your appointment.
  4.   Schedule a testing appointment. This differs from registering for the examination and includes selecting your slot on a specific day and time. Use the seat availability tool to confirm the available appointments in a location and on a convenient date. You can reschedule or cancel your testing appointment without an expense up to 48 hours before your scheduled appointment date. Schedule your appointment within 14 days of notification of approval by the certification testing center. If you cancel or withdraw your registration, a $25 fee is deducted from your exam registration fee.

Testing accommodations can also be availed to you in case of a documented physical, cognitive, and learning disability. All TExEs test centers have wheelchair access, visual enhancement features, breaks to take medication or use the restroom, and comfort aids. Such approvals can be granted without prior approval.

Request TEA using the Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form if you need approval beyond these. Also, it is better to register for the exam as early as possible to allow enough time for your request to be processed. For such approvals, you must provide current documentation from a professional confirming your need for advanced testing accommodations.

Only schedule your exam appointment after TEA resolves your request and notifies you.

Also, TExES exam registration is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The TExEs exam costs $116 for most exams, such as the Core Subjects EC-6 and Core Subjects 4-8. For subtests such as test codes 801-809, the fee is $58.

Remember, preparing well and passing in the first attempt is essential because every retest requires paying the exam fee.

Also, your exam registration is valid for only 170 days after the issue date, after which it expires, and you are not issued a refund.

If you are a veteran, a military member on active duty, or a spouse to an active-duty military spouse, you can apply to waive $11 of your testing fee. Submit a written request to TEA, including the following:

  •   Your TEA ID,
  •   The last four digits of your social security number,
  •   A copy of your front and back military ID,
  •   The state-issued ID.

In the case of a spouse, your marriage license will be required. If you are a veteran, you must attach your DD-214 certification.

TExES Exam Passing Score

All TExES examinations are graded on a scale of 100-300 points. To pass any of the tests, you must attain a minimum score of 240 points. Your result options are a PASS or NOT PASSED.

There is no overall passing score for the entire exam; hence, a minimum passing score of 240 points is expected for each content domain. 

You can check your score report on your online Pearson account.

Your TExES score report will show four sections that include the following:

  •   The Total Test Performance: This includes your pass or not pass status. It also shows your total scaled scores, scaled score range, and minimum passing scores. 
  •   Performance By Domain: This section lists the major content areas tested and the number of questions answered correctly. This section helps interpret the overall score and does not have an individual pass/ not pass status.
  •   Performance By Competency: The section lists the individual competencies within a domain. It will highlight the number of scored questions and those correctly answered. This also helps in understanding your overall score. 
  •   Holistic Scores: This section shows a table scale with 4 scoring options. It measures knowledge on the scale of thorough knowledge, general knowledge, limited or no knowledge, and unscorable.

TExES Practice Tests

Many prospective teachers prepare for their TExES examination using practice tests. Practice tests are mock examinations that are designed to help you prepare for the main test. The tests are designed to simulate your preparedness through timing, content, complexity, and type of questions. 

Taking these TExES exam practice tests allows you to get a feel of what the actual examination will be like and identify any weaknesses you may have. It allows you to focus and improve on your weak areas before taking the real exam. 

There are many free practice tests online for all TExES exams, which you should attempt before the actual TExEs testing. 

An excellent resource for TExEs practice tests is The Learning Liaisons, which gives you access to sample test questions for each test, study companions, and active one on one tutoring to enhance your preparedness.

These tests will help you prepare adequately for your TExES exam, increasing your chances of passing on the first attempt and saving you money and time. 

With our Interactive practice exams, you can get:

  •   Interactive exam simulation with sample exam questions.
  •   Comprehensive, immediate feedback on your performance for the selected-response questions.
  •   Convenient online access.
  •   A real online experience simulating an actual computer-administered testing environment.

Retaking TExES Exam

If you receive a Not Passed score, you must wait to retake the test for at least 30 days. But, there is no time limit on waiting to retake the exam. If you are in an Educator Preparation Program, you must seek approval again to retest for TExEs. 

But you can fill out a test retake request immediately after you receive your scores and start the process of scheduling your next exam. 

Note that if you only failed one of the subjects, you may retake the specific subject. But, if you fail two or more subjects, you are expected to retake the entire TExEs exams

The TExES exam retake policy is that you are limited to five attempts to pass the exams. 

Prepare Yourself to Pass the TExES Exam

TExES exams measure teacher preparedness in Texas using already established standards rather than the performance of other test-takers. To be certified to teach in Texas public schools, you must prepare, register, schedule, and pass the TExEs exams. Adequate preparation is essential.

We offer aspiring educators resources to prepare for the TExEs exams, such as flashcards, 1-1 tutoring, online revision resources, and practice tests

Although you can register for a retake in case of a Not Passed score, retakes are costly and limited to five attempts. 

Practice tests are specifically significant because they simulate the actual TExEs test in complexity, timing, and type of questions. They help you gain essential experience in answering the questions on the test day. 

Ready to begin a fulfilling teaching career in Texas? Start preparing for the TExES test and get your certification for teaching in Texas.