TExES ESL Supplemental Exam (154) Practice Test & Study Guide

What Is the TExES ESL Supplemental Certification (154) Exam?

If you're interested in learning how to get an ESL certification in Texas, you'll be glad to know that the TExES ESL supplemental exam tests your knowledge of teaching English as a Second Language to prepare you for an ESL certification in Texas. However, the TExES certification exams alone does not grant the ability to teach in the state of Texas; the certification is a supplemental qualification on top of your existing license. You must already have a relevant bachelor's degree and a teaching license from the state of Texas in order to take this exam.

The TExES ESL Supplemental exam is a computer-administered test consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 5 hours. It is based on three areas of ESL teaching knowledge, or 'domains,' which are themselves based on seven ESL test Texas teaching standards. The exam tests teaching competencies within these domains to ensure that you are prepared to teach ESL to children in the state of Texas.

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

TExES ESL Supplemental Registration

The computer-administered test for the TExES ESL Supplemental exam can be taken at a testing center in Texas or at various locations throughout the country. The TExES exam cost to register is $116, and the only prerequisites are a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate from the state of Texas. Registration is online and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year. You must use a VISA or MasterCard credit or debit card to register, and your registration will be valid for 170 days from the date of issue. The registration fee is nonrefundable. Once you have registered, you may make an appointment at a testing center of your choice.

On the day of your scheduled exam, you will need to be punctual and provide two pieces of government-issued ID at the testing center. These could include a passport, a driver's license, a military ID, a state ID or immigration-related documents such as a green card. The TExES testing centers prohibit all personal items in the testing room and will provide you with paper and a pen for notes during the test. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after your appointment you may not be admitted to the testing room, and any failure to show on your appointment day requires a brand-new registration, payment, and appointment.

What Is on the TExES ESL Supplemental Exam?

The TExES ESL supplemental exam is divided into three sections with a total of 80 questions, all of which are multiple choice. Some unscored questions are mixed into the test, and you will only be graded on the scored questions.

Language Concepts and Language Acquisition

This domain and set of competencies make up about 25% of the test with approximately 20 questions. It covers fundamental concepts, structures, and conventions of the English language. Expect questions on language systems and functions, the role of the four areas of language (listening, reading, speaking, writing), as well as structures of the language and how an ESL teacher uses this knowledge to teach a foundation of language learning. It also covers the fundamentals of language acquisition, including theories, cognitive processes, common difficulties and how to select methods to teach ESL development.

ESL Instruction and Assessment

The ESL Instruction and Assessment section covers approximately 45% of the exam with around 36 questions. This section is intended to ensure that you are cognizant of the appropriate ESL standards, methods, and practices of instruction and can choose appropriate tools and strategies. It will also concern how to promote good communicative language, including awareness of individual differences, as well as how to provide feedback, assessment, and instructional design. Expect a similar overview of ESL reading comprehension, as well as language acquisition's role in support of academic development.

Foundations of ESL Education, Cultural Awareness, and Family and Community Involvement

This third section makes up around 30% of the test and contains approximately 24 questions. It focuses on the theory of ESL programs and their foundational research. It also covers the different kinds of ESL programs, such as immersion and dual language, and the differences in their goals, characteristics and findings. It features a strong sense of multicultural learning and diversity in the classroom and the importance of ESL teachers in preventing cultural bias. Finally, expect questions on the topics of family and community involvement, collaboration, and and their importance in ESL acquisition.

TExES ESL Supplemental Certification (154) Exam Scoring

Final scores for the TExES ESL exam are reported within 7 days of testing at 10:00 p.m. Central time. Your final score will be available through your testing account at the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. Initially, you will be given a raw score, which is how many of the 80 test questions you answered correctly, with one raw score point per correct question. However, your raw score is then converted to a final score that falls within the minimum possible score of 100 and the maximum possible score of 300. The minimum passing score on this and all TExES exams is 240.

When you register you will be asked which institutions you wish to receive your scores. When the TExES scores got released, these institutions will receive your scores as requested. You should save or print a copy of the reports for your personal records. 7 to 10 days after your score report, you can apply in your Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) through your Texas Education Association login (TEAL) for final ESL certification. In accordance to the TExES exam retake policy, if you do not pass the exam or are otherwise unsatisfied with your score, you may retake the exam after 30 days; regardless of your scores, you will be limited to five attempts.

How Can I Prepare for the TExES ESL Supplemental?

There are a number of reliable methods you can use to prepare yourself for the ESL Supplemental exam (154), including diagnostic tests, a study plan, a study guide and TExES ESL practice exams. An excellent first step is to look at the official TExES ESL Supplemental (154) preparation manual, which is freely available online. It breaks the exam down into the domains and competencies and is an excellent starting point for your studying. It also contains practice questions and has a reading list of textbooks, journals, and online resources.

Take a Diagnostic Test

A diagnostic test is intended to show you what you need to study the most to successfully pass the ESL (154) Supplemental exam. A diagnostic score report pinpoints your strengths and those areas in need of extra work. These tests are typically online and taken under timed test conditions. They are likely automatically scored, may have answer explanations, and will show you which domains and competencies you will need to focus on. A diagnostic test would likely feature TExES ESL supplemental practice test questions, or similar, to give you a sense of what direction you need to take in your studying.

Make a Study Plan

Once you have taken a diagnostic test, you can then plan out a study plan with a helpful timeline. Taking into account what you need to focus on and the time you have remaining before the exam, you can then include domains and competencies in the plan along with anticipated start and finishing dates. This will likely help to ensure that you cover all required information present in the ESL (154) Supplemental test following what you learned from the diagnostic test.

Use a Study Guide

A study guide can then help break down the domains and competencies for the TExES ESL Supplementary examination (154) into more digestible units, offering clarifications of what you need to know with the final test in mind. This may involve citations for important competencies allowing you to pursue deeper understanding through other resources. It typically offers clear definitions of important terms for you to remember, as well as precise goals for understanding a concept. Rather than just 'phonology,' for example, it may break down 'phoneme,' 'phonetics,' and 'phonics' and offer examples of how these are used in ESL education.

Take a TExES ESL Practice Exam

As you approach your test date, consider taking an online TExES practice test. Like an earlier diagnostic test, these will mimic time and content conditions of the final TExES ESL Supplementary (154) Test and provide you with a prompt score. This will then allow you to identify your areas of concern among the domains and competencies and how to pinpoint what you need to learn for future study. A practice test may also offer breakdowns of answers once you are done, showing you what you should have answered and why. This will help identify strategies for your learning, and you can then return to your study plan and adapt it for the final stage of your preparation before the exam.

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 many questions are on the TExES ESL Supplemental exam?

    There are a total of 80 questions on the TExES ESL Supplemental (154) exam. The exam and questions are broken into 3 domains and multiple competencies.

  • How do I register to take the ESL certification exam in Texas?

    You can register online for the EST test in Texas by going to the centralized registration website. You can register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Who needs ESL certification in Texas?

    Any public school teacher with a bachelor's degree and state teaching licensure who wishes to add the ESL certification to their existing license must take the TExES ESL Supplementary (154) exam.


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  1. 3,6,9,12,15,18,21...is a classic example of a(n) _____

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  2. A first grade teacher just completed a unit in geography on maps. Which activity would assess how well students understand how maps help people find locations?

    • Correct Answer
  3. What is the following symbol an example of?
    What is the following symbol an example of?
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  4. How might computer-aided instruction teach phonemic awareness?

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  5. Which of the following health care screenings are recommended for students in elementary school?

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  6. Which of the following best describes the math skills a teacher could assess with the problem shown in the image?
    <br clear="all" />Which of the following best describes the math skills a teacher could assess with the problem shown in the image?
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  7. Which event started the Cold War?

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  8. How much faster would a sound wave travel at 33°C than at 22°C?
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  9. At the end of a lesson on greater than/less than/equal to, a teacher realizes that several students in the class do not understand why equation A is not true, but equation B is true. Which principle would help the students differentiate between the two statements?
    <br clear="all" />At the end of a lesson on greater than/less than/equal to, a teacher realizes that several students in the class do not understand why equation A is not true, but equation B is true. Which principle would help the students differentiate between the two statements?
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  10. A science teacher wants students to compare plant and animal cells, which model would help students understand the location and function of different organelles in the two cell types?

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  11. Which method would teach children the art of acting in a theater class?

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  12. A bag contains 3 dimes, 7 pennies, and 4 quarters. Find the probability of picking a dime?

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  13. The property that allows us to define the expression: (a + b + c) * 0, without knowing the quantities of any of the variable, is called the _____

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  14. _____ is the ability to write or spell words based on how they sound.
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  15. Of the following choices, which best exemplifies the steps that should be taken after completing a lesson where students dissected frogs if a teacher is unsure of how to handle cleaning the lab area and equipment?

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