How to Study for TExES

What Are the TExES Exams?

New teachers must pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) to become certified in Texas. Candidates must demonstrate their content-area knowledge by passing specific exams in their areas of expertise, making the TExES exams a significant milestone.

In the TExES exam suite, there are almost 60 content exams, including Chemistry, Biology, CORE Subjects, Journalism, Health Science, and Special Education. Candidates will take the TExES exams on a computer unless a paper test is needed for those who need to type, speak, or use braille. The exams are multiple-choice, with some requiring written or oral answers. TExES exams are given through Pearson VUE test centers, and TExES exam cost ranges between $58 to $200 depending on the TExES exam and subtest (teachers can find specific pricing for each test at the TExES website under Exams).

TExES Eligibility

Candidates interested in taking TExES suite exams are eligible if they are college graduates or certified teachers. If the candidate is in a certification program, permission from the program is required. If you are already certified to teach, however, you may take the content exams at any time. The best time to take the TExES exams would be after completing a college degree and before entering a certification program to avoid the hurdles of requiring permission.

TExES Exam Format & Structure

Exams are computer-administered tests (CAT) and begin with a 15- to 20-minute CAT tutorial and compliance agreement. The remaining time for each testing appointment is 5 hours.

Once CORE Subjects EC-6 and CORE Subjects 4-8 have been attempted, candidates may take an individual CORE subtest ($58 per subset subject test). Note that passing one subject test under the CORE Subjects tests will not qualify you to be certified, and if you fail, you must wait 30 days to retake.

Below is an overview of the TExES exam format and structure:

  • Includes selected-response multiple-choice problems ranging from 70-200+ questions
  • Some tests include 3-5 speaking or writing-constructed tasks
  • Appointed times per subject for CORE exams range from 35 to 115 minutes
  • A minimum passing score of 240 is required for most tests
  • School Counselor and Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Trade tests must achieve "Pass" status
  • Many exams available year-round with several requiring appointments; check test centers
  • CAT testing centers located within Texas and some tests also available nationwide; check test centers

TExES paper format requires candidates to formulate an original response to a content-specific question to demonstrate their knowledge in either essay length or as short, written answers.

TExES Scores

TExES exams are scored between 100 and 300; 240 is the minimum TExES exam passing score. The selected-response questions are evaluated by a computer immediately upon completion. For how to read a TExES score report in the selected-response section, know that each correct answer earns one point.

Constructed-response questions (written, oral, typed, braille) are evaluated by a professional with expert knowledge of the content-specific field in a fair and balanced way with a standardized methodology to ensure scoring validity. An independent double-scoring method is used for exams with a large test pool, whereby two separate examiners rate the answer. If the ratings are within acceptable margins, the score remains; if not, additional scores are acquired. For exams with smaller test pools, the consensus-scoring model is employed; this means examiners score exams collectively.

TExES scores are available by 10:00 PM Central time view email of score date, usually 7-10 days after testing (if this option is chosen during registration).

How Do You Study for the TExES Exams?

The underlying goal of the TExES exams is to certify that any teacher entering a classroom is fully equipped to teach from the first day moving forward. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the undertaking of study for the exam be met with rigorous dedication. The most obvious advantage of certification for teachers is the security of knowing the subject material completely and thoroughly. TExES exam preparation, like the exams, should not be taken lightly.

Once the candidate chooses the specific content to study, a study guide and practice tests should be utilized to maximize understanding both of the content and the tests. Study.com has several TExES resources with tailored guides for content-specific tests and CORE exams.

Understanding the Type of Questions

TExES exam questions consist of selected-response, multiple-choice questions and content-constructed questions. The TExES exam format for the multiple-choice questions has the candidate choose between 4 options. In contrast, the content-constructed exam format will be either written, typed, or spoken, depending on the test. Content-constructed questions will be open-ended in essay or short answer form.

Most tests are selected-response multiple-choice format, such as Chemistry and Health Sciences, with some tests requiring content-constructed responses, such as School Counselor and Principal as Instructional Leader.

Formats include: entry boxes, checkboxes, choosing a graphic, highlighting a sentence, drag and drop, and drop-down menus. The CORE exams have the most questions. For example, CORE Subjects 4-8 (211) covers several subjects during the 5-hour exam (including a 15-minute CAT tutorial). In a CAT format, the selected-response multiple-choice questions will have the following questions and time limits according to the TExES exam website:

Test Name Questions Time
English Language Arts and Reading 74 1 hour and 55 minutes
Math 42 1 hour and 5 minutes
Social Studies 42 50 minutes
Science 42 50 minutes

TExES Study Material

Candidates seeking to take and pass the TExES exam must find and follow preparation materials and study resources that mark them for success. In this way, their chosen TExES exam material must reflect the exams as accurately as possible. Coupled with the knowledge candidates learned throughout their undergraduate studies, success rates will be much higher when future teachers use the TExES to accurately reflect their hard work and dedication in the teaching profession.

Using cobbled-together study material randomly from the internet or printed study guides may harm candidates more than help. Therefore, research into the type of study materials is nearly as important as the materials themselves. Just as test takers learned of their future students' learning styles, so, too, must future teachers be aware of their learning styles and study habits.

How to Study for the TExES

Candidates seeking to be certified educators in Texas need to thoroughly develop a strategy to prepare for the TExES exams. A TExES study guide is only the first step in this process and other factors need to be considered for exam preparation strategy.

Establishing and maintaining a regular study schedule for individual review of the materials is an excellent place to begin once a study guide has been chosen. Keep in mind that utilizing resources available, such as credential program counselors and accredited teachers, will be an invaluable way to round out both the understanding of how to study for the exams and what to expect during the TExES exams themselves.

If test takers haven't already, forming study groups with others seeking to undertake the TExES exams to share experience, knowledge, commiserate, and provide support will similarly be helpful during the time leading up to exams.

TExES Practice Tests

One of the most valuable ways to prepare for the TExES is taking TExES practice test. As much as studying will help master the subjects of the TExES exams, which reflect the knowledge and proficiency gained during undergraduate studies, candidates must take practice exams to understand what is expected of them fully. Practice tests are invaluable in determining where you're at in the process and where you need to focus your studies.

Several TExES practice exams are available, and candidates should take them with all due diligence and seriousness. Through a TExES content exam practice test, candidates will assess their strengths and weaknesses and work to bring all their test-taking skills to a level that helps them pass the exams.

Join TExES Study Groups

Embarking on the path leading to the TExES exams doesn't have to be lonely. Far from it, in fact. Study groups can provide the very practical advantage of companionship during study, but they can also be a space for support, resources, and information. Whether in person or virtual, a study group will help all involved feel less alone and more supported while the time spent studying can also be much more effective; it adds the element of accountability.

TExES Examination Day

All the work, study, hope, and determination comes to its apex on TExES examination day. Like everything else candidates have done thus far, preparing for TExES success includes preparing for examination day thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Getting a good night's sleep, eating a healthful breakfast, and staying hydrated will help keep nerves calm. Checking in with mentors and the study group will bolster confidence, as well as stepping back and reflecting on all the work done to reach this point. Reviewing requirements the night before, such as the types of identification needed for the test center and route to the test center, including parking availability if driving, will also alleviate anxiety.

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

  • How long should you study for TExES exam?

    You should plan on studying for 2-3 hours a day 5 days a week for at least 2 months.

    A dedicated study guide with a set schedule in a study group will help maximize your study time.

  • How hard is the TExES test?

    The TExES is moderately difficult.

    Keep in mind, however, that everyone tests differently. For the unprepared candidate, the TExES exam will be extremely difficult. Therefore, it is imperative that candidates prepare, study, and organize in order to achieve their goal of passing the TExES exam.

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