TExES Special Education Supplemental (163) Practice Test & Study Guide

What Is the TExES Special Education Supplemental Exam?

Initial special education (SPED) certification in Texas requires candidates to pass the TExES Special Education EC 12 (161) and the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160) exams. Special education teachers in the state who have already earned a base certificate can then pursue the Texas Special Education Supplemental certification, which is a stand-alone certification and does not have a pedagogical requirement. The TExES Special Education Supplemental exam, or TExES 163 exam, is a computer-administered test that takes 5 hours to complete (4 hours and 45 minutes of testing time and 15 minutes of a tutorial and compliance agreement). The TExES Special Education Supplemental exam consists of 100 selected-response questions and is offered year-round.

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

What Is on the TExES 163?

The TExES 163 exam is designed to test teachers' knowledge and skills pertaining to 10 different standards set for special education teachers. The exam is divided into 3 broad domains that each test multiple standards through various competencies. Each domain makes up a different percentage of the exam. Learn more about the content of the exam below.

Domain I: Evaluation

The first domain makes up about 20% of the exam and covers topics in understanding individuals with disabilities and evaluating their needs. Educators are tested on the following competencies:

  • Characteristics and needs of students with disabilities
  • Formal and informal assessments and evaluations for instructional decisions

The first competency may ask educators about the characteristics of a range of disabilities with varying severity, effects of environmental and cultural influences, medical conditions associated with disabilities, how students with and without disabilities learn, and more. The assessment and evaluation competency may test teachers' ability to choose the appropriate evaluation strategy, design assessments, interpret information from assessments, and more.

Domain II: Learning and Development

The second domain covers information pertaining to the promotion of student learning and development. This portion of the exam makes up around half of the exam questions. Test-takers will be asked questions about the following competencies:

  • Planning instruction for students with disabilities
  • Managing the teaching and learning environment
  • Promoting educational performance in all content areas
  • Teaching appropriate behavior and social skills
  • Transition issues throughout the life span

While each competency covers a range of topics, candidates may be asked about plans and activities to meet Individualized Family Services Plans (IFSPs) and Individual Education Programs (IEPs), implementing behavior management, motivating students, utilizing assistive technologies, and accessing available resources to assist those with disabilities.

Domain III: Roles and Responsibilities

The final domain makes up the last 30% of the exam and covers the topic of foundations and professional roles and responsibilities. This domain tests educators' knowledge of the following competencies:

  • Philosophical, historical, and legal aspects of special education
  • Ensuring roles and responsibilities follow legal and ethical requirements
  • Communicate and collaborate with other professionals

Test-takers will be asked various questions about a range of topics in each competency, including the information available for different roles (such as parents vs. community service agencies vs. school officials), due process rights, models and theories of special education, and the roles of local, state, and federal groups in special education.

What Is the Difference Between the TExES 161 and 163?

The main difference between the TExES exams is for initial certification and has a pedagogical requirement, while the TExES 163 exam is a stand-alone certification for those who already have a base certificate. The exams cover similar topics, but the TExES 161 exam has 4 domains that cover 12 standards, while the TExES 163 exam only has 3 domains for 10 standards. This means that the TExES 163 exam is somewhat shorter and only requires 100 selected-response questions, whereas the TExES 161 exam has 150 selected-response questions. However, both exams take 5 hours to complete.

How to Prepare for the TExES Special Education Supplemental Exam

After educators are sure that they need to take the TExES Special Education Supplemental exam, they will need to prepare. As per the TExES exam retake policy, test-takers are only allowed a total of 5 attempts on any TExES exam, so they should make use of available TExES study guides and be as prepared as possible. Test-takers can use the TExES Special Education preparation manual to find details on the format of the exam, including the types of questions, number of questions, and time requirements. Using a TExES 163 study guide will provide a breakdown of the content of the exam to help test-takers create a study plan. Other materials that candidates can use to prepare for their exam day include test-taking tips, various tutorials for taking the computer-administered exam, and practice tests. A TExES Special Education Supplemental practice test can help test-takers identify the types of questions they feel comfortable with and those that they do not.

Expert Contributor

Raquel Salinas

Raquel Salinas has over 12 years of experience teaching in an elementary setting. She has taken both ExCET and TExES exams, passing the Early Childhood, Elementary (1-8), Math (4-8), Art (EC-12), and English as a Second Language Supplemental (EC-12). Raquel is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Leadership from St. Thomas University. She earned her Master's degree in Reading from University of Texas-Pan American and her B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Notre Dame.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What certifications do I need to be a special education teacher in Texas?

    SPED certification in Texas requires students to pass the 160 PPR EC-12 TExES with the 161 Special Education EC-12 TExES. The 163 Special Education Supplemental exam is a stand-alone certification that is added to a base certificate.

  • What is the TExES Special Education Supplemental?

    The TExES Special Education Supplemental is a stand-alone certification exam that can be added to a base certificate. The exam focuses on promoting student learning and development.


Take a TExES Special Education Supplemental Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of TExES Special Education Supplemental.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

You have answered 0 out of 15 correctly.

The correct answers are highlighted with green below. Create an account to study for TExES Special Education Supplemental.

Sign Up
  1. A school district is rewriting academic objectives and goals. In doing so, the district must make sure which of the following occurs?

    • Correct Answer
  2. Which institution is required to ensure that staff within school districts have appropriate resources and that such resources align with district goals?

    • Correct Answer
  3. When collaborating with reading specialists, special education teachers should make reading specialists aware of which of the following?

    • Correct Answer
  4. What should be the first intention of teachers who partake in a home visit program the first time they visit a student's home?

    • Correct Answer
  5. A teacher stays abreast of current special education laws, continually partakes in professional development, and communicates legal rights and academic progress of her students to their guardians on a regular basis. Which of the following is the teacher showcasing?

    • Correct Answer
  6. A person strives to be part of a social group while also determining her own sense of self. She is experiencing various physical and emotional changes. This student is in which stage of human development?

    • Correct Answer
  7. A special education teacher embraces the idea that how she sets up, organizes, and runs the classroom has a direct impact on student learning, actions, and reactions. This teacher spends time guiding students in developing appropriate skills to function as social individuals and as learners. She uses stimuli to teach such skills. This teacher is most likely embracing which of the following?

    • Correct Answer
  8. In Texas, who creates an IEP?

    • Correct Answer
  9. Which of the following terms refers to changing an academic expectation to make it more realistic for a student with a disability to complete a task?

    • Correct Answer
  10. Which component of an IEP addresses which education and extracurricular activities the student will participate in?

    • Correct Answer
  11. Students are practicing strategic note-taking. They first identify the topic of text they are reading while also identifying key points. They seek out vocabulary that they do not understand while also making connections between the information in the text and the key points they have identified. The ultimate outcome of this activity is that students will be able to

    • Correct Answer
  12. A special education teacher prepares varied assessments at the end of each unit. Students then choose which assessment they want to take. This approach ensures that students are

    • Correct Answer
  13. After each writing assignment, a teacher schedules conferencing time with each student. The time allotted to each student depends on how well each student has done on the assignment and each student's overall writing skills. This time allotment is characteristic of

    • Correct Answer
  14. A high school special education teacher encourages her students to attend IEP meetings. She preps her students and meets with each to discuss their progress, goals, and feelings about the services they receive. A primary benefit of such interactions is that students will learn how to

    • Correct Answer
  15. During the Planning and Placement Team meeting, all but who is most likely going to attend?

    • Correct Answer