The TExES is a series of exams that cover a wide range of subjects; they are used for teacher certification in Texas. The TExES scores help determine if students are ready to take on the role of educator in their given field. Exams provide one or more kinds of scores, such as holistic scores, performance by domain, and total test performance scores. Below, we discuss the TExES scoring process in greater detail to help students know what to expect.
TExES Passing Scores
In short, the TExES passing score is set at a minimum of 240 for the entire series of exams. Scores are reported on a scale from 100 to 300. Core subject exams that include multiple subtests also require a minimum score of 240 for each subset of tests. The total test performance notifies students if they passed the exam with a 'Passed/Not Passed' status.
Students can also see a 'Totaled Scaled Score' that is comparable across the different editions of the exam. Many exams also include the student's performance by domain or major content area, but these domains do not have their own passing scores. Within domains, many exams also show students' performance by competency, so students understand their strengths and weaknesses for specific content areas in the domain. Similar to the domain performance, there is not a passing score for competencies. Exams with constructed-response questions will also show a holistic score.
How Many Questions Do I Need to Get Right to Pass?
Since there are several different versions of each TExES exam, there is not a set number of questions that students must get right in order to pass the exam. Each version of an exam has different kinds of questions with varying levels of difficulty, so scores must be scaled to make them comparable with one another between versions. Therefore, some versions of exams may require students to answer more or fewer questions correctly than another version.
How Is the TExES Scored?
The type of scores that students will see on their TExES score report depends on the specific exam they take. The different types of scores often depend on what types of questions these exams ask. Most exams have selected-response questions or multiple-choice questions. Others may also have constructed-response questions where students must write out responses. There are also mixed-format tests that contain both types of questions. Students should be sure to note if their exam contains pretest questions, as these questions will not be scored.
The time that it takes students to receive their scores after taking a test varies (see more below), but students do have the opportunity to retake their exam(s) if they so choose. Once exams are scored, they are automatically sent to the student's certification file where the Texas Education Agency (TEA), Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs), and other agencies can access them. Here, we explore the specific methods of scoring for each type of question found on the TExES certification exams.
Selected-Response (SR) Questions Scoring
Selected-response questions are multiple-choice questions where students are able to choose the correct answer from several provided options. These are some of the easiest questions to grade, which allows the computer to grade them immediately after an exam is finished. For each correct question, students receive one raw score point. These raw score points are then tallied to show the total number of questions that students got right on the exam.
Constructed-Response (CR) Questions Scoring
Constructed-response questions are longer. These questions include both short response questions and longer essay questions, depending on the exam. Students must respond to these questions, usually by writing or typing out their answers, typically in full sentences with correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Since these responses are longer, it often takes longer for them to be scored. They are scored by professionals in that content area. They go through a specialized training process to help ensure that students' questions are graded in a standardized method for fairness. More popular exams with more test takers utilize a double-scoring method, so that each question is reviewed by two scorers. If the score varies too much between the two scorers (by more than 1 point), then a third scorer is used. Exams that have fewer test takers use a consensus-scoring model, where a group of scorers review questions together and come to a consensus.
Mixed-Format Tests Scoring
Mixed-format exams include both selected-response questions and constructed-response questions. These exams use a total scaled score that represents the combination of the different sections with both types of questions. For example, a student who takes the TExES 231 English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 exam still needs to earn a total scaled score greater than 240. However, their score sheet will show their points earned out of points possible for domains, competencies, and constructed responses.
Their score report also has an extended explanation of their score for each constructed response. If their score is low, the explanation will identify areas of weakness and/or deficiency that can be improved upon. This is in contrast to other exams, such as the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (291), that show the number of questions answered correctly out of the total number of questions with a scaled score and passed/not-passed status on the score report for each domain and competency on the exam. It is important to note that the scaled scores on these different kinds of exams do allow students to compare scores on the same specific exam but do not represent the same level of knowledge across different exam types. For example, scaled scores can be compared between English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 exams, but not between this exam and the Core Subjects EC-6 exam.
Conversion of TExES Raw Scores to Scaled Scores
The conversion of TExES raw scores into scaled scores follows the same methods each year and is used as a standardization process across the various editions of a TExES exam. The raw scores of an exam are transformed into different scaled scores based on a scale that is developed on the commonalities of the different editions. These scales can change each year as the exam editions change. However, using these scaled scores instead of percent-correct scores allows scores to have a consistent meaning for all test takers, no matter which exam they took. TExES exams use a scale from 100 to 300 to standardize raw scores and set the minimum passing score at 240.
TExES Score Release Dates
Once students have taken their TExES exam, they may have to wait to receive their scores. TExES score reporting dates vary depending on the exam and when students take their test. Students can find the earliest expected date for scores from their specific exam using this TExES page on score report dates. When students select the specific TExES exam they are taking, a screen comes up with ranges of exam test dates and the corresponding earliest score release date. Students can explore possible dates for up to 2 years. Scores are added to students' certification files and can be emailed to them if they ask.
How Long Does It Take to Get TExES Scores?
Most exam scores are reported back in 7 days. However, as we detailed above, some exams with constructed-response questions take longer to score and will be reported within 28 days. On the score release date, students will be able to access their scores by 10 pm Central Time.
Where Are the TExES Scores Available?
After students have taken the TExES test, they can have their scores emailed to them. However, their scores will also show up on their testing account on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. The scores are added to students' certification files, which can be viewed by the TEA, a student's EPP (if applicable), and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) in Texas.
How Do I Send My TExES Scores?
During TExES exam registration, test takers can opt to have their scores emailed to them in addition to having the scores posted on their certification file. The scores are accessible by several education-related bodies in Texas, and the TEA can send scores to a student's EPP for them. However, the TEA and Pearson will not release students' test scores via phone, fax, or in person. The scores are for students' personal information only; students are encouraged to save a copy of their score report for their personal records.
Who Receives the TExES Scores?
As mentioned, the TEA, SBEC, and a student's EPP can see students' scores in their certification file on the TExES website. Students do not need to submit their scores with their application for certification. Students are encouraged to wait about 7 to 10 business days after score reports are released for the scores to post to their TEA login and submit their application for certification.
What if My TExES Scores Are Delayed?
Outside of exams with constructed-response questions taking longer to score, there are several possible reasons students' scores may be delayed. Students may have registered incorrectly, had an issue with payment, or failed to follow the administrator's instructions, in which case students may need to contact the TEA. Other reasons include new or revised versions of an exam taking longer to score to help ensure that standards are met for the exam.
How Long Are TExES Scores Valid?
There is no expiration date for TExES scores. Scores should remain valid and can be accessed from a student's TEA login for years. The only reason a student's scores may not be valid is if changes to a test are made, and a student has yet to become certified. Changes made to exams will not affect teachers who have already been certified.
Sanlie Li, M.S. has been a language instructor at the collegiate, middle, and high school level for over 7 years. She has taught Chinese, Japanese, and ESL in the United States and Taiwan and currently works as a middle school ESL teacher. She has passed the TExES PPR, ELA 4-8, ELA 7-12, and ESL Supplemental exams. Sanlie earned her M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University and her Bachelor's degree in Japanese Language & Literature from Soochow University in Taiwan.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I check my TExES scores?
Students can log into their testing account to view their scores or opt to have their scores emailed to them. Most tests report their scores after 7 days, but some may take as long as 28 days if they have constructed-response questions.
What is the passing score for TExES?
The passing score for TExES is a 240 or above. However, students who take core exams with multiple subtests must be sure to pass each subtest.
What if I fail the TExES exam?
If students fail the TExES exam, they are allowed up to 4 retake opportunities. However, students must wait for 30 days between exams.