TExES Exams: Passing Score and Test Difficulty

TExES Subtests

The Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) is a required exam for teachers in the state of Texas. The TExES is not one individualized test but a series of content tests. When a prospective teacher is told that they need to pass the TExES, it means they must pass the content test for the area that they will be teaching.

The CORE Subjects EC-6 is for Elementary teachers and is broken down into five different content domains:

  1. English Language Arts and Reading
  2. Mathematics
  3. Social Studies
  4. Science
  5. Fine Arts/Health/P.E.

The CORE Subjects 4-8 is for middle grade teachers and is broken down into four different content domains:

  1. English Language Arts and Reading
  2. Mathematics
  3. Social Studies
  4. Science

There are many other subtests available as well. A prospective teacher who wants to teach a subject at the high school level will need to take the appropriate subtest for that subject.

Identifying What TExES Test to Take

Looking at how many TExES tests and subtests are available can be daunting. This table shows a basic understanding of what passing each test allows the candidate to teach:

Teaching Area Content Test Certifies Teacher In
Elementary EC-6 CORE Subjects Elementary grades: early childhood - 6th grade
Middle CORE Subjects 4-8
OR one of the following:
English Language Arts 4-8
Mathematics 4-8
Social Studies 4-8
Science 4-8
Any core subject (having passed the CORE Subjects 4-8)
or the specific subject (having passed the content specific
test) to middle grades.
High School English Language Arts 7-12
Mathematics 7-12
Social Studies
7-12 Science 7-12
The related specific subject at the high school level

Registering for the TExES Exam

For TExES exam registration, examinees must first create an online account, then they'll be able to see what test dates are available. Registration is available online 24/7.

The TExES Exam cost is $116. This includes the cost for CORE Subjects EC-6 and CORE Subjects 4-8. Once test-takers pass either of those exams, they are able to register for a subtest. Subtests cost $58 per subject test. If examinees don't pass the subject test, they can retake just the subtest they did not pass. The fee applies for each attempt.

How Many Questions are on Each TExES Content Exam?

Each content exam will have a different amount of questions. Below is a table that breaks down the amount of content questions in each domain for the CORE Subjects EC-6 and the CORE Subjects 4-8:

CORE Subjects EC-6 English Language Arts and Reading 45 multiple choice
Mathematics 40 multiple choice
Social Studies 40 multiple choice
Science 45 multiple choice
Fine Arts, Health and P.E. 40 multiple choice
CORE Subjects 4-8 English Language Arts and Reading 74 multiple choice
Mathematics 42 multiple choice
Social Studies 42 multiple choice
Science 42 multiple choice

Passing Score of the TExES Exam

The TExES exam passing score equates to earning a scaled score of at least 240 in each subject exam. Candidates will be given a PASS or NOT PASSED on the exam as a whole. There is not an overall passing score for the exam in entirety, however in each separate content domain test-takers must earn 240 points minimum. Scoring 245 in one content area and 235 in another will not balance out the final score score.

How Does One Interpret the TExES Exam Scoring?

TExES exam score reports will be available on the test takers' online account. There are four sections candidates will need to understand:

  • The Total Test Performance - indicated by a Passed/Not Passed report. This references how examinees did on the exam as a whole.
  • Performance By Domain - breaks down how examinees performed in each content area--also referred to as domains. In each domain examinees will get to see how many questions they answered correctly.
  • Performance By Competency - the number of questions examinees got correct within a specific competency of a domain.
  • Holistic Scores (for the constructed-response sections) - point-based and specific to the content test examinees are taking. The points will range from the lowest of 0 points, deemed Unable To Be Scored; up to the highest points available deemed Thorough Knowledge.

The score report examinees receive is entirely specific to the exam they are taking. Point values differ from exam to exam.

When Are The Official Test Results Released?

Examinees are given a score release date based on their testing dates. Scores will be posted to their account on the score release day at 10PM CST. TExES score report dates are usually within 7 days of the exam date, however if the exam contained a constructed-response section, it may take up to 28 days to receive a score.

How Long Do The TExES Exam Scores Last?

The TExES scores are valid for as long as the test remains the same. If the test were to change - requiring examinees to retake it - takers would be given plenty of advanced notice. But as of right now, once examinees take it and pass, they do not need to retake it again.

Retaking the TExES Exam

Retaking the TExES Exam is an option, however candidates must wait 30 days. After candidates receive their Not Passed score, they can register for the next test 30 days or more out. If examinees happen to be in an Educator Preparation Program, they will need approval from that program in order to retest.

If after taking the TExES Core Subjects (211, 291, or 391) the test-taker does not pass one of the subject exams, they may retake a single subject. If test-takers did not pass two or more subjects they will have to retake the entire TExES exams.

If examinees passed the TExES test and failed an additional subtest, then they only need to retake the subtest.

As per the TExES exam retake policy, examinees are limited to five attempts to pass the TExES. If examinees attempt the exam five times and still do not pass, they will need to have a waiver approved from the Texas Education Agency; otherwise, they will not be allowed to test again.

How Hard Is It to Pass the TExES Exam?

The TExES has a passing rate of about 92%. Candidates should keep in mind that each subtest is different and will vary in difficulty. Preparation is the best way to avoid intimidation and achieve success on the TExES Exam.

What Study Materials Exist For The TExES Exam?

Studying for the TExES certification exams will greatly increase test-takers' ability to pass it. When deciding how to study, examinees should remember that the test is on the same types of concepts that test-takers will be teaching in the classroom. If candidates are working toward being a high school math teacher, their test will have secondary math concepts such as geometry and calculus. The Core Subjects EC-6 exam will cover elementary level concepts.

Study resources are available to help to pass the TExES exam:

  • Candidates can use TExES study guides to help keep organized through the preparation process.
  • Pearson Preparation Manuals are a great resource. These manuals go over all the concepts that will be on the exam and they even have a variety of example test questions for test-takers to do.
  • Textbooks are another great resource--especially if candidates are taking a secondary exam. Remember, the test will be on concepts that are academically appropriate for the age range candidates are striving to teach.
  • TExES practice tests help examinees to get familiar with question format, timing and pace, as well as content. Taking them multiple times can help one gauge their knowledge initially and with progress throughout their studying.

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 many times can you take the Texas teacher certification test?

    Test takers can take the Texas teacher certification test five times. If they fail five times, in order to take the test again, they must get a waiver from the state of Texas.

  • What do you need to pass the TExES?

    In order to pass any TExES exam, an individual must achieve a minimum of 240 or higher to pass any exam. It is recommended for test-takers to have a study guide in oder to keep their studying process organized. Another way to help achieve success is to practice for the exam with example test questions.

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