TExES Science 7-12 (236) Practice Test & Study Guide

What is the TExES Science 7-12 Exam?

The TExES Science 7-12 exam is designed for aspiring teachers in Texas who wish to teach science to students in grades 7 through 12. Prospective teachers must pass the TExES to earn certification in the field. All candidates must get approval to test, which usually comes from a candidate's educator preparation program.

The science certification Texas exam is a computer-administered exam that contains 140 selected-response questions. Candidates have 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. Before taking the exam, they have 15 minutes to watch a tutorial and sign a compliance agreement. TExES exam dates are available all year round, and test-takers must receive a passing score of 240 or higher to earn the certification. Learn more about the TExES Science 7-12 exam below.

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

What is on the TExES Science 7-12 Exam?

The TExES Science 7-12 exam focuses on more advanced topics, theories, and skills in the field than the ones designed for lower grades (the TExES Science 4-8). Candidates may be asked questions with more advanced vocabulary, calculations, and concepts.

The TExES test for Science 7-12 contains ten broad domains that correspond to eleven different education standards to assess candidates' knowledge. Within each domain, the test evaluates candidates on multiple competencies that focus on various topics within the domain. These different competencies test candidates' knowledge of vocabulary, scientific theories, processes, and more. The table below outlines the approximate percentage of the exam that each domain makes up.

Domain Domain Title Approximate Percentage of Exam
I Scientific Inquiry and Processes 10%
II Physics 20%
III Chemistry 20%
IV Cell Structure and Processes 8%
V Heredity and Evolution of Life 8%
VI Diversity of Life 8%
VII Interdependence of Life and Environmental Systems 6%
VIII Earth's History and the Structure and Function of Earth Systems 9%
IX Components and Properties of the Solar System and the Universe 6%
X Science Learning, Instruction and Assessment 5%

Domain I: Scientific Inquiry and Processes

The scientific inquiry and processes domain covers three different competencies.

The first competency examines candidates' ability to choose and manage learning activities that keep students and organisms, equipment, technologies, and materials safe. Candidates will answer questions about procedures and techniques for analyzing data, incorporating safe practices in planning all instructional abilities and designs, and identifying potential hazards in a lab setting.

The second competency tests candidates' knowledge of science, scientific inquiry, and the concepts that are common across all fields of science. Test-takers may be asked about topics such as procedures for scientific investigations, limitations to science, and theory vs. hypothesis.

The final competency examines the history of science and the interactions and impacts of science with students and society. Questions may address topics in the changing nature of science, the role science plays in global issues, and scientific ethics.

Domain II: Physics

The physics domain covers several competencies that cover major areas in physics. Candidates will answer questions concerning the following areas:

  • Motion (in 1D and 2D)
  • Laws of motion
  • Gravitational and electromagnetic forces
  • Applications of electricity and magnetism
  • Conservation of energy and momentum
  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • Waves
  • Fundamental concepts of quantum physics

In this section, candidates will not only need to know theories, laws, and major concepts of the field, but they will also need to solve problems and analyze data. This may require candidates to use and interpret illustrations or graphs to show proficiency in these domains.

Domain III: Chemistry

Candidates will probably use the provided periodic table to complete all the questions in the chemistry domain. This domain addresses the following competencies:

  • Characteristics of matter and atomic structure
  • Properties of gases
  • Properties and characteristics of ionic and covalent bonds
  • Chemical equations and chemical reactions
  • Types and properties of solutions
  • Energy transformations in physical and chemical processes
  • Nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, and nuclear reactions
  • Oxidation and reduction reactions
  • Acids, bases, and their reactions

Candidates are asked to analyze data, solve problems, and apply their knowledge of major concepts in the field. Questions will also address major chemical models and chemical laws.

Domain IV: Cell Structure and Processes

The fourth domain tests candidates' knowledge of cell structure and processes. Questions pertain to four different competencies.

Candidates will show they have a firm understanding of the structure and function of biomolecules, the specialized parts of cells used to perform specific functions, cell life processes, and the growth and development of specialized cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms.

Also, they may be asked specific questions concerning the levels of cellular organization, anaerobic vs. aerobic respiration, enzyme function, photosynthesis, and different cell types, such as eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic cells. These questions may require information about viruses, plant cells, and animal cells.

Domain V: Heredity and Evolution of Life

The heredity and evolution of life domain also cover four competencies.

The first competency addresses the structure and function of nucleic acids and their use in genetics. Candidates may need to answer questions about the structure of DNA and RNA, the control of genomics in various types of cells, the cause and effects of mutations, and human karyotypes.

The second competency examines candidates' knowledge of traits being passed to future generations. Questions may ask about meiosis vs. mitosis, laws of probability for genotypic and phenotypic frequencies, environmental factors on the expression of traits, and more.

The third competency explores the theory of biological evolution. This section tests knowledge of natural selection, competition, effects of selection, and speciation.

The final competency tests candidates' knowledge of the evidence for evolutionary change throughout history. Topics for these questions may pertain to theories of extinction, how environmental change affects mutations and adaptations, and the different pieces of evidence used to support change in populations and species, such as the fossil record and DNA sequences.

Domain VI: Diversity of Life

The diversity of life domain tests candidates' understanding of the following competencies:

  • Similarities and differences of living organisms/taxonomic systems
  • How living systems are found within other living systems with boundaries and limits
  • Processes used for homeostasis
  • Relationship of biology and behavior

Candidates may be asked questions on specific topics, such as classification schemes, systems in plants and animals, internal feedback mechanisms, innate vs. learned behaviors, and links between behavior and natural selection. They may need to know specific concepts, including altruism, imprinting, convergent traits, and homologous traits. Candidates must answer questions about comparing and contrasting various organisms, concepts or theories, and must demonstrate skills in taxonomic classification.

Domain VII: Interdependence of Life and Environmental Systems

The seventh domain covers the interdependence of life and environmental systems. The section examines candidates' knowledge and understanding of three different competencies.

The first competency tests the understanding of various relationships, including abiotic and biotic factors in ecosystems, habitats, and biomes. Questions may include topics in the sources and flow of energy at trophic levels, in biogeochemical cycles, and limiting factors.

The second competency examines the interdependence and interactions of organisms in various types of ecosystems. Candidates should understand concepts such as niche, food chains, interspecific interactions, biodiversity, the role of plants, and more.

The final competency asks about carrying capacity and how it relates to changes in ecosystems and populations. Candidates may need to compare population dynamics, explain how carrying capacity affects dynamics, and analyze density-dependent and density-independent factors. Some of these factors may include natural events, birth rates, death rates, and more. They may also need to interpret survivorship curves, patterns of distribution, and other data.

Domain VIII: Earth's History and the Structure and Function of Earth Systems

The domain about the Earth's history and the structure and function of Earth systems tests prospective teachers' knowledge of:

  • Structure/function of the geosphere
  • Processes that change Earth's surface (erosion, plate tectonics, etc.)
  • Formation and history of Earth
  • Structure/function of the hydrosphere
  • Structure/function of the atmosphere
  • Effects of natural events and human impact on Earth systems

Candidates will need to understand concepts of land management, climate change, the water cycle, plate movement, and more. Questions may ask them to identify tools and procedures used in data collection, analyze problems concerning Earth's resources, and explain various scientific theories tied to the formation of the Earth.

Domain IX: Components and Properties of the Solar System and the Universe

The ninth domain explores the solar system and universe and addresses four different competencies.

In the first competency, candidates are asked to demonstrate knowledge of the Earth's placement and orientation within the solar system. Specific questions may ask about the sun's effects on Earth, lunar phases, eclipses, and Earth's rotation.

The second competency examines the role of the sun and the different planets and objects that orbit the sun. Candidates answer questions about the structure, size, and other characteristics of the sun. Questions also ask about the formation of the solar system, gravitational force, and planets.

The third competency explores topics in the properties, history, and composition of the universe. Test-takers may answer questions about the life cycle of stars, theories on the age of the universe, supernovas, and more.

The final competency pertains to the history and methods of astronomy. Questions may cover topics in the historical development of major theories and laws, measurements specific to astronomy, and mathematical models and data collection used to study the Earth, solar system, and the universe. Some concepts may be shown and tested through graphs and illustrations.

Domain X: Science Learning, Instruction, and Assessment

The final domain shows how well candidates are prepared to teach science in the classroom. The domain comprises two competencies.

The first competency focuses on a candidate's knowledge of teaching science and understanding how students learn it. It also focuses on the role of scientific inquiry in instruction. This portion of the domain tests concepts in student diversity, activity planning, and instructional strategies. It also measures the candidate's knowledge of managing a learning environment and assisting students.

The second competency looks at how to monitor and assess scientific learning in various science-related settings, such as fieldwork, lab work, or classroom work. Questions may examine topics in formal and informal assessment, different assessment methods, and the role of assessment as a learning experience.

How to Prepare for the TExES Science 7-12 (236) Exam

As mentioned, candidates must earn a score of 240 or higher on the TExES Science 7-12 (236) exam to pass and are only allowed five attempts (initial attempt and up to 4 retakes) as per the TExES exam retake policy. Therefore, test-takers should do their best to be as prepared as possible to take the exam.

There are many TExES study guides and resources available, including tutorials for computer-administered exams, study tips, resources for developing a study plan, and a TExES Science 7-12 preparation manual. This manual essentially serves as a TExES 236 study guide and breaks down the format and content of the exam in great detail. Candidates can carefully study the specific topics covered under each competency for every domain and identify potential areas of strength and weakness to study accordingly.

TExES Science 7-12 Practice Test

Test-takers can also take advantage of TExES Science 7-12 practice exams. While there are practice tests available that candidates can pay for, there are also viable options that are available for free. An ideal TExES practice test will have Science 7-12 practice questions that imitate the format and content of the real exam, and simulates the computer-administered testing environment. Candidates may also want to practice taking the exam with the provided periodic table and definitions and physical constants page they will have the day of the exam. The real exam will also provide an on-screen calculator for all calculations.

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.

Expert Contributor Amy Lopez

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How difficult is TExES 236?

    The TExES 236 exam covers a lot of content, some of which test-takers may find to be at varying levels of difficulty. Test-takers should study hard using TExES 236 study guides and practice exams, as well as understand the format and scoring of the exam.

  • How many questions on the Science TExES exam?

    The Science TExES 7-12 exam contains 140 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 4 hours and 45 minutes. Test-takers can use a TExES 236 study guide to prepare.

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  1. Which of the following values is equal to {eq}2.25 x 10^4 {/eq}?

    • Correct Answer
  2. Allele frequency is one cause of evolution defined as...

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  3. There is an unknown red liquid. This liquid is in an unmarked bottle. To help determine what the unknown liquid is, the researchers attempt to dissolve the liquid in different solvents. The solvents chosen are water (a polar solvent) and benzene (a non-polar solvent). Dissolving the solution is attempted at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and again at 150 degrees Celsius. What can be determined about the liquid from this experiment?

    • Correct Answer
  4. A particle is {eq}0.32~m {/eq} away from a {eq}2.05 * 10^{-10}~coulomb {/eq} charge. What is the electric potential experienced by the particle?

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  5. What will happen during osmosis when the concentration of solute is higher outside the cell than inside the cell?

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  6. Eukaryotic cells contain which structure that prokaryotic cells lack?

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  7. Which of the following examples exhibit a decrease in a system's entropy?

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  8. What is the most abundant element in the atmosphere?

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  9. Calculate the equivalent resistance in a circuit where three-{eq}9.0~\Omega {/eq} resistors are connected in parallel.

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  10. Which gas is absorbed by plants?

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  11. How do the Sun and other stars produce energy?
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  12. How much power is needed to do {eq}640.0 ~J {/eq} of work in {eq}12.00~s {/eq}?

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  13. What kind of survivorship curve do humans exhibit?

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  14. A researcher at a pharmaceutical company is working on a new biologic medicine to treat a rare disease called Adult-onset Still's Disease (AOSD). He is asked by the CEO of the company to come into her office and explain what exactly he is working on. First, he explains that Adult-onset Still's Disease causes widespread inflammation in the body and that the new approach he is working on utilizes a monoclonal antibody to neutralize this inflammation. He also explains that he is making use of a particular type of RNA to create this drug. This specific type of RNA takes information about DNA to the ribosomes in certain cells. Which type of RNA is he talking about?

    • Correct Answer
  15. Which safety tool would be used to deal with a sample that is giving off toxic gases?

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