TExES Content Exams: How to Study, Prepare & Pass in Texas
What are TExES Content Exams?
TExES is the state of Texas’ testing program for certifying new teachers before they’re allowed to teach in a classroom. The acronym stands for Texas Examinations of Educator Standards. In the State of Texas, a candidate for teacher certification must demonstrate they know the content they want to teach by passing a TExES content exam. These exams are administered by Pearson at a cost of $116 per content exam.
Currently, there are approximately 50 classroom level tests covering a variety of grade levels and specialization areas, including the following non-exhaustive list:
- ART (GRADES EC-12)
- BILINGUAL TARGET LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TEST (GRADES EC -12)
- BUSINESS AND FINANCE (GRADES 6-12)
- CHEMISTRY (GRADES 7-12)
- COMPUTER SCIENCE (GRADES 8-12)
- CORE SUBJECTS (GRADES 4-8)
- CORE SUBJECTS (GRADES EC-6)
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND READING (GRADES 4-8)
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND READING (GRADES 7-12)
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS & READING/SOCIAL STUDIES (GRADES 4-8)
- ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE SUPPLEMENTAL (GRADES NA)
- FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES (GRADES 6-12)
- HEALTH (GRADES EC-12)
- HEALTH SCIENCE (GRADES 6-12)
- HISTORY (GRADES 7-12)
- FOREIGN LANGUAGES (GRADES EC-12)
- LIFE SCIENCE (GRADES 7-12)
- MATHEMATICS (GRADES 4-8)
- MATHEMATICS (GRADES 7-12)
- MATHEMATICS/PHYSICAL SCIENCE/ENGINEERING (GRADES 6-12)
- MATHEMATICS/SCIENCE (GRADES 4-8)
- MUSIC (GRADES EC-12)
- PHYSICAL EDUCATION (GRADES EC-12)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCE (GRADES 6-12)
- PHYSICS/MATHEMATICS (GRADES 7-12)
- SCIENCE (GRADES 4-8)
- SCIENCE (GRADES 7-12)
- SOCIAL STUDIES (GRADES 4-8)
- SOCIAL STUDIES (GRADES 7-12)
- SPECIAL EDUCATION (GRADES EC-12)
- SPEECH (GRADES 7-12)
- TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS (GRADES EC-12)
- TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (GRADES 6-12)
- THEATRE (GRADES EC-12)
- TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION (GRADES 6-12)
There are also exams for other positions, such as principal, counselor, librarian, etc.
What is the format of the exams?
Except for people who need to take an exam in Braille, there are no paper tests. All TExES exams are taken on a computer. On most exams, all the questions are multiple-choice, but some feature questions that require a written or oral response.
How are the exams marked?
Texas teacher certification test scores are based on how well the test-taker knows the subject matter, not how well you did compared to other participants. Each test is divided into categories, called domains. Domains are further broken down into competencies.
Competencies consist of two components:
- Competency statement – a broad outline of a teacher’s required knowledge and skills
- Descriptive statements – spelling out the required knowledge and skills in greater detail
These Domains and Competencies parallel the knowledge a teacher is required to teach and instill in their students.
How to prepare for your exams
TExES tests are challenging and should not be taken lightly. Appropriate time should be allocated to properly prepare.
The steps you’ll want to follow:
Step 1: Decide the content area you wish to master
Deciding what to teach can be challenging if you didn’t specifically study one of these areas in college. If you’re still unsure, we recommend exploring the free online study materials detailed in the next step). These enable you to review sample exam questions to determine the content area you want to pursue.
Ultimately, you will need to have permission from an Alternative Certification Program to take a TExES content exam. Applying to Teachworthy will allow your academic transcript to be evaluated for what certification areas you’re qualified to teach.
At Teachworthy, we suggest you complete an application to our program (for free) and submit at least your unofficial transcripts. This lets us evaluate the content areas you’re most likely to successfully test in and that match your interest.
Step 2: Make the most of the Best Texas Teacher Content Test Study Guides
Once you’ve narrowed down a content area and found your study guides, it’s critical to pick the right partner to help you prepare. Important questions to ask the test preparation company include:
- How many students use your system annually?
- What’s your success rate if I follow your recommendations?
- Is this technology online or do you need to score everything yourself?
- Is this service affordable?
It’s natural to feel a little anxious at this point, but the best test preparation systems help you gain confidence and the skills needed to succeed.
Five of the strongest options:
- Simulated exams, featuring thousands of test questions
- Pricing starts at $55 per test subject and includes one year of access to the online simulation and learning system.
- Candidates pre-test to determine the domains in which they need the most improvement.
- Subscription service starting at $39.99 a month
- Includes access to all of their TExES test prep guides.
- Large inventory of practice tests and preparation materials
- Monthly subscription plan for $59.99 per month
- Grants access to their entire database of TeXes content test preparation materials and videos.
- Printed and ebook preparation support
- Insights into test-taking strategies
- Practice tests
- Prices start at $39.95 per test
- Practice exams available anytime, anywhere, on any device
- Unlimited access to test reviews, with no time limits or recurring charges
- Prices start at $19.95 per test
After evaluating the above resources, we found a perfect fit with Certify Teacher and 240 Tutoring, whose intelligent systems are closely aligned to the actual tests, and therefore help candidates master their subject. And thanks to Teachworthy’s partnership with Certify Teacher and 240 Tutoring, the price is hard to beat.
Step 3: Master the practice test
You’ll be investing $116 each time you take an official content test. Although you can take a content test five times, you have to wait 30 days to re-test. This could mean missing the hiring cycle.
The first step with Certify Teacher or 240 Tutoring is to take (and master) a timed practice test. This simulates the test experience and documents which areas of the test you need the most help.
After a practice test, Certify Teacher or 240 Tutoring will focus its learning content on your weakest areas until you have mastered all of them. At that point, the system will allow you to retest.
If you score a 270 on the Certify Teacher practice test or reach 90% on the 240 Tutoring practice test, you are highly likely to pass your Texas Teacher content exam. Although there are no guarantees, reaching this level gives the candidate the confidence that they can be successful on the actual TExES exam.
If you haven’t reached the score of 270 or 90% yet, you’ll want to continue mastering your weakest content areas. Plan to invest 3-4 weeks preparing for each content exam; it will be worth the effort.
Step 4: Ace the content test
Once you’ve mastered the content areas and validated this by scoring a 270 or 90% on the practice test, you’re ready to sit for the exam at a Pearson Testing Center and get your Texas Educator Certificate.
Register early for these dates, as slots tend to fill up during the summer during high test pressure times.
“I encourage all teachers to become certified. Students and parents deserve to have certified teachers in the classroom.”
Hear how Teachworthy helped Melisa Arredondo pass her PPR exam.
After passing your content exam, you can begin your online training and field-based experiences (if you have not already started). You can also attend the live 2-day Capturing Kids’ Hearts event, and make a huge difference in children’s lives.
Hear how Araminta not only changed the course of a child’s life, but gave the child’s mother one of her proudest moments: