TExES Test Breakdown

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) tests are a number of tests administered for measuring your knowledge and skills level for becoming a competent teacher in the state of Texas. The content and professional knowledge of a test taker is tested to ascertain that he is capable of shouldering the responsibilities of a professional teacher in a public school in Texas.
The tests are based on fixed criterion to see if a test taker is up to the required standards. Unlike other competitive exams, that compare performances among test takers, TExES compares the performance of each candidate against predefined criterion. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the basis on which these tests are founded.

Types of Questions
There are numerous tests administered under TExES. The tests mainly contain multiple-choice questions. There are some tests that require other forms of questions to be administered, such as open-ended written responses. Each test is administered in five hours with the exception of BLTPT-Spanish.

Formats of TExES Tests
There are two formats of the tests: paper based tests and computer administered tests.
Some tests are administered as paper based tests only while some are administered as computer based tests as well at selected test centers that have the required equipment.

Tests Administered
There are two categories of these tests. Most of these tests are meant for Classroom Teacher Certification while others are TExES Tests for Certification Other Than Classroom Teacher. These tests are not certification-by-exam tests. You require an EPP (Educator Preparation Program) approval for taking these tests.

The different Classroom Teacher Certification tests administered are Superintendent - District Profile Packet, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-4, Generalist EC-4, Bilingual Education Supplemental EC-4, Bilingual Generalist EC-4, English as a Second Language (ESL)/Generalist EC-4 , Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities 4-8, Generalist 4-8, Bilingual Education Supplemental 4-8, English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8, Mathematics/Science 4-8, Mathematics 4-8, Science 4-8, English Language Arts and Reading 4-8, Social Studies 4-8, Bilingual Generalist 4-8, English as a Second Language (ESL)/Generalist 4-8, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities 8-12, English Language Arts and Reading 8-12,  Social Studies 8-12, History 8-12, Mathematics 8-12, Science 8-12, Physical Science 8-12, Life Science 8-12, Technology Applications 8-12, Chemistry 8-12, Computer Science 8-12, Technology Applications EC-12, Mathematics/Physics 8-12, English as a Second Language (ESL) Supplemental, Speech 8-12, Journalism 8-12, Health EC-12, Physical Education EC-12, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12Special Education EC-12, Gifted and Talented Supplemental, Special Education Supplemental, Bilingual Education Supplemental, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Trade and Industrial Education 8-12, Technology Education 6-12, Agricultural Science and Technology 6-12, Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 8-12, Business Education 6-12, Music EC-12, Art EC-12, Dance 8-12, Theatre EC-12, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visually Impaired/Braille, American Sign Language (ASL), Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT), Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) – Spanish, Generalist EC-6, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-6.

TExES Tests for Certification Other Than Classroom Teacher are Superintendent, Principal, School Librarian, Reading Specialist, School Counselor, Educational Diagnostician, Marketing Education 8-12 and Health Science Technology Education 8-12.

  • Note: There are two categories for some tests. They are either administered as components or as combined tests. Some combined tests cannot be taken along with the corresponding component tests; you can take either of the two, combined and component tests. Combined tests contain components that partly cover the corresponding component tests. Consult an advisor or certification officer about the tests you should appear for.
  • Note: The tests mentioned in italics above are computer administered tests.

Computer Administered Tests
All questions in the computer administered tests are multiple-choice questions except for the BTLPT-Spanish test. Before a computer administered test begins, you should go through the given instructions. You can click on the “Help” tab for

  • General Directions
  • Testing Tools
  • How to Answer
  • How to Scroll

The clock timing your attempt will stop when you click the Help tab.
You have Next, Back, Review and Mark options while answering. Press Next to move to the next question and Back to go to a previous one. If you are not prepared to answer a question you can Mark it and it shall appear marked on the Review screen. The status of all the questions appears on the Review screen. At the end of each section, you shall be asked if you have finished with the section. You can either move to the next section or review the present section.

For the Music-EC and BTLPT-Spanish tests there are some sections in which you do not have the next, back and review options. The sections are timed and the computer automatically moves to the next section when the time is up.

Scoring of TExES Tests

  • For each TExES test the score is reported as the total test scaled score.
  • Each correctly answered question contributes towards your scaled score.
  • Each test is scored on a scale of 100-300.
  • The passing score is 240. The passing scores stand for the minimum level of proficiency required for an entry level educator to do justice to his profession.
  • Incorrect responses are not given any negative mark.
  • Scaled scores are used to make scores comparable across different test administrations.
  • There could be some experimental items in a test. These items are added with the purpose of judging their suitability to the test before they are actually added to the test for administration purpose. These experimental items are not scored. 
  • There could be some questions at the end of your test that are meant to evaluate how your testing experience has been. They do not count towards your score and are used by ETS for enhancing the testing program.
  • An option for cancelling or reporting your scores for the test is also available. For cancelling scores of paper based TExES you shall have to fill a form and for cancelling scores of computer based TExES, the option appears at the end of the test.

Points to Ponder

  • All the TExES tests are for five hours, except for BTLPT-Spanish. Hence, you should have the stamina to maintain your tempo and undergo the crucial testing experience.

  • There are numerous tests administered in this exam. There are specific question types in each test and preparation manuals containing the details of each are available on the official website, http://www.texes.ets.org/texes/ . Go through the details of the test you intend to take.

  • There is scope for guesswork in these tests as your incorrect responses do not earn you a negative mark. It is better to make educated guesses than to leave any question unanswered as there is no penalty for wrong responses.

  • Retaking policies define that you can take a paper-based test at any succeeding administration. For computer administered tests, you cannot appear for a retest for 60 days after your first attempt. Hence, you should be careful about the format you intend to take the test in and the time at which you choose to test.

  • Before you register for any test, consult an advisor about the test you need to take. Do not take the plunge before you are completely aware of the testing conditions and rules applicable to your case.

Preparation is a Must

Though you can take a test again in case you so require, it shall be prudent to take the test only when you are completely prepared to meet your targets. It shall be foolhardy to appear for a test without adequate preparation. Firstly, it shall definitely lead to a bad result, since you cannot hope to score high without putting in the required hard work. Secondly, you shall waste your time by appearing for the exam and waiting for the result only to learn that you shall have to appear for it the second time around. Thirdly, you shall not be confident about your attempt if it is not backed by solid preparation. Fourthly, it takes double the effort to prepare for an exam the second time around. Your spirits are dampened by an unsuccessful attempt and it becomes tedious to review the study materials. Lastly, you shall have to wait before you are allowed to retest. This shall cause unnecessary delay in your professional advancement.
The best option for a test taker thus is to prepare with full gusto the first time around and to take the test only when he is fully prepared to.