Understanding TExES

Breakdown of the TExES Test Format

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES), as the name clearly indicates, are a set of examinations developed to evaluate an educator candidate's knowledge against set standards and criteria. Unlike many other competitive tests, the TExES tests do not compare the performance of individual candidates against that of other candidates, but only against accepted, set criteria of performance.

The purpose of this program, as mentioned earlier, is to ensure that all those entry-level educators possess a certain, pre-established level of content and professional knowledge as required for successfully delivering their duties. The program is one of those included in the Texas Educator Certification program and is mandated by the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). For more information about the test and its objectives, you may refer to: http://cms.texes-ets.org/tecprogram/.

TExES - Test Format, Sections, Question Types, and Test Duration

There are two different formats used in the TExES testing. While some of the examinations are conducted in the traditional paper and pencil format (PBT), some others are also conducted as computer administered tests (CAT). Also, most tests are administered several times on a continuous basis, while some other tests are available only during particular periods. For example, the English as a Second Language Supplemental (154) test and the Life Science 8-12 (138) test are continuous CAT administrations, the Chemistry 8-12 (140) and Journalism 8-12 (156) tests are administered only during limited periods.

  • There are different tests of different subjects, competencies, and domains included in the test package. This is to ensure that each particular field of teaching is included in the evaluation process.

  • All the tests are developed through a highly collaborative process, where classroom teachers, university and public school teachers, content experts, and representatives from different organizations actively partake.

  • Each test has a unique test code associated with it. A complete list of these tests and their respective test codes is available at http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes/prepmaterials/tests-at-a-glance/.

  • Each test has a fixed number of domains and within them, competencies are defined. However, for each test, the test duration, test domains, sections and the percentage of test content from each section may vary. Also, the number of questions and types of questions vary from one test to the other. For instance, the Agricultural Science and Technology 6-12 (172) test takes 5 hours to complete, comprises of six domain areas, and includes 90 multiple-choice type questions. The Computer Science 8-12 (141) exam takes 5 hours to compete, and includes 100 multiple-choice questions from three domains.

  • While many tests include multiple-choice questions alone, many others may as well include other types of questions like open-ended questions. Also, the questions may be stand-alone ones and those based on real-life scenarios, as experienced by public school teachers and facilitators.

  • All the tests are based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) tests.

  • TExES CAT tests are administered at specially equipped test centers, and not at the PBT centers. A list of all CAT tests can be found at: http://cms.texes-ets.org/cat/aboutthetest/

  • For information on the format, domains, sections, question types, and duration of each test, you may refer to its preparation manual available at the official website (http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes/prepmaterials/texes-preparation-manuals/).

The Scoring Process and Score Reporting

The test scoring and reporting procedures follow standardized criteria and methodology. A concept called total test scaled score is being used here. That is, each score is reported individually, between 100 and 300. A minimum total test scaled score of 240 is required to be considered as having passed any single test. The minimum pass score for each test equates to the minimum required competency for an entry-level educator in the specific field.

All the multiple-choice sections these tests are evaluated and scored based on the number of correctly answered questions, with no negative marking for incorrectly answered questions. This also means that you may as well make well-informed guesses, if you are not sure about what the correct answer is.

Each score report may include up to four types of information, including the following. This helps better understand the performance by field, domain, and competence:

  • Total test performance - Passed or Not Passed

  • Domain-vice performance

  • Competence-vice performance

  • Holistic scores

The scores are available online for 90 days from the date of score reporting at the official test website, under your registered test account. The score reporting dates are usually announced ahead of the testing date.

For more information on how to understand your individual score reports, and a sample score report, you may visit: http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes/testresultsandscorereporting/#Interpreting_Your_Scores

To summarize...

The entire package includes tests for all fields and subject domains that will be taught in Texas public schools, and are an assured way of maintaining and improving the quality of educators in the state. By setting the minimum qualification and knowledge criteria for educators and ensuring it, the TAC is adding on to its continuous effort of providing quality education services to the citizens.