TExES Test Details

There are many steps taken by the US states to ensure that quality education is being imparted amongst students. TExES is one such step which tests the competence of candidates entering the teaching line in Texas against a predefined criterion. Becoming a teacher in Texas requires you to complete the coursework of the required teacher certification and acquire the certification through a predefined process. It helps in providing the certification by testing the content knowledge of the candidate.

It is an acronym used for Texas Examinations of Educator Standards. The test is developed by State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) with joint efforts of teachers of various schools, university faculties and representatives from professional educator organizations etc. It is administered by Educational Testing Service or ETS.

Features of TExES
Whichever teacher training program a candidate has attended, he is required to be tested for pedagogy and the knowledge that he possesses. TExES is a series of such tests that help to evaluate such skills of the candidates and make them eligible for getting the appropriate certification.  
 It is unique due to its evaluation system. It is a series of standardized tests, but the students are not compared against each other. Rather, a candidate’s potential is measured against a general standard that is considered essential for teacher certification. Hence, the pressure of competition and scoring, relatively high amongst all test takers, is reduced to a great extent.

How to attain Eligibility for TExES
Not everyone is allowed to take any of these tests.  You can check with your Educator Preparation Program or EPP for the tests that you are eligible for, if you are an EPP candidate. For testing based on either of the following, you need to contact the website of SBEC or TEA for eligibility.

  • Out of State/Out of Country
  • Certification by Examination
  • Charter School
  • Temporary Teacher Certificate

Registering for TExES
A candidate is required to create an ETS testing accountfor registration.  For registration, you are required to give the details of the TEA ID number, which can be obtained from the Educator Profile created on the SBEC website. You are also required to provide your first and last name, and your date of birth. The ETS account helps you to register for this test, make changes in your registration, print your admission ticket, view your score report and avail other such services.

The registration for paper and pencil test can be done online or by phone. Those who cannot register for the paper and pencil test through a credit card can register by mail. Mail registration is not available for CAT test takers. Hence, they must register either by phone or online.

Dues to be Paid for the Test
The candidates are required to deposit a fee of $120 for a single test. For Superintendent test, the fees is double that of the normal test fee and amounts up to $ 240, since it is a two-session test. Fees must be paid during registration and hence in order to avoid late fees, you should register before the deadline is reached. An extra fee is levied for additional services like changing testing information etc. The modes of payment accepted are as follows:

  • Phone
  • Online
  • Mail

Mode of Administration
There are two modes used to administer the tests of TExES. These are paper and pencil format and computer administered test (CAT) format. Some tests are administered only as paper and pencil tests while some are administered as CAT. There are some tests for which both the formats are administered.

As mentioned earlier, it is a series of tests that are administered for the purpose of testing the abilities of candidates willing to join the teaching profession, as either superintendent, or principal or a teacher. These tests need to be taken for the appropriate certification that a candidate is interested in.

All tests are multiple choice tests. However, some tests have other questions types as well, which are open-ended written responses. The administration time for these tests (except one) is five hours.
The tests of TExES can be classified as follows:

  1. Classroom Teacher Certification – e.g. English as a Second Language (ESL)/Generalist 4-8,Science 4-8,Life Science 8 -12, Social studies 4 -8, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities etc.
  2. Certification other than Classroom Teacher – e.g. Principal, Superintendent, School Librarian, Educational Diagnostician etc.

TExES Scoring
The scores are used to indicate the level of performance of the candidate. The tests are scored by awarding points to correctly answered questions. Marks are not deducted for incorrect responses. Hence students can take the risk of guessing the answer as there is nothing to lose. On the other hand, guesswork might help in scoring some extra points that increase your overall score in the exam.

The scoring range is from 100 to 300. It is a pass-fail test with 240 as the minimum passing score. The score report for the paper and pencil test is released on the score reporting date. For computer administered tests (except BTLPT-Spanish, for which it takes 20 working days), the score reports are released after a week.
Other scoring services include the facilities of score verification and cancelation of test scores.

For preparation of this exam, the candidates are required to undergo complete review of the content areas. Depending upon the test they are taking, they should prepare for the types of questions asked in that particular test. Moreover, preparation is most rewarding when it is planned and carried out in a systematic way.
There are many sources of preparation that the candidate can resort to. The official website is a storehouse of preparation materials. It offers preparation manuals for most of the tests for guiding students through preparation. These manuals help students to understand the test as the manuals describe each test completely. Moreover, the manuals contain sample questions with answers and tips and strategies for taking the test.

The official website also offers the following as free downloads that help in preparation.

  1. Reducing Test Anxiety
  2. Study Tips: Preparing for the Texas Educator Certification Tests

Getting a job in the teaching profession is impossible in Texas without the required certification. You stand a chance only if you succeed in this test. Moreover, TExES is a series of tests, which is sure to include the field that you are competent in. Therefore, by taking the test you can not only take a step closer to the profession of your choice, but also fulfill your dreams. Hence, it is essential that you make efforts to understand the test and decide in favor of taking it as soon as you think of joining the teaching profession.