Teachers in Texas must first pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, or TExES, to earn a teaching license. The exam assesses the necessary standards for beginning teachers as determined by the State Board for Educator Certification. You need a minimum total scaled score of 240 on a scale of 100 to 300 to pass the exam. Successfully passing the TExES exam requires an understanding of what to expect, reviewing specific content on the exam and refreshing your test-taking skills.
Understand the Format
The specific TExES exam you take depends on your certification area. Examples include Generalist EC-6, History 8-12, Mathematics 4-8 and Physical Education EC-12. Your focus in your teacher education program and your desired educator license determines which specific exam you take. All of the exams have multiple-choice questions with four possible answers. Some TExES exams for specific teaching areas also include constructed-response questions, which is basically a short answer section that allows you to demonstrate your understanding of a particular topic. If your exam includes the constructed-response format, focus on key concepts in your specialty area and how you might explain those concepts.
Explore the Content
The State Board for Educator Certification/Texas Education Agency provides preparation manuals for each of the specific TExES exams. The manuals include a breakdown of the different domains covered and the specific standards in each of the domains. The Generalist EC-6 exam has five domains with a varying percentage of the questions: 32 percent is English Language Arts and Reading, 19 percent is Mathematics, 19 percent is Social Studies, 18 percent Science and 12 percent is Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education. An example of a standard in the Science domain is understanding scientific inquiry and how it affects science instruction. The manual further breaks down the standards into more detail, along with giving sample questions. Access the preparation manual for your specific TExES exam to determine the specific standards and content areas so you can focus your studies.
Break Down Information
A study plan helps you break down the content of the TExES exam to determine the areas that need the most attention. Identify the standards that are most difficult or unfamiliar to you. If you're taking the Generalist exam and minored in mathematics, you may not need as much study time in that area. You might need more time studying English Language Arts and Reading to master writing conventions and how kids develop spelling and writing skills, for example. Review your course material that relates to the specific standard areas on the exam. Use the preparation manual provided as well as other TExES exam guides. Spread out your study sessions for the TExES exam so you study a little each day rather than cramming everything in at the last minute.
Succeed on Test Day
You will receive an admission ticket that lists your test reporting time. Verify your testing location and time the day before your exam. If you arrive late, you won't be able to take the TExES and you will lose your test fee. You also need a current ID with your full name and a picture, such as a passport or driver's license. In some cases, test takers are photographed or fingerprinted to verify identification. Cell phones or similar devices and personal items are not allowed in the exam area. When you arrive, find your seat and take time to relax. Breathe deeply or try visualization techniques to calm yourself before the exam. Pace yourself appropriately so you can finish all questions without rushing. Read the entire statement first. On multiple choice questions, eliminate answers you know are incorrect first. With constructed-response questions, develop a quick outline before starting your response so you cover all of the key points.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.