Mention “Exes” to a native Texan and they surely will start humming George Strait’s country classic “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”.
Say “Exes”, however, to a prospective Texas teacher and they will hum an entirely different tune. Because the TExES or Texas Examinations of Educators Standards are content test hurdles that would-be teachers in the Lone Star State must clear.
Recent changes in Texas Education Agency (TEA) regulations means that teacher certification candidates need to pass their TExES content exams prior to enrolling in an alternative certification program.
Naturally, test prep for such comprehensive exams are needed. And, the reality is that test study guides or programs can put a dent in modest budgets.
If your style is more farmhouse eggs than Fabergé Eggs (after all what good is an egg if you can’t make a good omelet with it!), then you will want to figure out a way to get Texas teacher certification test study guides without spending a lot of money.
Fortunately, there are ways to prep for TExES without cracking your nest egg.
What Are The TExES Contest Tests?
Each TExES content test is designed to measure the knowledge and skills that are required of entry-level educators in Texas public schools. The content tests, administered by ETS, have multiple-choice questions, and some may have open-ended written questions.
The tests fees are $134 per content area such as History grades 7-12 or Dance grades 6-12.
Bottom line...if you want to teach in Texas you need to demonstrate your subject area acumen by passing the content test.
No Pass, No Play
If you have played athletics in Texas or had children participate, then you know that “no pass, no play” means you can’t get on the field if you haven’t passed your classes.
The same is true for passing the TExES content tests...if you fail to pass your content test you will not make it into the classroom.
The pipeline to the classroom starts with the PACT route or Pre-Admission Content Test, where individuals show content proficiency before being accepted into an alternative certification program.
The good news is that you have five attempts to pass your content test. And, as long as you have your college degree or are working towards your college degree, you can sign up today to take TExES content tests.
Where To Get Free Study Guides for Content Tests
If you love taking exams and can answer every question on “Jeopardy” correct, then you won’t sweat taking content tests. But for the rest of us, taking a major exam can make us as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Exam prep is the key and you will want to do enough of it to roll into your testing center on Exam Day brimming full of confidence.
The maze of exam reviews runs the gamut from on-line services and publications that you have to purchase, to helpful resources from alternative certification programs and information for free provided by ETS and TEA.
Yes, we said free!
Navigate over to the Test preparation resources section of the ETS TExES website and find a free prep manual available for download that includes:
Detailed test description
Sample questions with answers
You will also find helpful videos, Interactive Practice Tests and other resources, such as the guide "Reducing Test Anxiety" at ETS.
What Exam Materials Top Alternative Certification Programs Offer
The free materials at ETS can level the playing field for teaching candidates, but what can alternative certification programs offer students to put them ahead in the exam review race?
We found that some, like Iteach Texas, will point you toward a for-profit tutoring site that can charge $39.99 a month. But do you really want to pay?
Others, like Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, don't seem to offer test prep materials until you sign up for their program.
At ECAP, you don't have to pay a dime for study prep and the resources are plentiful starting with the TExES Study Resource Guide,which is a concise 2-page PDF that rounds up the best links to free resources available and even some links to recommended paid services if your budget allows.
Even better is that ECAP offers its own online TExES Exam Review for free. After a quick sign-up, you will receive a guest password and then have immediate access to a wealth of exam review material.
While completion of ECAP's online exam modules is not a guarantee of passing TExES content tests, we think most candidates will find it plenty of information to be prepared on test day.
After all, with apologies to George Strait, we don't want you "hidin' in Tennessee" ... for fear of your TExES!
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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