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List Of Texas Teacher Certification Tests: What You Must Take To Teach

Certification Tests

by
Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on October 19, 2021

While the teacher certification process involves training, it also involves a series of exams that you must take to earn certification in Texas. Although some Texas teacher certification tests are required for every student, other exams may vary based on the area and grade level you wish to teach.

Below is a list of Texas teacher certification exams that you may need to pass based on your specific journey toward becoming an educator. 

 

Content Exams

 

You must pass at least one content exam in the area you wish to teach in order to earn a Texas teacher certification. Content exams are also divided byGroup of students taking a test at the university-1 grade levels and special certification areas such as special education

While you MUST take and pass one individual subject exam to meet the texas teacher certification requirements, you can take more than one subject exam. This allows you to choose different tests that complement your skill sets. Taking more than one exam can also make you eligible for more open positions.

Below are the current Texas teacher certification areas offered in the state. It is important to stay current with any certification announcements and updates, however, in the event the TEA updates its Texas teacher education requirements.

 

Texas Certification Areas
Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (Grades 6-12)
American Sign Language (Grades EC-12)
Art (Grades EC-12)
Bilingual Education Supplemental-Mandarin Chinese (Grades NA)
Bilingual Education Supplemental-Spanish (Grades NA)
Bilingual Education Supplemental-Vietnamese (Grades NA)
Business and Finance (Grades 6-12)
Chemistry (Grades 7-12)
Computer Science (Grades 8-12)
Core Subjects (Grades 4-8)
Core Subjects (Grades EC-6)
Dance (Grades 6-12)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Grades EC-12)
Driver Education (Grades 6-12)
Educational Diagnostician (Grades EC-12)
English Language Arts and Reading (Grades 4-8)
English Language Arts and Reading (Grades 7-12)
English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies (Grades 4-8)
English as a Second Language Supplemental (Grades NA)
Family and Consumer Sciences (Grades 6-12)
Gifted and Talented Supplemental (Grades NA)
Health (Grades EC-12)
Health Science (Grades 6-12)
History (Grades 7-12)
Hospitality, Nutrition and Food Sciences (Grades 8-12)
Human Development and Family Studies (Grades 8-12)
Journalism (Grades 7-12)
Languages Other Than English - Arabic (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - French (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - German (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Hindi (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Italian (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Japanese (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Korean (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Latin (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Mandarin Chinese (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Russian (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Spanish (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Turkish (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Urdu (Grades EC-12)
Languages Other Than English - Vietnamese (Grades EC-12)
Life Science (Grades 7-12)
Marketing (Grades 6-12)
Mathematics (Grades 4-8)
Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering (Grades 6-12)
Mathematics/Science (Grades 4-8)
Music (Grades EC-12)
Physical Education (Grades EC-12)
Physical Science (Grades 6-12)
Physical Science/Mathematics/Engineering (Grades 8-12)
Physics/Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
Principal as Instructional Leader (Grades EC-12)
Reading Specialist (Grades EC-12)
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) (Grades 6-12)
School Counselor (Grades EC-12)
School Librarian (Grades EC-12)
Science (Grades 4-8)
Science (Grades 7-12)
Social Studies (Grades 4-8)
Social Studies (Grades 7-12)
Special Education (Grades EC-12)
Special Education Supplemental (Grades NA)
Speech (Grades 7-12)
Superintendent (Grades EC-12)
Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (Grades EC-12)
Technology Applications: (Grades EC-12)
Technology Education (Grades 6-12)
Theatre (Grades EC-12)
Trade and Industrial Education (Grades 6-12)
 

 

The best alternative teaching certification program in Texas will ensure you are signed up for the correct content area exams for the certification area you wish to teach. Which Texas teacher certification exams you take also depend on the grade levels you want to teach, whether at the elementary or high school levels.

High-quality educator certification programs will also provide you with or connect you with a Texas teacher certification practice test to help you prepare. The TEA provides a Texas teacher certification test study guide for each type of content test as well.

When you must take this exam: At ECAP, you must complete 40 hours of training before taking a practice content exam. Aim for a score of 270 and concentrate on areas that your practice exam results indicate you need further training in. Once you score a 270 on your practice exam, ECAP will give you permission to take your content exams.

 

PPR

 

One of the final exams all Texas teachers must take on their list of Texas teacher certification tests is the PPR, or Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility. All aspiring teachers must take this before earning an educator certification whether an individual chooses an in-person program or online teaching certification.

List Of Texas Teacher Certification TestsThis exam is “designed to assess whether a test taker has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess,” according to the Texas Education Agency. 

You must pass the PPR in order to obtain your standard certification. Areas addressed on the PPR include:

  • Designing instruction and assessment to promote student learning
  • Creating a positive, productive classroom environment
  • Implementing effective, responsive instruction and assessment
  • Fulfilling professional roles and responsibilities

Preparing and taking the PPR can feel like a daunting experience. Choosing the right alternative teacher certification Texas program that prepares its interns for the PPR is an important step when working to avoid common mistakes on the PPR. That’s because the best certification programs will include a component in their curriculum that is specifically designated to help prepare you for the PPR.

Our article, How To Pass Your PPR Exam, addresses some common reasons why individuals do not pass the PPR, the type of questions you will see on the exam and some of the ways you can prepare for this important exam.

When you must take this exam: This is one of the final tests you will complete before earning certification and is designed to assess whether you have the needed knowledge and skills to become a teacher. You must complete 150 hours in the classroom before you take the PPR.

 

Science of Teaching Reading (STR) exam

 

The Science of Teaching Reading (STR) exam is a newer exam that the Texas Education Agency requires. You only have to take this exam if you are seeking certification in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood: EC - Grade 3
  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching Reading: Early Childhood - Grade 6
  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4-8

The TEA is requiring individuals pursuing an intern, probationary or standard certification in one of these areas above to take this teaching reading exam in an effort to improve reading and writing instruction in Texas schools. 

It’s important to note that teachers who are currently standard certified in these fields will NOT have to pass the STR exam for their certificates to be renewed.

According to the preparation manual for this exam, this test focuses on standards that address the practice of teaching early reading. This includes areas like proper teaching techniques, strategies, theories of learning, understanding students and their needs, and incorporating backgrounds and interests of students into teaching methods. 

List Of Texas Teacher Certification TestsThe exam also covers knowledge of Reading Development Components, including:

  • Oral language development
  • Print awareness and alphabet knowledge
  • Phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Phonics (decoding and encoding)
  • Reading fluency
  • Vocabulary development
  • Syllabication and morphemic analysis
  • Comprehension of literary text
  • Comprehension of informational text
  • Beginning strategies and reading comprehension skills

When you must take this exam: Individuals will take the STR after their content exams, but before their PPR exams. Individuals will first obtain their intern certificate and begin their internship, and then take the STR before applying for a standard certification. You can read more about this timeline in this TEA document that outlines STR exam timelines and requirements.

 

TxPACT

 

Not everyone will need the TxPACT exam. You only need to take this exam if you do not meet eligibility requirements for admission into an alternative teacher certification program. Please note that TxPACT exams ARE NOT the same as the TExES content-pedagogy certification exams used for standard certification.

You are required to take a TxPACT for admission into an educator preparation program (EPP) if:

  • You have a grade point average that falls below a 2.5 or
  • You have not completed at least 12 semester credit hours in the subject area you wish to teach (15 hours if seeking certification in math or science at the 7th grade level or above)

To take the TxPACT, you must hold a bachelor’s degree or be within the last semester of receiving a bachelor’s degree, according to the Texas Education Agency. 

If you meet the minimum grade point average requirement to be admitted to an EPP and you have completed the required semester credit hours as outlined above, you DO NOT have to take the TxPACT.

When you must take this exam: You must take this exam prior to being admitted into an educator preparation program. 



A Journey Toward Testing Success

 

Determining which certification tests you must take for the area you wish to teach can take some planning and attention to detail. While some exams like a content exam and PPR are required for every teaching intern, others are optional (such as additional content exams) or dependent on what area or grade level you wish to teach.

It’s important to work with your Texas teacher certification program to ensure you are signed up for the right tests at the right time so you can complete your journey toward becoming a certified classroom teacher.

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Topics: Certification Tests

Written by Micah Fikes

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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