In many ways, teachers and students are pretty similar. Teachers who are effective continue to learn on a regular basis about how to relate to their students, how to ensure their classrooms are optimal learning environments, and how to incorporate the most up-to-date research into their teaching. Every teacher you'll ever meet has homework in the form of grading papers, lesson planning, and conferences with parents, consultants, and fellow staff. And if you're reading this article, it is because you have already learned that teachers take tests, too. In this particular case, we're talking about the battery of tests a candidate must pass to teach in Texas, better known as TExES.
Depending on whether you're seeking certification to teach early childhood through grade 6 (EC-6), grades 4 through 8 (4-8), or secondary school, your TExES testing battery will look different. Teachers who want to teach EC-6 take the Core Subjects EC-6 Test and the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Test (PPR). They also can optionally seek English as a Second Language (ESL) certification, bilingual certification, and/or special education certification. Those who want to teach grades 4 through 8 will take their respective content area tests, the ESL certification test, and the PPR, while aspiring secondary teachers face their own content area tests and the PPR.
Besides having a strong knowledge base in your content area and having a solid grasp of teaching fundamentals, it also pays dividends to be prepared for the test itself and to take care of the logistics ahead of time, thus allowing you to concentrate exclusively on the test on test day. In order to obtain permission to take the TExES in the first place, you need approval from your teacher training program, which will either be a university program or an alternative certification program. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the rules of the tests, as there aren't many things I can think of that are worse than failing on a technicality or rules violation. Next up is your registration, which includes choosing a test center and date, making sure you can meet the test's ID requirements, creating your Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Educator Testing Service (ETS) accounts, and completing your registration itself, which includes the payment of its respective registration fee and the printing of your admission ticket. There is additional information on the TExES website and I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with that as well.
Finally, the days preceding the exam date are crucial. Make it a priority to get a full night's sleep the night before and to get a good, solid breakfast that morning before leaving. You also want to arrive 15-30 minutes early to give yourself time to find parking and find the room without incurring additional stress from having to rush. Remember, you're in the position of taking the TExES exam because you have earned your way there. Best of luck!
Lets get started on preparing now for your TExES certifacation exam by checking out our TExES practice exams.