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Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT) & TExES in Houston

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Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT) & TExES in Houston

Learn about the exam(s) you need to take, and how to prepare and report your scores

COVID-19 Update: Many Praxis tests can now be taken at home. Learn more from ETS.

Jump to:

  • Overview
    • About PACT
      • TExES vs. Praxis
    • Requirements
  • Choose Your Test
    • Program Requirements
    • Subject and Grade Requirements
  • Prepare for the Test
    • Create a Schedule
    • Test Prep Resources
      • Provided by TExES
        • Tests at a Glance
        • Preparation Manuals
        • Interactive Practice Tests
        • Practice Question eBooks
    • Provided by Praxis
      • Preparation Materials for Out-of-State Candidates to Teach in Texas
      • Preparation Materials for Similar Exams
    • Provided by Third Parties
      • Free
      • Paid
  • Take the Test
    • Registration
    • Test Day
    • Your Scores
      • Viewing Your Results
        • TExES Scores
        • Praxis Scores
      • Reporting Your Scores

If you have any questions about your PACT exam or this process, reach out to a TEACH for Houston coach or educator preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.

Overview

Here's a bit of background on PACT and your requirements for taking the right exam(s).

About PACT

PACT refers to the Pre-Admission Content Tests. There are two tests offered for Texas-based programs, the TeXes and Praxis, and which one you take depends on where you live when you apply to the program (more on that in a moment). They’re required in your application to educator preparation programs (EPPs) in Texas, including:

  • University post baccalaureate programs
  • Alternative certification programs
  • University alternative certification programs

TExES vs. Praxis

If you live in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Puerto Rico or Mexico, the PACT is offered through and referred to as the TExES (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards). For a full list of TExES exams, see Tests Offered.

If you live outside of the areas listed above, these Praxis exams may qualify you to teach in Texas:

  • Biology Content Knowledge (5235)
  • Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245)
  • English Language Arts: Content and Analysis (5039)
  • General Science: Content Knowledge (5435)
  • Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)
  • Middle School English Language Arts (5047)
  • Middle School Mathematics (5169)
  • Middle School Science (5440)
  • Middle School Social Studies (5089)
  • Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications (5354)

Our advice? Don't overthink it—just follow the steps below.

Requirements

You are eligible to sign up for the TeXes or Praxis if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university OR are scheduled to receive one before being placed in a classroom.
  • Have never been admitted to an educator preparation program. Note: If you’re transferring from one educator preparation program to another, contact TEA Educator Certification and Testing at (512) 936-8400.

You have five attempts to pass a certification test.

Choose Your Test

The right PACT exam for you depends on your program and teaching interests.

Program Requirements

All programs require that you pass the content exam at some point.

For graduate programs, each program will determine when you are required to pass the content exam. See below for a table that illustrates when you’re required to pass the content exam by program:

    When do I need to take and pass the content exam?
Institution Program Before Applying After Applying, but Before the Program Begins After the Program Begins
INSPIRE TEXAS  Alternative Certification Program    
Relay Graduate School of Education (GSE) - Houston   Residency Program    
Sam Houston State University  Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree    
Teaching Excellence Alternative Certification Program    
Teach For America Houston Alternative Certification Program    
Texas Southern University Bachelor’s Degree    
University of Houston – Central Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree    
University of Houston – Clear Lake Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree    
University of Houston – Downtown Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree    

Prepare for the Test

There are things you can do to prepare for your test that apply to all subjects. There are also more specific study guides available based on the subject areas and grade levels you’re interested in. We cover them both:

Remember: You’re taking this test for a reason. You want to become a teacher in a specific subject, and this is your chance to prove it. Take the time necessary to truly understand the information. You’ll thank yourself for it (and your students will thank you, too).

We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:

  1. Create a work-back schedule. Start by writing down the day of the test. Then, outline the steps you need to accomplish before that end date: Include time for researching test prep resources (our favorites are in the next section), studying your subject matter area and taking practice exams. 
    1. Research test prep resources. Check out the next section for our recommendations.
    2. Study your subject matter area. This is where the bulk of your time will be spent. Don't rush it.
    3. Take practice exams. Even when you know the information, you'll need to get used to the test-maker's phrasing and topical area distribution.
  2. Make smart right-before-the-test choices. These are the obvious ones: Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a decent breakfast the day of, bring a water bottle, and show up early. Hanging outside the testing center 20 extra minutes is better than causing your brain undue stress minutes before having to think critically.

Not all subject area tests are offered on a continuous basis. Some, including the English Language Arts test, are offered only in specific administration windows.

Test Prep Resources

Once you gain a baseline understanding of a subject area, taking practice tests might be your best way to prepare for a PACT exam.

There are a number of options available from test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too.

Check out Tarleton State University’s Test Prep Resources for additional recommendations.

  • Provided by TExES:

    These resources are endorsed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

    Prepare for Exams

    Step-by-Step instructions by TExES provide step-by-step instructions for preparing for your exams, from researching which tests you need to take to scheduling practice tests.

    Preparation Materials

    Preparation Materials by TExES allow you to search for preparation materials for your exams. Preparation materials include study tips, student profile worksheets and preparation manuals.

    We recommend taking a look at yours to at least get an idea of where to focus your study time.

    Manuals are available for these exams:

    • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 6-12 (272)
    • American Sign Language (ASL) (184) 
    • Art EC-12 (178) 
    • Bilingual Education Supplemental (164)
    • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) Spanish (190)
    • Braille (283) 
    • Braille (183) 
    • Business and Finance 6-12 (276) 
    • Chemistry 7-12 (240) 
    • Computer Science 8-12 (241) 
    • Core Subjects EC-6 (291) 
    • Core Subjects 4-8 (211) 
    • Dance 6-12 (279) 
    • Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (181) 
    • Educational Diagnostician (153) 
    • English as a Second Language/Supplemental (154) 
    • English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 (117) 
    • English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 (231) 
    • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8 (113) 
    • Gifted and Talented Supplemental (162) 
    • Health EC-12 (157)
    • Health Science 6-12 (273) 
    • History 7-12 (233) 
    • Journalism 7-12 (256) 
    • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) French (610)
    • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) German (611)
    • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Latin (612)  
    • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish (613)
    • Life Science 7-12 (238) 
    • Marketing 6-12 (275) 
    • Mathematics 4-8 (115) 
    • Mathematics 7-12 (235) 
    • Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 6-12 (274) 
    • Mathematics/Science 4-8 (114) 
    • Music EC-12 (177) -- contains audio files 
    • Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 (160) 
    • Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Trade and Industrial Education 6-12 (270) 
    • Physical Education EC-12 (158) 
    • Physical Science 6-12 (237)  
    • Physics/Mathematics 7-12 (243) 
    • Principal (068) 
    • Reading Specialist (151) 
    • School Counselor (152)
    • School Librarian (150) 
    • Science 4-8 (116) 
    • Science 7-12 (236)  
    • Social Studies 4-8 (118) 
    • Social Studies 7-12 (232)
    • Special Education EC-12 (161) 
    • Special Education Supplemental (163) 
    • Speech 7-12 (129) 
    • Superintendent (195) 
    • Superintendent (195) Supplement 
    • Technology Applications EC-12 (242) 
    • Technology Education 6-12 (171) 
    • Theatre EC-12 (180) 
    • Visually Impaired (182)

    Interactive Practice Tests

    Interactive Practice Tests by TExES are full-length practice tests that include correct answers, explanations for correct answers and an automatic score summary report.

    Practice tests are available for these exams:

    • Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC–12 (160)
    • Mathematics 7-12 (235)
    • Science 7-12 (236)
    • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) Spanish (190)
    • LOTE Spanish (613)
  • Provided by Praxis:

    These resources are endorsed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

    Preparation Materials by Praxis include study companions, study guides and practice tests.

    Preparation Materials for Out-of-State Candidates to Teach in Texas

    Preparation materials are available for these exams:

    • Biology Content Knowledge (5235)
    • Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245)
    • English Language Arts: Content and Analysis (5039)
    • General Science: Content Knowledge (5435)
    • Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)
    • Middle School English Language Arts (5047)
    • Middle School Mathematics (5169)
    • Middle School Science (5440)
    • Middle School Social Studies (5089)
    • Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications (5354)

    Preparation Materials for Similar Exams

    Although they may not be identical to the TExES equivalent, it may be helpful to review materials for these Praxis exams in your subject area:

    • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732)
    • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712)
    • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722)
    • Agriculture (5701)
    • Algebra I (5162)
    • Art: Content and Analysis (5135)
    • Art: Content Knowledge (5134)
    • Audiology (5342)
    • Braille Proficiency (0633)
    • Business Education: Content Knowledge (5101)
    • Chinese (Mandarin): World Language (5665)
    • Citizenship Education: Content Knowledge (5087)
    • Computer Science (5651)
    • Early Childhood Education (5025)
    • Earth and Space Sciences: Content Knowledge (5571)
    • Economics (5911)
    • Education of Young Children (5024)
    • Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (5411)
    • Elementary Education: Applied Content Knowledge for Teaching (7901)
    • Elementary Education: Content Knowledge (5018)
    • Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching (7801)
    • Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (5017)
    • Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications (5019)
    • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (5001)
    • English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038)
    • English to Speakers of Other Languages (5362)
    • Family and Consumer Sciences (5122)
    • French: World Language (5174)
    • Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (5511)
    • Geography (5921)
    • German: World Language (5183)
    • Gifted Education (5358)
    • Government/Political Science (5931)
    • Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge (5857)
    • Health Education (5551)
    • Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (5023)
    • Journalism (5223)
    • Latin (5601)
    • Library Media Specialist (5311)
    • Marketing Education (5561)
    • Middle School: Content Knowledge (5146)
    • Music: Content and Instruction (5114)
    • Music: Content Knowledge (5113)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment (5152)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment: Pedagogy (5153)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment: English Language Arts and Social Studies (5154)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Mathematics and Science (5155)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: English Language Arts (5156)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: Mathematics (5158)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: Science (5159)
    • PA Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: Social Studies (5157)
    • Physical Education: Content and Design (5095)
    • Physical Education: Content Knowledge (5091)
    • Physics: Content Knowledge (5265)
    • Pre-Kindergarten Education (5531)
    • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood (5621)
    • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 (5622)
    • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 (5623)
    • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (5624)
    • Professional School Counselor (5421)
    • Psychology (5391)
    • Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education (5306)
    • Reading for Virginia Educators: Reading Specialist (5304)
    • Reading Specialist (5301)
    • School Psychologist (5402)
    • Social Studies: Content and Interpretation (5086)
    • Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081)
    • Sociology (5952)
    • Spanish: World Language (5195)
    • Special Ed: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications (5543)
    • Special Ed: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications (5545)
    • Special Ed: Preschool/Early Childhood (5691)
    • Special Ed: Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (5272)
    • Special Ed: Teaching Speech to Students w/ Language Impairments (5881)
    • Special Ed: Teaching Students w/ Behav. Disorders/Emot. Disturbances (5372)
    • Special Ed: Teaching Students w/ Learning Disabilities (5383)
    • Special Ed: Teaching Students w/ Intellectual Disabilities (5322)
    • Special Ed: Teaching Students w/ Visual Impairments (5282)
    • Speech Communication: Content Knowledge (5221)
    • Speech-Language Pathology (5331)
    • Teaching Reading (5204)
    • Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203)
    • Technology Education (5051)
    • Theatre (5641)
    • World and U.S. History: Content Knowledge (5941)
    • World Languages Pedagogy (5841)
       
  • Provided by Third Parties:

    There are a number of free and paid options for getting prepped for your PACT exam.

    Free

    • University of Houston Department of Mathematics offers Preparation for Math Teacher Certification Exams, which are based on the TExES 4-8 Mathematics Standards exam. You get access to over 20 different online quizzes which cover a wide range of mathematical topics and concepts.
    • Texas Music Educators Association offers TExES Music Preparation/Review, which contains information about the exam, review course topic areas, frequently missed topics on practice tests, a selected bibliography of resources and a short practice exam.
    • Urban Teachers offers Free Praxis Core and PACT Math Prep, a self-paced course that sharpens your math skills. It starts with a diagnostic exam that informs a personalized study plan.

    Paid

    Before purchasing, check with your program to see if any discount codes are available for your test prep option of choice.

    • For $30/month, Texas A&M offers T-CERT, TExES Certification Exam Review for Teachers, which includes presentations, video review, practice questions and a certificate of completion for these tests:
      • Math 4-8 (115)
      • Math 7-12 (235)
      • Special Education
      • EC-12 (161)
      • Science 4-8 (116)
      • Science 7-12 (236)
      • EC-12 PPR (160)
      • English as a Second Language (154)
      • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT)-Spanish (190)
      • Core Subjects EC-6 (291)
        • English Language Arts/Reading EC-6
        • Math EC-6
        • Social Studies EC-6
        • Science EC-6
        • Fine Arts, Health & PE EC-6
      • Principal (068)
    • 240Tutoring offers access to all of their study guides for a flat $39.99/month, with the ability to cancel any time. If you score 90% on their practice test but fail your PACT, you get a full refund. The organization is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Check out their Facebook page for user reviews.
    • CertifyTeacher offers interactive practice tests and an accompanying app. Most are $55. CertifyTeacher is included in many educator preparation programs’ study guide recommendation lists.
    • Ed Publishing’s Pass the TExES page includes eBooks (<$50) and tutoring sessions ($120) catered specifically to your exam.
    • Mometrix offers a TExES Secrets Study Guide for many PACT exams. All are highly rated on Amazon.
       

Take the Test

Register for the right exam, know what to expect on test day, and report your scores on time.

 

  1. Registration

    Once you know which exam you’re taking, head over to the online registration system for TExES. There, you will:

    1. Click New User.
    2. Select No TEA ID.
    3. Select pre-admission content tests (PACT).
    4. Enter your personal information.
    5. Follow the prompts to create an account.
    6. Select Register for a test.

    See the TExES creating a new account and registering guide for more instructions.

    Taking a Praxis exam? Click here to register.

  2. Your Scores

    Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!

    Viewing Your Results

    Paper scores are so yesterday. Get yours online.

    TExES Scores

    1. To find out when your score will be available, review the score reporting details for your test on the TExES exam bulletin.
    2. When they’re available, check out View Scores on the ETS TExES website to see how you did.

    Praxis Scores

    1. To find out when your score will be available, review the Praxis Information Bulletin.
    2. Sign in to your Praxis account to see how you did. For some tests, unofficial scores are available immediately after completing your exam.

    Reporting Your Scores

    Generally, you will report your scores on your online application itself. (Your checklist has a step for this!)

    In some cases, submitting your “score report” will be part of the required paperwork during a program’s onboarding process.

  3. Test Day

    You’ve settled on a content area, verified which test is required for your program application, studied hard, and now you’re ready to take the PACT.

    Make sure you:

    1. Verify your test location. Even if you think you know where your exam is being held, double-check that the test center schedule hasn’t changed.
    2. Bring required materials. Depending on the test-maker, you may be required to bring a printed admission ticket, your ID, a calculator or other materials. Double-check with the service you registered with.
    3. Dress in layers. Test centers can be chilly, and you’d rather be able to remove a jacket than be uncomfortable for the duration of your exam.
    4. Show up early. You will not be admitted if you miss your reporting time.

    See TExES’ On the Day of the Test or Praxis’ On Test Day page for the nitty-gritty.
     

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