Texas ESL Certification Test Information

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Texas teachers seeking English as a Second Language (ESL) certification must pass the TExES ESL Supplemental exam. Read on to learn about the test's content and structure, tips and resources to help you pass it, and how to register for it.

The ESL Certification Exam for Texas Teachers

Texas educators may earn ESL certification for the subjects they teach by passing the TExES ESL Supplemental exam. Stand-alone ESL Generalist certifications are no longer offered in Texas.

What is on the Exam?

The content of the TExES ESL Supplemental certification exam is based on the state's seven ESL teacher standards that outline the competencies expected of entry-level ESL teachers. The exam is grouped into three domains, or categories, of required knowledge and skills:

Domain Percentage of the Total Exam
ESL Assessment and Instruction 45%
Foundations of ESL Education, Family and Community Involvement, and Cultural Awareness 30%
Language Concepts and Acquisition 25%

Exam Structure and Delivery

The TExES ESL Supplemental certification exam is a five-hour test that is administered via computer at official testing centers. The test features 80 questions, which are all in multiple-choice format, and the scoring range for the exam is 100 - 300. You will need a scaled score of 240 in order to pass. To prepare for your test day:

  • You'll find a demonstration of the computer testing system on the TExES website ( so you can familiarize yourself with it and avoid facing any surprises when you arrive at the testing center.
  • Watch this short Strategy for Multiple Choice Questions video lesson to brush up on best practices for taking multiple-choice tests.

How to Study for the Exam

*Step One: The first step in preparing for the TExES ESL Supplemental certification test should be to visit the TExES website, where you may download a comprehensive preparation manual for the exam. This manual details the content of the exam, provides practice questions and an answer key with explanations, and offers a list of suggested books and other resources that may help you study.

*Step Two: Once you understand the content of the exam, you will want to compile related study resources, textbooks and class notes, for example, to help you prepare for the exam. You may additionally want to refresh your knowledge by utilizing courses that cover the exam's three content areas.'s Resources for Teaching English Language Learners, for example, is a self-paced online course that includes more than 100 short lessons to help you review concepts.

*Step Three: Having gathered appropriate resources, you will want to put together a study guide and plan your study time. For tips, check out a short lesson on Making Study Guides for Yourself. To make sure you are maximizing your study time, you may also want to review this lesson on How to Improve Study Skills.

Exam Registration Information

You may take the TExES ESL Supplemental exam year-round at official testing centers, but you need to have a TEA account and register at least two days in advance, either on the TExES website or by phone. The fee to take the test is $131. If you need to retake the test, you may do so no sooner than 45 days after your first attempt. Test-takers are allowed to retake the exam only five times.

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