TExES Exam Question Formats


TExES Question Formats

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) exams are designed to test the competency of aspiring teachers in Texas.

Multiple-choice and selected-response questions are the standard in the series; all TExES exams contain these questions. Some tests also contain constructed-response questions that take the form of written prompts for which candidates must compose a response.

Multiple-Choice Questions

The norm for most standardized tests, multiple-choice questions involve a question or statement, followed by four possible answers. Candidates taking TExES tests will need to select the response (or responses) that most accurately answer a question. In the TExES series, there are actually two types of multiple-choice questions: single and clustered.

Single Questions

The single-question format is the simpler of the two. These test items pose either a question or present an incomplete statement. Candidates may also be asked to read from a passage or interpret information from a visual (table, chart, graph, etc.) On the test, candidates will have four options to choose from to answer each question.

Clustered Questions

Clustered questions consist of a ''stimulus,'' such as a written passage or visual, followed by more than one question about the stimulus.

In essence, clustered questions are almost identical to single ones, with the only difference being that clustered questions reference the same stimuli through multiple follow-up questions, whereas single questions do not.

Unique Question Formats

TExES tests are taken via computer, which can sometimes lead to unusual question formats. Question types can include:

  • Entry box: Candidates will type in an entry box. They may be asked to enter a number.
  • Check boxes: In lieu of an oval, candidates may need to check a box. This type of question can take the form of a table where examinees are asked to select multiple responses.
  • Clicking a graphic: This type of question requires candidates to select a certain area of a map or chart instead of selecting from a list.
  • Clicking on sentences: If the question relates to a reading passage, candidates might be asked to select and click on sentences in the text.
  • Drag and drop: For this question type, candidates are asked to drag an answer choice from a list of possible responses and drop it into the corresponding spot, whether it be in a table or a paragraph of text.
  • Drop-down menu: Just as the name implies, candidates must select the correct answer from a menu. This type of question format could be found in a sentence requiring test takers to select the correct word choice for completing it.

Constructed-Response Questions

Another type of question on TExES exams is the constructed-response question. This format does not appear on all exams.

For questions of this nature, candidates do not have pre-selected answers to choose from; instead, they will be expected to construct organic answers, such as short written responses or essays.


TExES assessments are graded on a scale of 100-300, and a 240 is the minimum required for a passing score.

The multiple-choice questions on the test are scored based on the total number of correct responses. Unlike some standardized tests, the TExES exams do not penalize guessing. In fact, questions with no response are marked as incorrect, meaning that you should answer every question, even if you're not sure about the answer.

Grading structures for the constructed-response portion vary depending on the exam. For the TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12, for example, candidates are graded on the following rubrics:

  • Purpose
  • Demonstration of Knowledge
  • Support
  • Rationale
  • Written Expression

Responses to this type of question are scored by two different graders. Additional scoring can be used in the event their evaluations differ.

Preparing for the TExES

Now that you know what will be expected of you on test day, it's time to start getting ready (assuming you haven't already!).

These TExES practice and review guides contain self-paced courses that are sure to help you understand test content. The following list contains just a few of the subjects offered in this series:

For further assistance, you can also check out these TExES practice tests. These exams include a diagnostic review that you can use to identify areas of improvement.

You can also check out the ETS site to get TExES review guides that acquaint you with the types of question formats found on your exam.

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