TExES Music EC-12 (177) Exam

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Music EC-12 exam assesses your knowledge and skills as a beginning educator in Music for grades Early Childhood (EC) to 12 in the state of Texas. The exam ensures you have the skills, knowledge, and abilities required of an entry-level educator.

Registration, scheduling the exam, and cost

Registration for the Music EC-12 exam is online at the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. You can register and pay the $116.00 registration fee 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To register for the Music EC-12 exam, you need an educator account with the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website; this account is separate from your Texas Education Agency (TEA) account. Registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The fee is payable by credit, debit, or check card only.

After you pay the registration fee, you have 170 days to schedule your testing appointment. The examination is at Pearson VUE testing centers located nationwide. Test appointments are available Monday through Friday and Saturday at some centers. Each center determines its testing times. To guarantee your preferred test location, register for your exam as early as possible.

Test design

The computer-delivered examination contains 100 multiple-choice questions from the following five domains:

Listening – 25% of questions

The listening domain consists of three competencies that you need to understand and apply as an entry-level music teacher. The competencies include the application of terminology when describing and analyzing musical recordings; the ability to recognize and describe genres, styles, and cultures in musical recordings; and the ability to evaluate and critique musical compositions and performances.

Music theory and composition – 17% of questions

This domain contains two competencies – the ability to read, write, and interpret standard music notation; and the understanding of the methods and techniques used in musical composition and improvisation, including musical arrangement.

Music history and culture – 17% of questions

In this domain, your comprehensive knowledge of the history of Western music, including the major periods, is evaluated. Your understanding of the music of different genres, styles, and cultures and how the music can reflect on society or culture is assessed.

Music classroom performance – 25% of questions

The music classroom performance domain examines your knowledge of the methods and techniques for singing, playing musical instruments, and conducting vocal and instrumental performances.

Music education – 17% of questions

The two competencies in the music education domain include knowing how to plan and implement effective music instruction, and knowledge of learning experiences that enhance a student’s musical education.

The examination is designed to test not only your knowledge and recall skills, but your ability to think critically about information, analyze and compare information, and make judgments about the information presented. Each multiple-choice question has four possible answers with only one correct response.

You are provided a headset to complete the Listening domain, and you cannot bring any resources with you to the testing center. Your total appointment time is five hours, with four hours and forty-five minutes allotted for the exam.


Test Day

Your confirmation email contains information about the test date including location, time, and instructions for reporting to the test center. Follow the directions and arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

Once you have checked in, a test administrator escorts you to your testing station. You are provided materials to take notes and a set of headphones for the listening portion of your exam. After you have completed a 15-minute tutorial, your exam begins.

Try to keep track of time, so you have an opportunity to review your work before submitting your exam for grading. You can mark questions on the exam to return to, and you can move forward and backward within the test. Try to answer every question, even if you have to guess. Correct answers receive credit; incorrect responses do not.

Exam results and scoring

Your official score is posted to your educator account within seven days of testing by 10:00 pm (central). If selected during registration, your report will also be emailed to you. Additionally, your results are sent to TEA and your applicable Educator program. To pass the exam, you need to obtain a scaled score of 240.

How Can I Prepare for the TExES Music EC-12 (177) Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: August 14, 2019