The TExES English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 (117) is used to ensure candidates wishing to become teachers in Texas public schools have the knowledge and skills required of an entry-level educator for grades four through eight. The exam is based on the English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 framework adopted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and used by the state of Texas in its teacher licensure program.
The test contains 100 multiple-choice questions delivered by a computer during a five-hour testing appointment. Fifteen minutes are set aside for a computer tutorial and compliance agreement, and four hours and forty-five minutes are delegated to the exam questions.
Each question is designed to test not only your ability to recall information but your skill in applying that knowledge to a situation. The exam also examines your ability to think critically, analyze information, compare and contrast provided information, and draw conclusions or form an opinion based on the information presented. Each question presented has four possible answers, with only one correct response. Unanswered questions are counted as incorrect, so make your best guess if you are not sure of the answer.
The exam consists of two domains, and each domain consists of competencies.
The first domain is Language Arts, Part I. Topics in this domain include oral language, early literacy development, word identification skills, and reading fluency. Competencies that fall under Part I’s domain include:
- Understanding of the importance of oral language, the developmental process of language, and the essential need to develop listening and speaking skills.
- Knowledge of the foundations of early literacy development.
- Understanding the importance of word identification and reading fluency.
Thirty-three percent of your score comes from the first domain.
The second domain is Language Arts, Part II. Topics in this domain include reading comprehension and assessment, reading applications, written language, and developing studying and inquiry skills. Competencies that fall under Part II’s domain include:
- Understanding the components and processes of reading comprehension.
- Your ability to use strategies to improve student comprehension in reading and writing.
- Your knowledge of tools to use to guide the development of reading skills and strategies.
- The conventions of writing in English and applying strategies to help develop proficiency.
- Instructing and guiding students’ development of written communication.
- Understanding the skills needed to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and produce visual images and messages and provide students the opportunity to develop those skills.
- Your ability to understand and develop study and inquiry skills in students.
Sixty-seven percent of your score comes from the second domain.
Registration, cost, dates and delivery methods
Before you can register for the exam, you need to receive an approval to test from TEA. Refer to the TEA website to ensure you meet the requirements. Once eligible, register for the exam at the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. This account is separate from your TEA account. Testing appointments are available year-round at test centers located nationwide. The registration cost is $116.00 and is payable by debit or credit card.
Your testing appointment is scheduled for five hours. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam to complete the check-in procedure. Once you are at your testing station, you have 15 minutes to complete the computer familiarization tutorial and sign the compliance agreement. Note-taking material is provided before you begin and collected when you finish. You are not allowed to bring anything with you to the testing station.
As you work through your exam, mark questions for further review if necessary. When you have answered all of the prompts, return to the questions you marked and review them. Do not leave any question unanswered as it is counted as an incorrect response.
Exam results and scoring
Seven days after your test, your score report is available to you in your program account. Your score is automatically reported to TEA and your Teacher Education Preparation Program (if applicable). Your score is the number of questions you answered correctly converted to a scaled score. The score range is 100 to 300. If you did not pass, you can retake the exam after a 45-day waiting period.
How Can I Prepare for the TExES English Language Arts and Reading Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!