TExES Principal Exam

The TExES Principal exam is used by all Texas state schools and licensing agencies to certify potential principals in relation to the qualities required for entry-level candidates. This exam will test your skills, knowledge, and abilities related to leadership and creating an effective and positive learning environment for all members of the school community.

Who is Eligible?

Eligibility for any TExES exam is based on your ability to meet the required criteria for at least one of the following routes:

Educator Preparation Program (EPP) and Out-of-state/country candidates will need to gain approval through their program, create a TEA Login account and get a TEA ID number, and create a TExES testing account.

Candidates using a Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT), charter schools, or certification-by-exam will not need to create a TEA account as you will already have a TEA number through your program. You will then need only to create a TExES testing account and register to take the exam.

There is a fee of $116 to take this exam, which must be paid during registration.

When and Where is it Taken?

This exam can be scheduled year-round at computer-administrated Pearson VUE sites all throughout the state of Texas and nationwide. Most testing sites are open Monday through Friday for 15 hours a day, except on holidays. Some Saturday testing sessions are available as well.

Choosing a date, time, and location that is convenient for you should be done as soon as possible as space and seating are limited and are filled on a first come, first served basis.

If you need to reschedule or cancel your exam appointment, you can do so through your TExES account. This must be done at least 48 hours before your original testing session. Changes cannot be made after that point and will result in you forfeiting your exam fees if you do not show up.

Special accommodations can be made for those with disabilities or who may not be able to test under normal circumstances. This must be requested during the registration process and supporting documentation will need to be provided for approval.

What Should I Bring?

You should plan to arrive at the testing center at least 15 minutes before your scheduled exam. Those who arrive late will not be able to test that day and will have to reschedule, forfeiting any registration fees.

Upon arrival, you will need to complete a check-in process that requires you to present at two forms of current and valid personal identification. These must be in English, contain your signature and your full name as it appears on your registration. One must also contain a recent and recognizable photo, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID card.  

All other personal items should be left at home or in your car. Items such as the following are not permitted and will be assigned to a locker for the duration of the exam.

  • Wallets and keys
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Cell phones and electronic devices
  • Food or drinks
  • Study materials, pencils, and paper
  • Calculators

You will be given a supplemental booklet including a Texas Academic Performance Report on your computer screen to be used on the exam.

What is Covered?

This exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. You are given a five-hour time period to complete the exam. This includes 15 minutes for a short tutorial and compliance agreement.

Below is a brief summary of each main section or domain included on the exam with the approximate amount of weight it is given.

School Community Leadership (33%)

This domain will ask about your understanding of how to articulate, develop, implement and steward a positive learning culture, as well as communicate and collaborate effectively with all members of the school community and to act in accordance with proper legal and ethical guidelines.

Instructional Leadership (44%)

In this domain, you will need to prove your abilities to design and facilitate curricula, instruction, and resources to assist in student learning and student performance/assessment, as well as professional staff growth and their evaluations and assessments.

Administrative Leadership (23%)

Here, the questions will be based your understanding of how to lead and manage in relationship to budgeting, school finances, resources and technology uses, and personnel issues that help to sustain and promote a healthy learning environment.

How is it Scored?

Scores are reported by 10 pm central time on the score report date assigned for your testing day. This date should have been made available to you during registration. These will be available on your TExES account online and will automatically be sent to TEA and your EPP if applicable. Paper copies are not sent to anyone.

Your raw score (number of correctly answered questions) is converted to a scaled score ranging from 100-300 based on the difficulty of the items given to you. You must receive a score of at least 240 to be considered passing.

If you fail this exam and would like to retake it, you can do so by reregistering and submitting a new exam fee. Your retake of the exam must be at least 45 days after your last attempt to be approved. Only five attempts are allowed for any TExES certification exam.

If you have passed this exam, you can apply for certification no sooner than 7-10 business days after your scores have been reported. This can be done through your ECOS account.  

How Can I Prepare for the TExES Principal Test?

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: June 28, 2019