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Passing the TExES PPR Tests
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TestWare®
Inside this book you will find a concise, targeted topical review along with a series
of practice exams that accurately simulate the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities
(PPR) tests of the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards battery. These exams
are known by the acronym TExES, which is pronounced much like Texas. The book
presents material relevant to the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities tests known
as PPR EC–6, PPR EC–12, PPR 4–8 and PPR 8–12. REA’s subject review is designed
to provide you with the information and strategies needed to pass these exams. The practice tests in this book and software package are included in two formats.
They are in printed form in this book, and in TestWare® format on the enclosed CD.
We recommend that you begin your preparation by first taking the practice exams on
your computer. The software provides timed conditions and instantaneous, accurate
scoring, which make it easier to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
ABOUT THE TEST
Who takes the test and what is it used for?
The TExES is taken by individuals seeking teacher certification in Texas. If you
meet any one of the following criteria, you are eligible to take the test:
• Completed an approved educator preparation program at a Texas college or
• Enrolled in an alternative certification program and in the second semester
of a one-year internship
• Fully certified in another state or country other than the U.S. and seek certification in Texas
• Enrolled in the last semester of an educator preparation program at a Texas
college or university on the date that the test is administered
• Hold an appropriate Texas classroom teaching certificate
• Are a post-baccalaureate student eligible to take a test
• Hold a Temporary Teaching Certificate and a bachelor’s degree, and seek
What is the format of the TExES PPR?
Each Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) test contains approximately
ninety multiple-choice questions designed to assess your knowledge of the information
described in the competencies included in our review sections. Eighty of the items are
scored and about ten of the questions are experimental or pilot questions (that will
not be included in your score). You will be given four choices (A, B, C, or D) from
which to select the best answer to each item.
You’ll find three different kinds of multiple-choice questions on the TExES:
• Some of the questions are so-called single-answer items; these questions are
direct or require a sentence completion and address a single competency.
• Some questions are cluster items, which are preceded by a short passage or
scenario. Your answer will be based on the information presented in the passage, not
on your own experiences. It will need to be based on careful analysis of the event or
situation, solving a problem presented in the passage or making a decision based on
the information you are given.
• Finally, the test may contain one or more Teacher Decision Sets that present
situations that a teacher could potentially face while on the job. The Teacher Decision
Sets (TDS) start with a stimulus or general scenario. One or two questions are
based on the original scenario and then further stimuli are presented that lead to more
questions. These further stimuli stem from the original stimulus. Generally, the TDS
will contain two or more stimuli and three to twelve questions in total. The questions
may address competencies from all domains of the test. All of the questions are about
general principles and concepts in education.
What is the difference between the different versions
of the test?
The competencies tested on the four versions of the TExES Pedagogy and Professional
Responsibilities tests are identical. There is no difference in subject matter—only
the scenarios are placed in different, age-appropriate settings. These different settings
address the developmental differences in individuals at various ages and the breadth
and depth of content appropriate to those individuals.
The TExES framework is designed to provide greater specificity by focusing on
content areas for those who wish to teach in kindergarten through grade four and by
providing a broader assessment (in terms of both breadth and depth of knowledge)
for those teaching grades eight through twelve. The TExES testing program is aligned
with, and thus serves as good preparation for teaching the state curriculum in Texas,
the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Which test should I take?
The TExES PPR is more specific than previous certification exams. The version of the
test you take depends on the level of certification you seek and the level of students you
most want to teach. If you want to teach younger students (kindergarten through sixth
grade), you should take the PPR EC–6. If you want to teach grades four through eight, you
should take the PPR 4–8. You should take the PPR 8–12 if you’re planning to teach grades
eight through twelve. If you seek all-level certification, you should take the PPR EC–12.
In addition to the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test appropriate for
the level you wish to teach, you will need to take a content-specific test. Both the Texas
Education Agency and your school can provide you with a complete list of all available
While you are not required to take both the TExES PPR test and a content-area
test on the same day, it is recommended that you do so. Do consider, however, that
each test session is five hours long.
Who administers the test?
The TExES is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS),
in cooperation with the Texas Education Agency. A test development process was designed
and is implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test
are appropriate and based on a state aim of aligning the school curriculum from grade
to grade, from kindergarten through college.
When should the TExES PPR be taken?
The test should be taken just before or after graduation for those seeking certification
right out of school. The TExES is a requirement to teach in Texas, so if you are
planning on being an educator, you must take and pass this test.
If you don’t do well on the TExES, don’t panic! You can take it again, and in fact
many candidates do. A score on the TExES that does not match your expectations
should not change your plans about teaching.
When and where is the test given?
The TExES is usually administered six times a year at several locations throughout
Texas. The usual testing day is Saturday, but the test may be taken on an alternate day
if a conflict, such as a religious obligation, exists.
The TExES Registration Bulletin offers information about test dates and locations,
as well as registration information and how to make testing accommodations for those
with special needs. To receive a registration bulletin, contact:
ETS - Texas Educator Certification Program
PO Box 6001
Princeton, NJ 08541-6001
Phone: (800) 205-2626
Registration bulletins are also available at education departments of Texas colleges
The Texas Education Agency can be reached at (512) 936-8400. You can also
find information about the test and registration on the website atwww.tea.state.tx.us.
Is there a registration fee?
To take the TExES, you must pay a registration fee. All fees must be paid in full, in
US dollars, drawn on a bank in the US or Canada. Fees can be paid by money order,
bank check, US Postal Service money order, or credit card (American Express®, Discover
Network®, Mastercard®, or Visa®). Payments by check or money order should be made
payable to ETS–Texas Educator.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
About the Review Sections
The reviews in this book are designed to help you sharpen the basic skills needed to
approach the TExES, as well as provide strategies for attacking the questions. By using the
reviews in conjunction with the practice tests, you will be better prepared for the actual test.
Each chapter covers a separate domain. The reviews extensively discuss the competencies
contained in the domain and include sample questions based on each competency.
They will give you a better understanding of what the TExES measures.
You have learned most of what you need to succeed on the test through your schooling.
The classes you took should have provided you with the knowledge necessary to
make important decisions about situations you will face as a teacher. Our topical review
is designed to help you fit the information you have acquired into specific competencies.
Reviewing your class notes and textbooks along with studying our domain reviews will
give you an excellent start towards passing the TExES.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the TExES. The earlier you begin, the
more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is
not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the
The importance of careful reading and critical thinking cannot be overlooked
in preparing for the TExES. Set aside regular periods of time each day for prolonged
reading in order to develop the reading stamina required for successfully completing
this type of test. Consider and explore different reading methods to find those that are
most effective for you. For example, you should skim material and then summarize
main ideas and key details in your own words. You should also practice scanning text
to locate specific answers or examples. Practice until you have developed flexibility in
your reading and have a repertoire of strategies to use as the situation demands.
You should have plenty of time in which to complete the TExES, but be aware of the
amount of time you spent on each question so that you allow enough time to complete
the test. Although speed is not very important, a steady pace should be maintained
when answering the questions. The practice tests will help you prepare for this task.
What do I study first?
Read over the competency reviews and the suggestions for test-taking. Studying
the competencies thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you need to do well on the
exam. Within the review section of this book, the competencies are broken down into
a competency statement and a description of what the competency covers. Make sure
to take the practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved
with taking the actual TExES.
To best utilize your study time, follow our TExES PPR Study Schedule located
in the front of this book. The schedule is based on a seven-week program, but can be
condensed to four weeks if necessary.
How to Use This Book
How should I study for the TExES PPR?
It is very important for you to choose the time and place for studying that works
best for you. Some individuals set aside a certain number of hours every morning to
study, while others choose to study at night before going to sleep. Others study during
the day, while waiting in line, or even while eating lunch. Only you can determine
when and where your study time will be most effective. Be consistent and use your
time wisely; work out a study routine and stick to it.
Consider a visit to your local college or university learning resources center or
academic support center to explore your individual learning style. It would also be a
good opportunity to discover what kind of support is offered to individuals planning
to take the TExES.
When you take the practice tests, try to make your testing conditions as much like
the actual test as possible. Turn your television and radio off and sit down at a quiet
table free from distraction.
As you complete each practice test, score your test and thoroughly review the
explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly; however, do not review too
much at any one time. Concentrate on one problem area at a time by reviewing the
question and explanation and studying our review until you are confident that you
completely understand the material.
Keep track of your scores so that you will be able to gauge your progress and discover
general weaknesses in particular sections. You should carefully study the reviews that
cover your areas of difficulty, as this will build your skills in those areas.
TExES PPR TEST-TAKING TIPS
Although you may not be familiar with tests such as the TExES, this book will
help acquaint you with this type of examination and help alleviate your test-taking
anxieties. Listed below are ways to help you become accustomed to the TExES, some
of which may be applied to other tests as well.
• Get comfortable with the format of the TExES. When you are practicing,
simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and
pace yourself. After simulating the test only once, you will boost your chances of doing
well, and you will be able to sit down for the actual TExES with much more confidence.
• Read all of the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the
correct response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read through
each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
• Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and
eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating two answer choices,
you have given yourself a better chance of getting the item correct since there will only
be two choices left from which to make your guess. Do not leave an answer blank; it
is better to guess than not to answer a question on the TExES.
• Work quickly and steadily. You will have five hours to complete the test, so
work quickly and steadily to avoid focusing on any one problem too long. Taking the
practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your precious time.
• Learn the directions and format of the test. Familiarizing yourself with the
directions and format of the test will not only save time, but will also help you avoid
nervousness (and the mistakes caused by getting nervous).
• Develop reading stamina. Reading for four or more hours at one sitting requires
a good deal of stamina. Practice reading for longer stretches. Practice various reading
strategies: skimming for main ideas and general information, scanning for details and
specific c information, and careful reading for memory. Upon completing a passage,
think back and summarize what you have read. Be sure you are reading to understand
ideas and concepts, not merely reading the words.
• Be sure that the answer circle you are marking corresponds to the number of
the question in the test booklet. Since the test is multiple-choice, it is graded by machine,
and marking one wrong answer can throw off your answer key and your score.
Be extremely careful.
THE DAY OF THE TEST
Before the Test
On the day of the test, you should wake up early and have a good breakfast. Make sure to dress comfortably, so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. Plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test, and will also spare you the anguish that comes with being late. You should arrive at the test center at 7:30
a.m. for the morning administration, or 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon session.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure that you have your admission ticket
and two forms of identification (e.g., driver’s license), one of which must contain a
recent photograph, your name, and signature. You will not be admitted to the test
center without proper identification.
You must bring several No. 2 pencils with erasers, as none will be provided at the
test center. If you would like, you may wear a watch to the test center. However, you may not
wear one that makes noise, because it may disturb the other test takers. No dictionaries,
textbooks, notebooks, calculators (except for Mathematics Tests 135, 174, and 143,
for which you may bring your own calculator, so long as it is one of the brands and
models specified in the TExES bulletin), briefcases, or packages will be permitted.
Drinking, smoking, and eating are prohibited.
During the Test
The TExES is administered in one sitting with breaks. Procedures will be followed
to maintain test security.
Once you enter the test center, follow all of the rules and instructions given by
the test supervisor. If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the test and having
your scores cancelled.
When all of the materials have been distributed, the test instructor will give you
directions for filling out your answer sheet. Fill out this sheet carefully since this information
will be printed on your score report.
During the test, be sure to mark only one answer per question, erase unwanted
answers and marks completely, and fill in answers darkly and neatly.
After the Test
When you finish your test, hand in your materials and you will be dismissed. Then,
go home and relax—you deserve it!