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Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT) & TExES

1.3 hours
1.3 hours

Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT) & TExES

Learn about the exam(s) you need to take, and how to prepare and report your scores

COVID-19 Update: Many Praxis tests can now be taken at home. Learn more from ETS.

Jump to:

  • Overview
    • About PACT
      • TExES vs. Praxis
    • Requirements
  • Choose Your Test
    • Program Requirements
    • Subject and Grade Requirements
  • Prepare for the Test
    • Create a Schedule
    • Test Prep Resources
      • Provided by TExES
        • Tests at a Glance
        • Preparation Manuals
        • Interactive Practice Tests
        • Practice Question eBooks
    • Provided by Praxis
      • Preparation Materials for Out-of-State Candidates to Teach in Texas
      • Preparation Materials for Similar Exams
    • Provided by Third Parties
      • Free
      • Paid
  • Take the Test
    • Registration
    • Test Day
    • Your Scores
      • Viewing Your Results
        • TExES Scores
        • Praxis Scores
      • Reporting Your Scores

If you have any questions about your PACT exam or this process, reach out to a TeachDFW application coach or teacher preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.


Here's a bit of background on PACT and your requirements for taking the right exam(s).

About PACT

PACT refers to Pre-Admission Content Tests. They’re required in your application to teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in Texas, including:

  • University post baccalaureate programs
  • Alternative certification programs
  • University alternative certification programs

Out-of-state educators applying for certification in Texas must have their credentials reviewed by the TEA (Texas Education Agency).

TExES vs. Praxis

If you’re looking into PACT, you’ve probably seen the names TExES and Praxis come up. These are tests offered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service).

If you live in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Puerto Rico or Mexico, the PACT is offered through and referred to as the TExES (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards). For a full list of TExES exams, see Tests Offered.

If you live outside of the areas listed above, these Praxis exams may qualify you to teach in Texas:

  • Biology Content Knowledge (5235)
  • Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245)
  • English Language Arts: Content and Analysis (5039)
  • General Science: Content Knowledge (5435)
  • Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)
  • Middle School English Language Arts (5047)
  • Middle School Mathematics (5169)
  • Middle School Science (5440)
  • Middle School Social Studies (5089)
  • Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications (5354)

Our advice? Don't overthink it—just follow the steps below.


You are eligible for PACT if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university OR are scheduled to receive one before being placed in a classroom.
  • Have never been admitted to a teacher preparation program. Note: If you’re transferring from one teacher preparation program to another, contact TEA Educator Certification and Testing at (512) 936-8400.

You have five attempts to pass a certification test.

Choose Your Test

The right PACT exam for you depends on your program and teaching interests.

Program Requirements

All programs require that you pass the content exam at some point. 

For graduate programs, each program will determine when you are required to pass the content exam. See below for a table that illustrates when you’re required to pass the content exam by program:

When do I need to take and pass the content exam?
InstitutionProgramBefore ApplyingAfter Applying, but Before the Program BeginsAfter the Program Begins
Dallas ISD Alternative CertificationAlternative Certification Program  
Dallas Teacher ResidencyResidency Program  
Region 10 ESCAlternative Certification Program  
Relay Graduate School of EducationResidency Program  
Southern Methodist UniversityAll Graduate Programs  
Teach For AmericaAlternative Certification Program  
Texas Woman's UniversityMasters of Arts in Teaching  
Texas Woman's UniversityCertification-Only Program  
University of North Texas at DallasAll Graduate Programs  
University of Texas at DallasCertification-Only Program  
Urban TeachersResidency Program  

Prepare for the Test

There are things you can do to prepare for your test that apply to all subjects. There are also more specific study guides available based on the subject areas and grade levels you’re interested in. We cover them both:

Remember: You’re taking this test for a reason. You want to become a teacher in a specific subject, and this is your chance to prove it. Take the time necessary to truly understand the information. You’ll thank yourself for it (and your students will thank you, too).

We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:

Create a Schedule

  1. Create a work-back schedule. Start by writing down the day of the test. Then, outline the steps you need to accomplish before that end date: Include time for researching test prep resources (our favorites are in the next section), studying your subject matter area and taking practice exams. Here's a template you might want to follow.
    1. Research test prep resources. Check out the next section for our recommendations.
    2. Study your subject matter area. This is where the bulk of your time will be spent. Don't rush it.
    3. Take practice exams. Even when you know the information, you'll be at an advantage getting used to the test-maker's phrasing and topical area distribution.
  2. Make smart right-before-the-test choices. These are the obvious ones: Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a decent breakfast the day of, bring a water bottle, and show up early. Hanging outside the testing center 20 extra minutes is better than causing your brain undue stress minutes before having to think critically.

Not all subject area tests are offered on a continuous basis. Some, including the English Language Arts test, are offered only in specific administration windows.

Test Prep Resources

Once you gain a baseline understanding of a subject area, taking practice tests might be your best way to prepare for a PACT exam.

There are a number of options available from test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too.

Check out Tarleton State University’s Test Prep Resources for additional recommendations.

    Take the Test

    Register for the right exam, know what to expect on test day, and report your scores on time.

    1. 1


      Once you know which exam you’re taking, head over to the online registration system for TExES. There, you will:

      1. Click New User.
      2. Select No TEA ID.
      3. Select pre-admission content tests (PACT).
      4. Enter your personal information.
      5. Follow the prompts to create an account.
      6. Select Register for a test.

      See the TExES creating a new account and registering guide for more instructions.

      Taking a Praxis exam? Click here to register.

    2. 2

      Your Scores

      Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!

      Viewing Your Results

      Paper scores are so yesterday. Get yours online.

      TExES Scores

      1. To find out when your score will be available, review the score reporting details for your test on the TExES Exam bulletin
      2. When they’re available, check out View Scores on the ETS TExES website to see how you did.

      Praxis Scores

      1. To find out when your score will be available, review the Praxis Information Bulletin.
      2. Sign in to your Praxis account to see how you did. For some tests, unofficial scores are available immediately after completing your exam.

      Reporting Your Scores

      Generally, you will report your scores on your online application itself. (Your checklist has a step for this!) 

      In some cases, submitting your “score report” will be part of the required paperwork during a program’s onboarding process.

    3. 3

      Test Day

      You’ve settled on a content area, verified which test is required for your program application, studied hard, and now you’re ready to take the PACT. 

      Make sure you:

      1. Verify your test location. Even if you think you know where your exam is being held, double-check the test center schedule hasn’t changed.
      2. Bring required materials. Depending on the test-maker, you may be required to bring a printed admission ticket, your ID, a calculator or other materials. Double-check with the service you register with.
      3. Dress in layers. Test centers can be chilly, and you’d rather be able to remove a jacket than be uncomfortable for the duration of your exam.
      4. Show up early. You will not be admitted if you miss your reporting time.

      See TExES’ On the Day of the Test or Praxis’ On Test Day page for the nitty-gritty.