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).
PACT refers to Pre-Admission Content Tests. They’re required in your application to teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in Texas, including:
Out-of-state educators applying for certification in Texas must have their credentials reviewed by the TEA (Texas Education Agency).
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:
Our advice? Don't overthink it—just follow the steps below.
You are eligible for PACT if you:
You have five attempts to pass a certification test.
The right PACT exam for you depends on your program and teaching interests.
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:
|Institution||Program||Before Applying||After Applying, but Before the Program Begins||After the Program Begins|
|Dallas ISD Alternative Certification||Alternative Certification Program||✅|
|Dallas Teacher Residency||Residency Program||✅|
|Region 10 ESC||Alternative Certification Program||✅|
|Relay Graduate School of Education||Residency Program||✅|
|Southern Methodist University||All Graduate Programs||✅|
|Teach For America||Alternative Certification Program||✅|
|Texas Woman's University||Masters of Arts in Teaching||✅|
|Texas Woman's University||Certification-Only Program||✅|
|University of North Texas at Dallas||All Graduate Programs||✅|
|University of Texas at Dallas||Certification-Only Program||✅|
|Urban Teachers||Residency Program||✅|
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:
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.
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.
Register for the right exam, know what to expect on test day, and report your scores on time.