TEA/SBEC Updates

Important Information

Educator Certification Examination Retake FAQs

Beginning September 1, 2015 candidates will be limited to four attempts to retake any educator
certification examination. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is implementing this change to Texas
Education Code §21.048 in response to HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015. The State Board for
Educator Certification (SBEC) may prescribe rules in the Texas Administrative Code to administer these
changes. More information will be shared as rules are adopted.

The following paragraphs provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding this change to statute.

I have never taken a certification test before. How does change affect me?

 An individual will have five attempts to take a certification examination. The five attempts include the first attempt to pass the examination and four retakes. The five attempts include any of the test approval methods (PACT, EPP, out of state, charter, and CBE). If the individual is unable to successfully pass the examination after five attempts, the individual will not be allowed to take the examination again unless the SBEC waives the limitation for good cause. If an individual is not able to pass an examination that is a requirement for a given certification, the individual will not be able to be issued a probationary or standard certificate in that certification field.

How do I apply for a waiver to the four retake limitation?

 The SBEC will prescribe rules for a waiver. These rules are anticipated to be in effect May of 2016. With this change in statute, it is even more important for educator preparation programs to establish benchmarks and structured assessments of an educator candidate’s progress towards certification. Educator candidates and preparation programs need to work together to determine readiness for attempting any certification exam. Educators who are not seeking test approval through an educator preparation program need to determine their own readiness when seeking test approval through one of the other methods (PACT, out of state, charter, and CBE).

I failed a certification test before September 1, 2015? How does this change affect me?
All attempts to pass a certification examination before September 1, 2015 count as one attempt for purposes of the statute. After September 1, 2015 an individual will have four opportunities to retake the examination regardless of the number of times the individual attempted the examination in the past.

How long do I have to wait before I can retake an examination?

If an individual fails an examination, the individual must wait 45 days before retaking the same examination. For example, if an individual fails the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (160) examination, the individual cannot retake that examination for 45 days. For the Core Subjects examinations, an individual must wait 45 days between the initial examination (291 or 211) and an attempt to retake the whole examination or any subject area subtest (801–809). After the 45-day waiting period from the initial examination, if an individual chooses to take a single subject area subtest (e.g. Science 804), the individual does not have to wait 45 days before retaking a different subtest (e.g. Social Studies 803). If an individual fails a subject area subtest (e.g. Science 804), the individual does have to wait 45 days before the individual can retake the same subject area subtest (e.g. Science 804).