Out-of-State Educator Test Exemption Review

The test exemption process provides an opportunity for exemption from all, some, or no exams. To be eligible for test exemption, we require a standard certificate issued by the state department of education or country of licensure that is equivalent to a Texas standard classroom or professional class certificate, verification of acceptable service and verification of completed exams required for certification.

The rule is located in the Texas Administrative Code §152.1001.

Out-of-State Educator Test Exemption Review– Required Documents

Individuals interested in seeking an exemption from required Texas examinations have 2 options to have their file reviewed for test exemption. The educator must submit:

Option 1

  1. A review of credentials application and $164 fee, and all required documentation as indicated on the application.
  2. Official verification of tests taken for issuance of licensure outside of Texas. This may be submitted to TEA by either option below:
    (a) Contact your state licensing agency so they can fill out the Verification of tests for test exemption (PDF) form (Word version also available).
    Or 
    (b) Submit official test score reports.  
    • Official test score reports sent directly from the testing company to TEA
      or
    • Official test score reports in a sealed envelope, sent from the testing company to the educator and forwarded to TEA
      or
    • Official test score reports sent from the educator via Help Desk Ticket with “Official Test Scores” in the subject line.
      or
    • Official test score reports uploaded via the My Documents tab on the left side of the ECOS menu (in your account). 
  3.  Verification of experience completed and submitted by email to OSC75@tea.texas.gov by the employing school, verifying required years of experience:   
    • Classroom teachers: 1 academic year of verifiable, wage-earning, full-time experience as a classroom teacher
    • Administrator and student service certificates: 2 academic years of verifiable, wage-earning, full-time experience in the certificate area.
    • Verification of experience for test exemptions (PDF) (Word version also available).
  4. Verification of accreditation is required if service was earned in a private school or in any school outside of the United States.  

Option 2

You may be eligible for test exemption based on a recent change to the TAC §152.1001(c)(1)(D)(ii) Exceptions to Examination Requirements for Individuals Certified Outside the State that became effective on 1/10/2023. The educator must submit:

  1. A review of credentials application and $164 fee, and all required documentation as indicated on the application.
  2. Verification of experience completed and submitted by email to OSC75@tea.texas.gov by the employing school, verifying required years of experience:
    (a) Classroom teachers, administrators, and student service certificates: 3 academic years of verifiable, wage-earning, full-time experience in the certificate area.(b) Verification of experience for test exemptions (PDF) (Word version also available).
  3. Verification of accreditation is required if service was earned in a private school or in any school outside of the United States.

TEA will not accept verification forms directly from the educator.

Certification earned based on experience or coursework does not exempt the educator from Texas tests.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I required to take tests in Texas to obtain my standard certificate?
    If you were required to take tests to obtain the certificates that you submitted for the review of credentials, you may submit additional documentation for possible exemption of Texas tests. Out-of-state test scores will not be considered without a review of credentials
  2. How does the test exemption rule affect my review of credentials application?  
    • Applications submitted April 1, 2018, and beyond will be reviewed for test exemption as part of the standard review of credentials process.
    • Educators that want to be considered for test exemption under the new rule that applied and had a review completed before April 1, 2018, are required to submit a new review of credentials application, and pay the $164 application fee.
  3. Why was I not exempt from the STR?  
    Extensive research was conducted, and it has already been predetermined what exams we are accepting for the STR.  You can find the list of states with similar exams in the commissioner’s rules for test exemption.
  4. Are certified Principals and Superintendents and student services certificates eligible for test exemption?
    Yes. Educators certified Principals, Superintendents, or certificates in a student services area (i.e. School Counselor, School Librarian, Educational Diagnostician, and Reading Specialist) are eligible for test exemption. Educators holding a student services certificate must submit the review of credentials application, documents for the review, the appropriate fee, and required test exemption documents.
  5. What if my country does not issue teacher certificates?
    If your country does not issue teacher certificates signed by an authorized department of education, you will not be eligible for test exemption. You must take and pass the appropriate TExES tests for certification. Your required TExES tests will be identified through your completed review of credentials.
  6. I took content exams in 2 states. What do I submit?  
    To be considered for test exemption, the exams completed must correspond with the certificate for that state. You will want to submit a copy of any certificate(s) you hold in another state, even if the certificate(s) has expired. 

    Please note, Basic skills or pre content are exams are not accepted. We ask that you only submit content area exams that were required for issuance of your out-of-state credential. If your state or country did not require certification tests, separate from degree requirements, then you are not eligible for test exemption under the new rule.
  7. What if I cannot provide one or more of the required documents for test exemption?  
    No other documents will be reviewed in lieu of the required documents for test exemption. If you are unable to submit all required documents for test exemption, you must take and pass the appropriate TExES tests for certification. Your required TExES tests will be identified through your completed review of credentials. 
  8. What if I do not have the required work experience to be considered for test exemption?   
    An academic year consists of 180 full time days, or 2 years at 50% of the day with a minimum of 180 days.  Experience less than 50% of the day is not recognized. 
    • Teachers:   
      Test exemption for classroom teachers cannot be granted without verification of 1 academic year of full-time, wage-earning experience. If you do not have this experience, you may obtain the One-Year certificate, after the review of credentials is complete, so that you can work for one year in Texas. The verification of experience should be submitted once the year of experience is completed. If service is under 180 days, the dates of service along with the number of days is required to be completed on the form. Service completed prior to the bachelor’s degree conferred date is not accepted. Postdated service will not be accepted.  
    • Teachers that also hold administrative/student services certificates:
      Test exemption for holders of an administrative or student services certificate cannot be granted without verification of 2 academic years of full-time, wage-earning experience in the role where the exemption is sought. If you have one-year of experience in the role, you may obtain the second year while working on a One-Year certificate. If you do not have any experience in the role, you will be unable to earn the 2 years of experience during the One-Year certificate period and must take the TExES test.  
    • Educators that hold a stand-alone administrative or student service certificate:
      Individuals that do not hold a teaching certificate and hold only an administrative or student services certificate must have 2 academic years of full-time, wage-earning experience in the role to be eligible for reciprocity in Texas. The 2 years of experience that qualify the educator for a Texas certificate can also be used to qualify for test exemption.  

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) tests are accepted for certification testing requirements in Texas. You must also hold a standard certificate in a corresponding subject area and grade level that was issued by your state department of education. You must request official verification of National Board Certified Teacher status by contacting NBPTS at Customer Support (800) 228-3224. Teachers with an active National Board certificate may be eligible to earn an automatic Recognized designation through the Texas Teacher Incentive Allotment and generate between $3,000 and $9,000 annually for their district. NBCTs moving to Texas from out of state must update their information in the NBCT directory to receive the Recognized designation.