Out-of-State Test Exemption FAQ's

This page answers questions about test exemption requirements for individuals certified outside of Texas. These rules are effective May 3, 2018, TAC Chapter§152.1001.

Eligible Educators

1. How do these new rules 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.
2. Am I automatically considered for test exemption?

No. You must submit the required test exemption documents to be considered.
 
3. If I submit a new review of credentials application, do I need to resubmit my teaching certificate and transcripts?
No. However, if you have added new certificate areas or received a new degree since your last review of credentials, you must send these new documents for an updated review of credentials.

4. How long does the review process take?
Once all required documents have been received for test exemption, it can take several weeks to several months depending on the volume of applications.
 
5. Why do reviews for test exemption take so long?
Reviews for test exemption cannot be finalized until the review of credentials has been completed. Test reviews are processed in the order of the documents receipt date. Reasons for delay:

  •  High volume of requests received for test exemption 
  •  Verification of experience has not been received or is unacceptable because:
    •  It was not sent from the employing district
    •   It is incomplete
    •   It is unclear and clarification is needed
    •   It does not meet the minimum number of days to qualify for test exemption (see question under section: Work Experience Required)
     
  • Test verification form has not been received or is unacceptable because:
    •  It was not completed by your state’s Department of Education
    •  It was incomplete
    •  The state that issued the certificate you submitted for review does not match the state that submitted the test verification form
    •  Test scores received are not official

6. What teaching areas are eligible for test exemption under this new rule?
All classroom area certificates issued by SBEC/TEA are eligible for test exemption.
 
7. Are certified Principals and Superintendents eligible for test exemption?  Yes. Certified Principals and Superintendents must submit the review of credentials application, documents for review, the appropriate fee, and required test exemption documents

8. Are student services certificates eligible for test exemption?
Yes. Educators certified 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.
 
9. Am I eligible for a refund of a review of credentials application that I submitted prior to 04/01/2018?
No. As stated in the application, the review of credentials application is non-refundable. Fees for the One-Year and Standard certificates, that have not issued, may be refunded.

Required Test Exemption Documentation

1. What if I cannot provide one or more 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.

2. What if my state or country did not require certification exams to obtain a teacher certificate?
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.
 
3. Will TEA accept a copy of my official test scores? TEA will accept the following:

  • Official test score reports 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 verification of test scores from the state board where you received your certificate

4. Will TEA accept other documents in lieu of certification exams or a standard teaching certificate?
No. Other documents will not be reviewed for test exemption.
 
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.

Work Experience Requirements

1. What if I do not have the required work experience to be considered for test exemption? 

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. The verification of experience must be submitted within 18 months from the date of application or a new review application and fee will be required.

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 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.

    2. I earned my experience in a Texas public school. Do they have to submit the new verification of experience form for test exemption?

    Your employing Texas public school may send a copy of your service record to TEA for review to determine if it meets test exemption requirements.

    3. I took tests, have a year of experience, but do not have a standard teaching certificate from outside the state of Texas. What are my options?
    If you are unable to provide all required documents for the credentials review including a standard certificate issued by a state department of education or your country's licensing agency, you are not eligible to apply as an out-of-state or out-of-country certified applicant. You will need to enroll in a Texas approved educator preparation program and will be required to take TExES tests for certification.
     
    4. What options does my school have for submitting my experience?
    If your school uses their own service record or a similar form with the same information in a year-by-year format, it may be submitted for review. 
     
    5. Will TEA accept a contract in lieu of a service record or the verification of experience form?
    A contract cannot be used in lieu of a service record, or the verification of experience form. 

    6. What is an academic year? 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.

    7. Do I have to send all my service records?  No, we only need verification of  the minimum required years of experience for test exemption.