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TExES Science of Teaching Reading exam2021-06-15T14:50:15+00:00

New in 2021 – TExES Science of Teaching Reading exam

What you need to know

Starting in 2021, teacher-candidates planning for any elementary and most middle school certification in Texas are required to take the Science of Teaching Reading (293) exam as part of the certification process. This content pedagogy assessment includes both multiple-choice and 1 constructed-response case study-based question and includes some content from the 291 CORE EC-6 ELAR exam.

Science of Teaching Reading exam overview

The Science of Teaching Reading (STR) exam is a new exam developed in part from legislation passed in Texas in 2019. The exam presents 90 selected-response questions and 1 CRQ (constructed-response question) during the 4 hours and 45 minutes of testing time.

Constructed-response questions can include an essay or problem-solving component. These open-ended questions allow the user’s subject knowledge to be tested more thoroughly than with multiple-choice questions alone.

The STR exam covers four domains – Reading Pedagogy, Reading Development: Foundational Skills, Reading Development: Comprehension, and Analysis and Response. Some of the content incorporated in this new exam will be pulled from the 291 ELAR EC-6 subtest. Because of this, overlapping material will be removed from the 391 ELAR EC-6 subtest.

Who needs to take it?

The STR exam is a required test for teachers not standard-certified prior to January 1, 2021. This applies to anyone taking the EC-3 (292), EC-6 (391), CORE 4-8 (211) and ELA 4-8 (113 or 117) exams. Teachers seeking EC-12 SPED certification are not required to take the STR exam at this time.

In 2022, the ELAR 4-8 exam will also be updated.

Certified teachers already employed in Texas school districts have until the start of the 2022-2023 school year to attend a ‘Reading Academy’ focused on the reading science strategies and implementation covered in the exam.

If you’re not sure whether you need to take the STR or qualify for a Reading Academy, use the chart below:

For example, if you enrolled in a certification program in January 2020 and passed your content exams in the spring or summer, you could be hired as a teacher for the 2020-2021 school year. This first teaching year is your “intern year.” During this year, you will need to pass both the PPR (160) and the STR (293) exams. You will also need to complete any program requirements and have your principal recommend you for standard certification. At the end of the year, you should be fully certified.

Alternatively, if you were enrolled at a university and graduated in December 2020, you will likely have taken and passed your content exams and the PPR (160) while in school. You will also finish all coursework and projects required by your teaching program, and can then be recommended for certification. You can be hired to teach starting January 2021 and will not need to take the STR. However, you will need to attend a Reading Academy prior to the 2022-2023 school year.

When should you start studying?

The test is available to take beginning January 2021.

If you plan to be certified in one of the content areas listed above, but know you won’t complete your certification until 2021, you are required to take the STR exam. However, as noted before, some of the 291 CORE: EC-6 content does overlap what is included on the STR exam.

The Science of Teaching Reading (STR) study guide from 240 Tutoring is now available – STR Study Guide

Links and Resources

Science of Teaching Reading Exam FAQs

Science of Teaching Reading (293) Preparation Materials

TExES exams registration

Tips on Constructed Response Questions

240 Tutoring TExES study guides


Article is based on information available from TEA as of September 14, 2020. The Science of Teaching Reading exam and requirements are subject to change prior to the test release date January 1, 2021.