What Is a PACT Test and Do I Need to Take It?

We Answer Every Question You Have About the PACT Test

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What Is It?

PACT stands for “Pre-Admission Content Test”. These tests can be used for admission to  educator preparation programs (EPPs) or alternative teacher certification programs in the state of Texas.  The PACT may also be used as part of the process to gain an intern certificate or to demonstrate content mastery for some charter schools.  The PACT is different from the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) certification  exams since it focuses on subject-matter knowledge, while the TExES includes both subject-matter knowledge and pedagogy.

Basically, the PACT is a test that some educator preparation programs in Texas use as part of their admission process.

Beginning January 27, 2020, a new series of exams was released specifically for individuals gaining entry into Educator Preparation Programs that require a PACT score. There is a different PACT exam for each subject area in which teachers can become certified, and the test content is different from the TExES. There are 35 different PACT exams, including an Essential Academic Skills exam – so a person wanting to teach high school Mathematics will take a different PACT exam than a person who hopes to get certified in 4-8 Social Studies.

One thing to note about the new PACT exams is that there is no content related specifically to teaching, or pedagogy. This was a point of contention with the previous PACT structure since it used the same TExES exams used in the educator certification process.

Who Is It For?

The PACT exams are a unique set of exams used only for individuals seeking admittance to an Educator Preparation Program in Texas.  You will need to take a PACT if one of the circumstances below applies to you:

  1. Your GPA is less than 2.5, or
  2. You have not completed at least 12 credit hours in the subject area that you are seeking certification, or
  3. You have not completed at least 15 credit hours in the subject area that you are seeking certification, and you are seeking certification in math or science for grade 7 or higher

IMPORTANT: Not all Educator Preparation Program require a PACT exam for admission. Please contact your prospective Educator Preparation Program to see if they require a PACT exam.

How Does It Affect Me?

Candidates may take the PACT if they already have a bachelor’s degree, or they are in their final semester at an accredited university.  Those who are taking the PACT as part of an intensive pre-service program are limited to the first attempt and four retakes (for a total of five attempts) to take the PACT.

Candidates do not need to take the PACT if they are seeking certification in an area other than classroom teacher, they are certified in another state, or they are seeking certification in an area with other skill and experience requirements, such as Health Science.

If you are seeking admission into a Texas Educator Preparation Program that requires the PACT exam after January 27, 2020, then this change affects you.  You can learn more about the specific PACT exam required for your certification area on the TX PACT Content Exam list.

Certain certification areas with specific skill and experience requirements, such as Braille, Gifted and Talented Supplemental, or Visually Impaired do not have PACT exams available for those certification areas.  The full list is available on the Pre-Admission Content Test page for the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program.

If you have already taken and passed your TExES exam – it won’t affect you.

If you are a certified teacher in the state of Texas- it won’t affect you. 

How Do I Know I Need To Take It?

The easiest way to find out is by contacting your Educator Preparation Program.

The best thing to do is have any answer you receive from your Educator Preparation Program emailed to you, so you have it in writing and can refer back to it to determine whether or not you need to take a PACT exam.

While you’re doing that, you should also verify which PACT exam your prospective Educator Preparation Program requires since this exam series offers content-specific exams. It would be terrible to study for and pass a PACT exam that your potential Educator Preparation Program doesn’t accept or one that won’t allow you to gain the teaching certification you want.

How Do I Register?

You can register for the PACT exam through the Texas Educator Agency’s (TEA) Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).

For the new PACT exams, first-time testing candidates will need to create a TEA account and obtain a TEA ID number prior to registering for an exam. Once you have completed this step, you will go to the online registration system on this website and create a testing account.

Which Test Do I Take?

You would need to contact your desired educator preparation program to see which exact test they recommend you take.  You can also refer to the TX PACT Chart for a list of PACT exams that correspond with certification areas.

How Do I Prepare For a PACT Exam?

This is the easiest answer of all – use a 240 Tutoring study guide!

Every 240 Tutoring study guide is aligned to the published PACT standards, has the most authentic, aligned questions of any resource on the market, and comes with a guarantee of passing.

Take a look at every PACT study guide we offer AND take a free practice test.