One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Preparing for Texes

History - 8th – 12th Grade Teaching and History – Social Studies 8th – 12th Grade Teaching

What is TExES?

TExES is the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards. Texas Administrative Code 230.5 (b) requires every person seeking educator certification to perform satisfactorily on comprehensive examinations to ensure that each educator has the prerequisite content and professional knowledge to perform satisfactorily in Texas schools.

Who Must Take the TExES?

All History 8-12 and History Social Studies 8th-12th majors intending to be certified as teachers have to pass the TExES either prior to graduation, or afterwards. Students who wish to take the TExES prior to graduation may only do so if they first pass the History 8-12 or Social Studies Composite “benchmark test,” both of which are administered by the History Department.

How Can I Prepare for the TExES?

The TExES is a challenging exam and passage of the exam is by no means certain. Accordingly, the History Department advisors make every effort to identify History 8-12 and History Social Studies 8th-12th majors as early in their university careers as possible—ideally before the end of their sophomore years—and to impress upon them the need to start their preparation for the exam as early as possible. Students should make a personal effort to maximize their historical/social studies reading and acquaint themselves with all the historical/social studies competency areas tested by the TExES.

History faculty also try to enhance prospective TExES takers’ chances by incorporating some TExES competency essay questions into their tests and other assignments. Since 1999, the History Department has added two “capstone courses” (American History Senior Seminar and World History Senior Seminar) to the list of required courses for all History majors and students seeking teaching certification in History. These courses can aid a student in reviewing and synthesizing their historical knowledge, but cannot assure TExES success. Indeed, nothing can guarantee a student will pass the TExES except the student’s own diligent application to mastering all competency areas covered by the TExES. These competency areas are listed and defined in the TExES Preparation Manual which is available to students in the History Department Office (MRCHS-306), or from Mr. Jim Mills, the History Department's TExES contact person (MRCHS-302), or may be downloaded from

Workshops and Benchmark Tests

The History Department offers workshops each year to help prepare students for both the History 8th-12th and History Social Studies 8th-12th “benchmark tests” and ultimately the TExES. These workshops (two 3-hour sessions) are usually scheduled one to two weeks in advance of each benchmark test, and incorporate a limited amount of content review, test preparation advice and practice tests. Mr. James Mills leads the sessions but he may also call on the assistance and expertise of other instructors. All prospective Benchmark and TExES exam takers are strongly advised to participate in these workshops.

Spring 2012 Workshop/Benchmark and TExES Schedule


For both History 8-12 and Social Studies Composite






May 19, 2012

April 20, 2012

March 19, 2012
April 9, 2012

March 26, 2012
April 16, 2012


All workshops and Benchmark Exams will be held on Mondays, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Cardenas South, Room 301.

James W. Mills – S302
Office: (956) 882-3860
History Dept: (956) 882-8260
Helpful website:


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