Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Science 7-12
Study & Test Strategies

Strategy 1

Submitted by Xavier

Study Strategy

If this test is taken seriously it is not that difficult. I failed the first time around thinking that my background in science ( toxicology degree with a minor in chemistry) would suffice for majority of the test. STUDY.COM STUDY.COM STUDY.COM. It does cost $60 a month but if you use study.com and study all the material that they offer you will pass. Study.com even offers a month free trial so if you time it properly you could actually use study.com for free. I also used certifyteacher.com for practice questions. Certifyteacher is good for explanations about their practice questions but their question bank is only about 10 questions per competency. Texas teachers offers a discount for certifyteacher that makes it pretty affordable. After I failed the first time around I dedicated at least four hours a day to studying for about six weeks.

Testing Strategy

I failed the test the first time with a 226. I take responsibility for that I did not come close to properly studying the material. There is such a wide array of questions that the test could choose from you need to give yourself time to properly study all of the material. Some of the major topics I can remember from my test are properties and laws of gases, oxidation-reduction reactions, understanding how to properly calculate force ( incline planes, coefficient of static friction, etc.), simple harmonic motion, projectiles, laws of thermodynamic, acid base reactions, phases of the moon, etc. I can't say it enough if you study everything that study.com has and understand it you will pass. I used study.com in conjunction with the preparation manual and went though every domain. Also complete the practice assessment in the preparation manual and buy the $10 ETS interactive practice test, some of those questions could be on the actual exam just in different wording. Both times i took the test I didn't bother studying domains 1 and 10 they're mostly common sense and I only missed one question per domain each time. First time I studied independently and relied on my prior knowledge and failed with a 226. The second time I used study.com and googled and youtubed any thing that I had questions about. I passed with a 253.

Strategy 2

Submitted by Adrian

Study Strategy

I can’t even describe how helpful the Study.com program was!! It is pricey at 60$/month, but I followed the study schedule and only subscribed for 1 month. Built my own flashcard decks for concepts I wasn’t confindent on. Study.com chunks the info into short reading exercises with a corresponding video, followed by a quiz. You “test out” of material you already know, input a targeted completion date, and it builds a weekly study schedule by chapters to keep you on track. Another great resource was the practice tests on Examedge.com. I purchased 5 for around 50$ total, they offer great explanations and are an excellent representation of the exam.
PURCHASE THE 10$ INTERACTIVE EXAM FROM PEARSON!!! It seemed like quite a few of the questions on the actual exam are copied from the practice exam!!!
I also purchased the Mometrix flash cards and study manual. I can’t recommend these, they were somewhat beneficial as a secondary resource, but are not setup to be used a primary study tool.

Testing Strategy

Easier than I expected, but far more difficult than the 4-8 science. I studied for a month(2 hours per night and 5+hrs per day on weekends) using Study.com’s goal schedule. Was scoring around 250 on the ExamEdge practice exams, which correlated to a 277 on the actual exam.(first attempt!!!)
You need to know major concepts from each discipline, with a heavy focus on Chem and Physics. Need to know Newton’s Laws, Thermodynamics, calculating forces on inclined planes(sin/cos), kinematics, chemical nomenclature, chemical bonding shapes, moles, volume laws, etc.
For earth science it was simple questions about earth structures, tectonics, star life cycles, Moon position, etc.
Biology was cell structures, dna & rna replication steps, food webs, niches&competition, relationships, genetics, etc.
Overall the questions are not difficult, but they span such a wide range of disciplines. I marked around 15 for review, and had a 10 minute snack break(call ahead and see if they allow you to store a drink and snacks in a locker) and mental recharge break before resuming the test.
Don’t be scared of this test! Give yourself a month to prepare, be diligent in your studies, and you’ll be confident walking into the exam!!!!

Strategy 3

Submitted by Corey

Study Strategy

I was a Biology major and, a few years ago, studied intensely for the MCAT (which I ended up doing well on after a couple tries). The majority of my studying was on the TExES Science 7-12 (236) review on study.com. I started out watching all the videos or sometimes just skimming the text for things I didn't have cemented in my memory. If I didn't have it memorized I added it to a running document of things I would review before the test... I took screenshots of formulas, wrote bullet points, etc. That document ended up being almost 100 pages of single-spaced, 12 point font! Doing that was really beneficial though. I got 121 of 140 questions correct on the interactive test on ETS. I took the ExamEdge (TExESprep) first full exam and got only 108 out of 140 questions right (score 260). If I had to do it again, I would have given myself more time to take practice tests and review ALL of the answers. But reviewing the tests I did take was definitely beneficial.

Testing Strategy

The test was about as difficult as I expected. I marked the questions I wasn't sure of and waited to spend more time on them until I finished all the easier questions. I spent every minute of the time I was allowed... I was the last person there. I ended up scoring a 284!!! Creating the the study guide of things that I needed to review was really beneficial. Study.com and taking/reviewing the ExamEdge tests prepared me very well. I studied for several hours a day for about a month.

Strategy 4

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used Certify Teacher to study for this test along with googling content that I didn't understand from the questions. The practice question bank for Certify Teacher is rather small and when you get to the point to take the practice exam the questions were all the same. The answer explanations were good and I feel these were the only useful things from it. I feel the practice questions were much much much easier than the ones on my actual test. I went to UT Austin and had a degree in microbiology and I definitely left that test feeling as if I failed and had started making the arrangements to take the Life Science test because I heard it was easier. I felt as if the chemistry problems were so specific and were very difficult and for the physics you need to know energy, force, velocity, acceleration, and the PV=nRT equations. I had just graduated and didn't study too hard (about 20 hours) because of the difficulty of the questions from Certify Teacher. Also, the astrology questions were so random and very difficult.

Testing Strategy

The test was MUCH harder than I had expected. Don't take studying for it lightly. I passed with a 240 and was very shocked to see that. My test had 140 questions and after about question 90 I wanted to just get up and walk out because I was so frustrated with how difficult the questions were compared to the practice stuff I had done.

Strategy 5

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I haven't opened a book regarding Biology since I graduated with my BS 4 years ago. I started studying about 4 months before the exam;I didn't really start studying seriously until about 2 weeks before the exam. I used the Biology for Dummies book to help refresh all of the topics which really helped me out. It didn't go into much detail, it just went over the basics and important items to remember and gave helpful tips and hints to remember things. I also came across a new study guide that was just created by Cirrus called, TExES Life Science 7-12. It went over all of the material the test covered and it had practice questions throughout the text, as well as 2 practice exams at the end. I felt that this book was a bit on the tougher side when it came to the practice questions, but it really helped me think. The final source I used was on Certify Teacher and it was the study guide for this exam. It has a bunch of practice exams and questions and helps you find out your weak areas and focus on those. I feel that all 3 of these sources really helped me with digging up the hidden information in my brain, as well as remember it for the actual test. I did also watch Crash Course Biology videos on YouTube to help supplement the topics that I read.

Testing Strategy

Going into the test I was nervous, but I left feeling pretty confident. I will say that the test was very similar to the practice exams on the Certify Teacher site I used, as well as the ETS TExES Prep Manual. I think if you were to read up on all of the topics and take a few practice tests, it will really help you. I feel that it helped me focus, slow down and actually read the questions and not rush through them! Just do not rush yourself and take as much time as you need!

Strategy 6

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

It had been 10 years since I had any Science courses in college, so I studied everything equally. I would suggest to focus more on Physics and Chemistry, as that is a large bulk of the test. I used the Crash Course videos on YouTube and Khan Academy for things I felt Crash Course didn't cover enough. I also went through all of the competencies and listed anything that I wasn't familiar with to make sure I covered all of my bases. I studied for a few weeks before taking the exam.

Testing Strategy

The test is really focused more on generalities than it will be about specific calculations. Definitely focus on Chemistry and Physics as that was almost half of the test questions. It took me a little over 2 hours to take the computer-based test. I left feeling mediocre about my performance. Test scores came back in 3 days and I passed with a 257. I got 91 out of 120 questions correct; the other 20 questions were trial questions. Hope this helps!

Strategy 7

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I tried Mometrix book and flash cards. The book is awful and the flash cards are worse. The book is nothing more than bullet points of things to study, under incorrect subjects and tons of mistakes and typos. Even their practice test had mistakes. Their flash cards aren't really flash cards. Each card had a broad question on one side with an essay answer on the other. Nothing like you will experience on the test. I took the Study.com course, and it was AMAZING. It takes a long time, and goes very deep, but if you can understand pretty much everything in it, the test will seem easy. I spent about 4 weeks, 3-4 hours a day with the Study.com course and passed their final exam with 95%. I then took practice tests on TExESprep.com and got really discouraged. I took 6 tests and got around 70% correct on all of them, barely passing. However, if you do this, do not be discouraged. The actual test was much easier than the TExESprep.com tests and much closer to the Study.com test.

Testing Strategy

I passed my actual test with 94%, 8 questions wrong, 289 score. The test was MUCH easier than i thought, very superficial questions. Good luck, you can do it! We need Science teachers!

Strategy 8

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

In studying for the test, the very first thing I did was take the online practice exam on the TExES site. This let me see the format of the test, as well as determine what topics I needed to review. I did not study for Chemistry or Physics, as I am straight out of college. However, both can be learned through KhanAcademy.com. For Biology, there are a number of website devoted to Biology topics, so I just Googled individual topics I needed a refresher on. Earth Science and Astronomy were a little more tricky for me. I bought a study book made by XAMonline.com from Barnes and Noble to study. However, the book was a disaster in terms of grammar, equations being smeared across the page, and images being non-existent or blacked out. I cannot recommend this book for purchase.

Testing Strategy

The questions were not very in-depth, so heavy calculations were not required. A very basic understanding of all topics in Chemistry and Physics will suffice. Reading through the study book was good for general Earth Science knowledge. These questions were you know it or you don't - general vocabulary. In total, I studied a maximum of 20 hours over the course of 2 weeks and passed. I got a score of 285 out of 300, missing 8 questions total. This test is not too difficult if you have just come out of college with a degree in Engineering or Science.

Strategy 9

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

The BEST resource that I found to help me study was Study.com! I can not stress to you how valuable this resource is! This website had their very own study guide, which broke down every single component into easy to understand videos. This website does cost money, however they do offer a 5 day free trial. I also utilized my local library and checked out several of their test prep books. The librarians also informed me that they could order me study materials through the library to check out which saved me LOTS of money. In my opinion, I suggest you to study like this: go through the study guide for TEES Science 7-12 on Study.com; after you reviewed the information and are comfortable do as many practice tests as you can. The practice tests I used are Mometrix and the interactive test on ETS.

Testing Strategy

It was easier than what I was expecting. The interactive test was really a good snap shot of what the real test is. Go through the test and make sure you understand why the wrong answer choices are not applicable. Study Chemistry and Physics components! Take your time, it's not that bad.

Strategy 10

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

Here is a list of some of the materials I used to study. Biology for Dummies; covers everything well except Ecology (you'll need to know that in a little more detail). Amoeba Sisters and Crash Course for Biology(both youtube video series). Within the Biology section know ecology, prokaryotes and eukaryote characteristics, central dogma and plant physiology. Chemistry for Dummies- Crash Course for Chem(videos) You will need to know how to identify characteristics/properties of an element/compound based solely on the periodic table. Physics-Basic Physics by Karl Kuhn(an e-book that is only a few dollars) Make sure to know the basics (Newton's laws,gravity, circuits, potential/kinetic energy,Force, Acceleration). For Earth Science I used the CK-12 Foundation e-book (FREE!!); the same company also has free e-books for chemistry, physics and biology as well. I would recommend knowing the solar system well (specifically the Earth in relation to the Sun and the rest of the Solar System). Spend some time reviewing the Assessment modules in the Pedogogy training. Take a practice test or 2, especially if you've been out of school for a while. ETS has a good one for free, Texas Prep has good practice exams for $15. I would also recommend looking at an old STARR test; they are available for free on the TEA website and are comparable to the other practice test out there and the actual test.

Testing Strategy

So the test can be pretty tough, average score is on the 230's and passing is 240. A few things to keep in mind,answer every question even if you don't know the answer. There is no penalty for wrong answers; your score is based on getting a particular number correct. Read the questions a few times (especially for hard ones) and it will help. I got 82 correct and passed with a 246. Study hard (but get rest the night before) and good luck!!

Strategy 11

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the brightstorm website and I cannot begin to emphasize just how valuable this resource is, especially for Biology and Physics. I used the Pearson Staar exam review guide for Chemistry. The best overall resource was the practice tests from texesprep.com (exam edge). These tests were timed and also gave you the answers with explanations so that you could constantly retest yourself. They are a bit on the pricey side (although I found a 70% off coupon online) but for me they were so worth it. I started off with a score in the 220's by the time I was done drilling I was consistently in the 260's.

Testing Strategy

The test was 140 questions. The Biology was very heavy on food chains and ecology so make sure to know the parts of a cell and plant. For Physics you need to understand the BASIC concepts and how to calculate velocity, acceleration, work, power, force. Also have a solid understanding of Newton's laws. Know your tides and seasons and how that all works for earth science. Chemistry was the hardest part of the test. Make sure to know your nomenclature, phase changes, basic gas laws, the mole, and acids/bases. Overall the test was much easier than I expected. I had never taken a college science class, my last classes were AP Chemistry/Physics 21 years ago in high school. For 2 weeks I spent 10 hours a day studying for this test -- I took it quite seriously -- but made a 286 overall!

Strategy 12

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

This test was rather daunting to me because I had not taken college-level physics or biology. I had a pretty solid background on chemistry, however, and that helped me tremendously. Don't even bother with third party materials for this test. It would be in your best interest if you studied the Test Preparation Manual given by ETS. Study every bullet point and every example given. Try and get a grasp on the big picture of how all of these things work together as a whole. Take advantage of the interactive practice test for Science 7-12. I think 3-4 of these questions were actually on the test. This can familiarize you with the format of the tests, as well as the rigor of the questions. YouTube is amazing for video lectures/series for science education. I absolutely loved the ‘Crash Course Biology’ videos. The instructor is very informative and it’s about a 40 video series (10 minutes each) - very worth your time. For Physics, you really just need to know basic concepts. You won't be doing any complex calculations, but you definitely need to know Newton's Laws, Thermodynamic laws, electromagnetism (several questions on my test about magnetic forces and direction, etc). Know your circuits, AC/DC, parallel vs. series circuits, switches and what each do to a power source. I don't have a lot of advice with chemistry because I have a chemistry concentration in my degree and I did no studying whatsoever for that area. If you have a collegiate background in one or more of the domains, you'll do just fine. Earth/Space Science requires a broad understanding with some minor details (How Earth receives energy inside and out, what comets actually are, etc).

Testing Strategy

The exam is 140 Questions and you have five hours to complete. The test is scored 100-300 with a passing score of 240. The questions are scored on a weird scale, so focus on the big picture. Your scores are available through the TEAL portal on TEA before the ETS site. This really isn't something that you want to mess around with. You need to study. Don't be intimidated. When I left the building, yes - I felt very uncertain. I ended up passing with 266/300. It was extremely beneficial to me to just relax. Aim to complete your studying a day or two before the actual exam to just ruminate on all of the knowledge. Do NOT go into the test with a tired mind. It's very rigorous in terms of test length. By question 80, I was feeling fatigued. Get good sleep, eat a nice breakfast and relax! I hope that my advice has helped, now go smash that test!

Strategy 13

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

6 weeks of serious preparation. Passed at 96%. I have 2 master degrees in Environmental Science and Earth System Science, a BS in Biology/Ecology. Physics and Chemistry were my strength in high school. I didn’t work in these areas for the past 3 years (10 years for Physics, Chemistry and Biology). Most useful materials: 1. ETS TEXES 236 preparation manual (make sure you study every bullet point including examples). 2. The sample questions in this manual 3. ETS interactive test online. Some questions are the same in the actual tests. 4. STAAR tests for grade 8 (science) and high school (physics, biology, chemistry) of 2013 and 2014. They’re available online via TEA. You can find answer keys there too. 5. For physics: Physics classroom for general understanding. They have practice problems that I found extremely helpful. Khan Academy. Google . Wikipedia is sometimes too technical for the level of TEXES 236. 6. For chemistry: Chemistry for dummies. Then practice with the sample questions in the manual. Google. 7. For biology: Biology for dummies (for basic stuff). Khan academy. Quite a bit of googling for bullet points 8. Environmental Science can be very tricky. I had a degree in this field so didn’t study (just used my intuition from my research and knowledge). A good source is a high school environmental science text book. 9. Earth System, and Solar System are all fact-based questions. Either you know if or you don’t. I had a degree in earth system science so hydrosphere, atmosphere were fine. But I had to google the entire geosphere, plate tectonics, geological time frame. Same thing with solar system. NSF, NASA websites are helpful. Again, the sample questions in the ETS manual and the interactive test by ETS are extremely helpful. rn10. The learning, teaching and assessment (domain I and X) is common sen se. The assessment module of Texas Teachers pedagogy training course is helpful. I didn’t prepare much. Don’t bother with the following materials: 1. Physics I for dummies (too basics) 2. Texes Science 7-12 Study Guide by Mometrix (such a waste of time, effort and $40. Abundant typos, incorrect information, and lack of a good organization of topics). 3. Certify teacher practice tests. Their question formats are OK but the way the questions were designed are different from the actual test. Their full-length test is 120 questions, not 140 like the actual test. Typos, incorrect answer key, and sometimes incorrect scoring. For $60 it should be better.

Testing Strategy

Was the test difficult? NO. It requires solid understanding of high school physics, chemistry, and biology. The questions can be tricky but you can narrow it down to one answer. Not too much details. Just basic calculations for physics and chemistry. The challenge, in my opinion, is the amount of materials you have to go through for 10 domains. Anything can be on the test. Don’t take the test lightly. Pace yourself for studying so you don’t rush at the last minute and create unneeded stress. Prioritize your studying. Physics, chemistry and biology questions are straightforward. They are also account for big chunk of the test. So spend time for them. Identify your weakness and work on it first. ETS has great tips for taking the test. Dress in layers and bring water/snack to the test center if they have a locker. They will let you sip some water and eat your snack quietly at the locker area. Take a break to fresh up your mind and your tummy too. Don’t rush during the test. You will have plenty of time to finish it. Take your time to read the questions carefully. Mark the questions that you’re unsure then go back later to work on them. But try to make the best guess the 1st round. Your score stays with you until the next change in policy so it’s only beneficial to have a good score. Good luck!

Strategy 14

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the T-Cert website to study for the test and any other free practice test I could find on the internet.I really didn't study that much just because I wasn't sure what to really study. I really just reviewed basic principles of biology, chemistry, and physics.

Testing Strategy

I was extremely nervous taking the test. I felt really unprepared. I had assumed the test was going to be about concepts you either know or don't. Within the first few questions I knew I had been right about the test. I passed with a 240 but I really took my time and thought about each question.

Strategy 15

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used a combination of materials. I purchased TExES Science 7-12 (236) Secrets Study Guide: TExES Test Review for the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards by Mometrics, but found so many typos and errors, that I only used it for the practice questions. I mostly used the official preparation manual and a few of the recommended texts to make sure I felt comfortable with each competency. Although I have a M.S. in biology, it's been 8 years since I've looked at physics or chemistry. I've never taken an Earth Science or Astronomy course.

Testing Strategy

The test was about as I expected--not easy! Well, for me the life science and earth science questions were easy, but the physics and chemistry were more difficult. Domains I and X were mostly common sense. I also felt like leaving part way through because I thought I failed. I passed with a 280 on my first try, but only because I reviewed the concepts beginning a month in advance. Like the others have said, I would recommend taking practice tests. I would also suggest reviewing every competency individually. One last thing, Mometrix suggests that if you don't know an answer to use their $5 rule. Basically it suggests only choosing a choice if you're willing to bet $5 you're right, and only eliminating a choice if you're willing to bet $5 it's wrong. Then you always choose the first choice that's left. I thought my educated guesses would be bette, so I tested that hypothesis. In every set of practice questions, my educated guesses were better at answering the questions with which I was uncertain. For this test, I would recommend going with your gut and intelligence, not random chance.

Strategy 16

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

TeXEs Science 8-12 (purchased at Barnes and Noble) was the main resource I used. I also used the manuals online for Science 8-12 and Science 7-12. Take multiple practice tests. Do practice problems for chemistry and physics. It will help not just for the problems you will encounter on the test, but it will also reinforce the theory.

Testing Strategy

I have my degree in chemistry, so chemistry was fine for me. The physics was much easier than expected. You should know the kinematics equations, laws of motion and laws of thermodynamics by heart. The hardest parts for me were evolution and geology. Many tricky questions. You can pretty much narrow each question down to two answers and then figure out which of the remaining answers best fits what the question is asking. Don't take the test lightly and use the time allotted. Good luck!

Strategy 17

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the Trivium study guide and the Mometrix practice test. The study guide was a decent review for the concepts you need to know but do nothing for the equations you will need to be prepared to use. The practice test are soooooooo worth the money. I recommend taking as many as you can afford.

Testing Strategy

The test itself was what I expected. It was difficult and you will not have an equal amount of each science discipline on the test. However I did have a question from each different competency that was reviewed on the ETS "Test at a glance"

Strategy 18

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I started to seriously prepare for the test 10 days before the testing date, with an average of 8 hours per day; main source was Study.com. TExES Science for 7-12 from Study.com is really concise about which content to cover and it is a good and quick review of all the bullets from ETS's prepare manual. However, I still ran out of time and only covered 85% of the content from Study.com. I did finish the TExES prep manual questions from Chemistry 7-12, Life Science 7-12, Physical Science 7-12 and Science 4-8. I did buy three sets of practice test from TExESPrep.com.

Testing Strategy

The actual test was harder than the ETS interactive test, close to the difficulty level from the ETS prep manual.140 questions, I marked about 40 problems that I was not sure and 20 of them were right and 20 were wrong. My best suggestion for those who want to crack the test within a short amount of time, you need to utilize Study.com and the main content. ETS always tests some areas you have not prepared for as "test" questions. If you spend too much time very difficult problem or part, it is not worth it. Also you learn a lot by doing more practice tests. I got 270.

First names only please. This will be displayed publicly.

Back to Top
X

Texas Teachers Exempt Countries

Texas Teachers currently recognizes these SBEC-approved countries:
  • American Samoa
  • Angulia
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Austrailia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grand Cayman
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidata/ Tobago
  • Turks and Calcos
  • United Kingdom
  • US Pacific Trust