Texas Principal Certification Exam Requirements

Oct 20, 2021

Becoming a principal for a school can be a culminating prize for hard work and a lot of education. Principals are in charge of their schools and their students. If you'd like to learn more about the requirements for becoming a principal in Texas, we'll help you here.

Requirements for Principals in Texas

Average Salary for Principals in Texas (2019)* $86,270
Required Degree Master's Degree
Required Field Educational Leadership
Testing Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 (160); TExES Principal (068) or TExES Principal (268)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Become a Principal

Before looking at the required certification exams, it is important to understand the process necessary to become a principal. You must first become a certified teacher in Texas and obtain at least two years of teaching experience. This means you should get your bachelor's degree, take the necessary Texas Examination for Education Standards (TExES) assessments, and get fingerprinted. At some point, either before you become a certified teacher or after, you'll continue your education for a master's degree. One of the best options is to earn a degree in education leadership. You'll also need to complete a principal educator preparation program in which you'll prepare for the role and spend time in the position with a mentor. Finally, you'll need to complete the required exam to become a principal.

Required Exams

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is currently restructuring the principal certification exam requirements. Here, we'll discuss both options.

TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 & Content Exam

The first exams you'll take are the ones necessary to become a teacher. The TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12 assessment is required by all teachers in Texas. This exam tests individuals on their basic teaching knowledge and their comfort with instruction, classrooms, and assessment. There are 100 multiple-choice questions on this exam. All TExES exams have a fee of $131.

After this exam, you'll want to take the content area exam on the subject or grade level you'd like to teach. Should you want to teach younger students, a TExES Core Subjects assessment would be more beneficial than a specified subject. However, if you are interested in teaching French as a foreign language, for example, you would take the Languages Other than English (LOTE) French test. You can find which test you need at the ETS TExES website.


As mentioned before, the construction of the new principal requirements means that this assessment will eventually be moot. If you already have a degree or are in the process of becoming a principal, you'll likely still take the TExES Principal (068) assessment, since it is good through fall of 2019. Like other TExES exams, you'll have five hours to take the exam. There are 120 multiple-choice questions in three domains: school community leadership, instructional leadership, and administrative leadership.


It is recommended by the TEA that if you are beginning any kind of principal preparation program or education that will not be finished by 12/31/18, that you prepare for the new assessment, the TExES Principal (268) exam. Though still in development, it will have between 91 and 110 multiple-choice questions as well as four constructed-response questions, which is new from the previous assessment. There will also be six domains for this exam. Along with the previous three domains, you'll also be tested on school culture, human capital, and ethics/equity/diversity.

You will also need to complete a PASL (Performance Assessment for School Leaders) starting fall 2019. This is an assessment that is completed during your internship where you will need to complete three documented activities that show you have problem-solving skills, have continuing professional development, and can build a collaborative school culture.

Certification Resources for Principals in Texas

To become a principal in Texas, you'll need to take the requisite teacher certification exams. We've compiled a list to help you find study guides for any TExES exam you may find yourself taking on your path to become a school principal.

  • Prepare for the TExES Exam
  • TExES PPR EC-12 (160): Practice & Study Guide
  • TExES Principal Exam (068): Study Guide & Review
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