TELPAS FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Students in grades K-12 that have been identified as an EL are required to take TELPAS. This includes ELs whose parents have declined bilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) program services.

In grades K-1, TELPAS includes holistically-rated listening, speaking, reading, and writing assessments based on ongoing classroom observations and student interactions. In grades 2-12, TELPAS includes online reading and listening and speaking tests and holistically-rated student writing collections. The TELPAS reading test and listening and speaking test are designed especially for students who do not speak English as their first language. To see sample test questions visit the TELPAS Released Test Questions page.

They will stop participating in TELPAS when their language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) determines that they are proficient in the English language and have met exit criteria. This applies to all ELs even those who are not in a bilingual or ESL program. Once a student has met the state’s exit criteria, they will no longer be identified as an EL and will not have to participate in TELPAS. Information about the state’s reclassification (exit) criteria can be found at https://tea.texas.gov/bilingual/esl/education/.

TEA has developed the TELPAS Alternate assessment to meet the federal requirements mandated under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires states to administer an alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment for English learners (ELs) with the most significant cognitive disabilities who cannot participate in the general ELP assessment, even with allowable accommodations.

The basic checklist for parents to help their child be ready for TELPAS tests includes:

  • Setting regular teacher meetings to discuss goals
  • Making sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before test day

TELPAS uses four proficiency ratings—Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High—to show the progress students make in learning English from year to year. For students to reach their full academic potential, it is important for them to make steady progress in learning English. Your child’s proficiency ratings in listening, speaking, reading, and writing will give you a good idea about the progress he or she is making. Students who do not make steady progress may require additional assistance at school.