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Principal as Instructional Leader FAQs

Principal as Instructional Leader Pilot Test (968)

Candidates must be approved to take the pilot test by their EPP. Candidates must be currently enrolled at an EPP in a Principal as Instructional Leader program, and must never have taken the 068 exam. (NOTE: Some participants not enrolled in an EPP may be invited separately by TEA for the purpose of collecting feedback. If you received an invitation from TEA to participate, refer to the instructions provided by TEA.)

Not necessarily. There is a need for approximately 300 candidates to test, after which registration will be closed. Candidates will not be able to register for the pilot test after registration is closed, even if they have already been approved to test by an EPP. Therefore, EPPs are encouraged to approve candidates early, and candidates who are approved are encouraged to register and schedule an appointment promptly.

Yes; if the candidate successfully meets the pilot test requirements, including a post-administration survey, a result of "Complete" can be used for certification.

The purpose of the pilot test is to collect data necessary for evaluating the suitability of test questions for inclusion in an operational certification exam. Candidates should respond to as many questions as possible to the best of their ability and are required to respond to a post-administration survey. There is no scaled score for the pilot test.

Candidates will receive a report showing a status of either "Complete" or "Incomplete." EPPs will receive the same report, as well as the status in ResultsAnalyzer® for each candidate at the exam level. Scaled-score, domain-level, and competency-level information are not available for a pilot test. This information will be delivered directly to candidates, and results will be posted in ECOS and ResultsAnalyzer®, on 02/21/2019.

One attempt is allowed for the 968 pilot test.

Computer-administered test (CAT) with:

  • 91 selected-response questions
  • 4 constructed-response questions

5 hours total appointment time

  • 15 minutes for CAT tutorial and compliance agreement
  • 4 hours and 45 minutes testing time


Principal as Instructional Leader Test (268)

The Principal as Instructional Leader (268) interactive practice exam is available now for purchase on this website. This full-length practice exam contains ninety-one selected-response questions as well as four sample constructed-response questions. The interactive practice exam provides candidates with test-taking experience that simulates the operational exam, and with automated results reporting on the selected-response questions.

Candidates will be limited to five attempts to take the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) certification exam. The five attempts will include the first attempt to pass the examination and four retakes.

To be eligible to score Principal as Instructional Leader (268) constructed-response questions, the requirement is at least three years of recent or current experience as a principal, vice principal, assistant principal, director, superintendent, assistant superintendent, or other district administrator role. Recent experience is defined as no less than three years out of the position. Individuals must reside in the State of Texas and hold a Master's degree. Individuals must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a valid and current certificate or license as a K–12 school principal or equivalent (e.g., principal, mid-management)
  • Be an EPP faculty member of a program, approved by the State of Texas, that offers Principal as Instructional Leader program(s)
  • Be a school administrator who has retired within the last three years and who held a certificate or license for that position

Pearson will be seeking qualified applicants from Texas educational leaders beginning in the summer of 2018.

The Principal as Instructional Leader (268) constructed-response questions are scored holistically using a rubric that is available in the preparation manual. The rubric provides the criteria and descriptions of performance at different levels that generalize across all four constructed-response questions. An example of each of the four constructed-response questions with sample responses and annotations is provided in the preparation manual.

  • Discrete items are included on the 068 and 268 exams. Discrete items are single, stand-alone questions that are unrelated to any other question on the exam.
  • Cluster sets are included on the 068 and 268 exams. Cluster sets are questions that begin with a scenario or stimulus and are followed by two to six questions related to the scenario.
  • Decision sets are included on the 068 exam but will not be included on the 268 exam. Decision sets are questions that begin with a scenario and one to two questions. Then additional information is presented to develop the storyline, and additional questions are presented to the candidate.
  • Technology-enhanced questions are included on the 068 and 268 exams. Technology-enhanced questions include answer grid, drag-and-drop ordering, matching, multiple-select multiple-choice options, and video stimulus.

The 268 exam is anticipated to include 91 selected-response questions; 068 has 120 selected-response questions. The 268 exam is anticipated to include four constructed-response questions; there are no constructed-response questions on the 068 exam.

The 068 exam has three domains and nine competencies with descriptive statements under each competency. The 268 exam has six domains and eleven competencies with descriptive statements under each competency. Selected descriptive statements are prioritized to indicate greater emphasis and provide focus for the candidate's preparation.

The domains in the 268 exam align to the 2016 Texas Principal Standards. Compared to the domains in the 068 exam, there are three major areas that have been elevated to new domains: School Culture (Domain I); Human Capital (Domain III); and Ethics, Equity, and Diversity (Domain VI).

No, the constructed-response questions assess content from Domains I, II, and III only (School Culture, Leading Learning, and Human Capital).

There are several enhancements planned for the 268 preparation manual, including:

  • A key word list to explain important terms that may be new to candidates.
  • A resource list to provide current leadership materials, especially related to the observation and coaching of teachers.
  • Sample exam questions that are of the same rigor and relevance as the questions found on the actual 268 exam.

A much greater emphasis is placed on instructional coaching and providing evidence-based feedback to teachers. Emphasis is also placed on:

  • supporting staff in the effective use of instructional data to inform instructional practice and develop intervention plans;
  • continuous improvement;
  • change management; and
  • the importance of culture and diversity in schools.

During a preparation program, each candidate should expect to experience multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in coaching teachers. Preparation program instructions should include course assignments that allow candidates to plan coaching conferences, video record themselves, reflect, and receive feedback from instructors and/or peers. Candidates should visit with instructors and/or program directors if additional authentic experiences are desired as part of the program.

No. The principal standards development and principal assessment design committees felt this area was important enough to elevate it to its own domain to signify additional importance and emphasis. Additionally, Domains I through V divide their assigned weighting between two competencies, but the weighting for Domain VI includes only one competency. In addition, the 268 exam questions will assess this content explicitly in Domain VI and implicitly by presenting scenarios within the context of equity and diversity when assessing content in other domains. Additionally, equity and diversity are embedded in multiple descriptive statements under other competencies. For some examples, please refer to the following areas of the 268 framework PDF (notations include the domain, competency, and descriptive statement):

  • I.001.H
  • I.002.D
  • II.004.B
  • II.004.D
  • IV.007.A
  • V.010.F
  • V.010.H

There are two key resources that will help candidates prepare:

  • A preparation manual PDF, which is currently available on this website, includes sample exam questions, key terms, and a resource list.
  • An interactive practice exam, which is available for purchase on this website, includes a complete practice exam in a format similar to the actual exam. The interactive practice exam includes an answer key and rationales to help candidates expand their understanding of the knowledge and skills assessed on the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam.

For the 068 exam, candidates need about two and a half hours of the five-hour testing session to complete all the questions. For the pilot test of the 268 exam, with the addition of the constructed-response questions and additional stimuli in selected-response questions, candidates may need up to all five hours permitted and should plan to manage their time carefully. The total time for the operational 268 exam is estimated to remain at five hours and will be finalized following timing studies conducted following the pilot test.

The content included on the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam is purposefully reflective of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) and the Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System (T-PESS). This alignment should help candidates recognize the inter-connectedness of their daily work in schools, the certification process, and the Texas evaluation systems.

No. A printed supplemental booklet is no longer needed. However, multiple questions will include data from parts of the TAPR and other assessment sources.

A candidate is required to have all coursework and internship requirements completed by August 31, 2019, and be recommended by his or her preparation program for their certification by October 30, 2019, to be certified under the 068 exam.

Like other Texas certification requirements, candidates will have five attempts to take each test: 068 and 268 individually.

No. 068 attempts are not counted toward the 268 exam because they are different exams.

The candidate must have passed the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam and completed all coursework and internship activities by August 31, 2019, AND the candidate must apply for certification and be recommended by his or her program by October 30, 2019.

In 2019–20, the 268 exam will be available in at least four (4) limited-administration windows.

To ensure candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary for success on the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) and PASL assessments, practicums should focus on authentic experiences and activities that will positively affect instructional practices and student learning. In order to have the kinds of experiences that are relevant to the current principal position, interns will need the support of their principal as well as opportunities to work with other teachers and committees. Candidates may want to consult with the program director about the possibility of getting an internship placement approval at the beginning of the preparation program.