Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) Esthetician exams: Free practice test, and everything you need to know
Congratulations! You’ve learned to wax like a pro, and you know everything there is to know about cleansers and moisturizers. And that’s not all: you’re now an expert in applying eyelashes and your muscles are so big from practicing massages that you barely need to hit the gym!
Yes, that’s right, after months of hard work, you’ve nearly finished your Esthetician program.
And you know what that means, right?
It means that before you know it you’ll be a licensed Esthetician. And we bet you can’t wait to spend your days beautifying your clients’ skin!
But before you start treating clients, you’ll need your Esthetician license. And that means passing the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations Esthetician exams.
Now, if you’re anything like the students we speak to, you might be feeling a little worried about sitting your exams. In fact, the whole process may feel overwhelming… where do you even start?
Well, don’t worry. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about scheduling and preparing for your Esthetician exams, answers to all the most common questions, and a free practice test to check you’re prepared!
Go straight to the practice test
The process of registering for (and passing!) your Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations exams
OK, so you’re nearly finished with school. And you’re probably ready to celebrate graduation with your friends.
But before you can celebrate in style, you need to think about your next step. And that means passing your Esthetician exams.
Now, we know that lots of students worry about taking their exams. And we get it: scheduling and taking exams can be nerve-wracking.
You’ve got to book your tests, find your way to your exam center, and remember everything you’ve learned…
But don’t worry if thinking about your Esthetician exams is making you a little nervous. Being prepared is half the battle. And that’s why we’re here to walk you through every step of the process. Starting with…
Step 1: Check you’re eligible to take the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations Esthetician exams
Before you think about scheduling your exams, it’s important to check that you meet the TDLR’s eligibility requirements.
So, in order to take your Esthetician exams, you must:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification OR
- Have taken an ‘ability-to-benefit’ test administered by a certified testing agency AND
- Be at least 17 years old AND
- Have Completed 750 hours of instruction in a beauty school
And, once you have completed 750 hours, your school will contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation on your behalf.
You will then receive an email inviting you to book your exams, along with important details like your candidate number (keep this safe, you’ll need it later!).
Once you have received this email, it’s time to move onto step 2!
Step 2: Apply for your temporary license
In the state of Texas, you don’t need to wait for your license to arrive in the post to start working in a salon.
However, you do need a temporary license.
Now, your temporary license won’t be issued before you’ve passed exams… But you do need to apply for it in advance.
You see, if you don’t apply for your temporary license before you take your exams, it won’t be ready to collect on the day.
So, to get your temporary license on the day you pass your second exam, head over to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations to start your application now.
OK, so you’ve applied for your temporary license? Fantastic, it’s time to move onto step 3!
Step 3: Schedule your written and practical exams
Once you have completed your minimum 750 hours of study, you will receive an email for the Department of Licensing and Regulations, with instructions on how to schedule your exams.
Now, in the state of Texas, you need to pass two separate exams to qualify for your license. And that means booking:
- A written examination, costing $50 AND
- A practical examination, costing $72
All exams take place at PSI centers, and the easiest way to schedule your exams is via the PSI website.
To do this you’ll need to:
- Log onto the PSI website and create an account (making sure your name and email address match those on file with the Department of Licensing and Regulations)
- Select one exam
- Enter the ID number (this can be found in the email the TDLR sent, instructing you on how to schedule your exam)
- Enter your zip code and select your examination center
- Choose from the available dates
- And finally, pay for your exam using a credit or debit card
You will then need to repeat the process to book your second exam.
A walkthrough of this process, including pictures, can be found here.
If would prefer not to apply online, you can instead schedule your exams:
- By phone: (833) 333-4741
- By faxing this registration form (found at the end of the document) to: (702) 932-2666
- Or by mailing the registration form (found at the end of the document) to: PSI Services LLC, 3210 E Tropicana, Las Vegas, NV 89121
Once you have booked your exams, be sure to make a note of the times and dates so that you don’t miss them!
Step 4: Arrive at the exam center to take your written exam
Now, you can take your exams in whichever order you prefer. But for the sake of this guide, we’re going to imagine that you’re sitting your written examination first.
So, on the day of your written exam, you should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes early. This will give you enough time to sign in and familiarize yourself with the exam process. Bear in mind that if you arrive late, you will not be allowed to sit your exam and your fees will be forfeited.
When signing in at your test center, you must produce 1 form of ID
The identification must be a VALID form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport book. The identification must contain the following biographical information:
(1) printed name
(4) date of birth
(5) expiration date
Temporary licenses or IDs will be accepted only if they are accompanied by either the expired/invalid license or another form of photo ID.
Current public high school IDs are also valid when accompanied by a photocopy of the TDLR student permit. However, if you have graduated from high school, your ID is only valid until August 31 of that year.
Current community college and junior college IDs are also valid government-issued IDs and require only your printed name, photograph, and date of birth.
Passport cards are not accepted (although Passport books are accepted, cards do not hold enough information on their own)
To prevent cheating, and in the interest of security, the following items are not allowed to be brought into the test center with you:
- Electronic devices
- Bulky or loose clothing
- Hats or headgear (except those worn for religious reasons)
- Bags or purses
- Notebooks or reference books
- Food and drink
- Writing implements
- Good luck charms
When you arrive at the examination center, you will be told where to leave your bags and other personal items. Then, before you enter the examination room, you will be asked if you have any prohibited items. At this point, you may be asked to empty your pockets.
It is important to note that PSI does not allow candidates to speak to one another in the test center. So it’s best not to chat, even if you spot a classmate in the crowd.
Then, it’s time to take your exam!
Step 5: Take the written exam
In Texas, the written Esthetician exam is completed entirely via a computer. So, before your exam begins you will be directed to a computer terminal.
Then, once you have taken your seat, your computer will prompt you to confirm:
- Your name
- Identification number
- And the examination you are sitting
Next, you will be given 15 minutes to complete an introductory tutorial. This tutorial includes sample questions, but don’t worry; the time you take on this task doesn’t affect the amount of time you’ll have for your test.
When your test begins, you will have 105 minutes to answer 75 questions, and 10 minutes to answer 7 additional questions that will not be scored. These additional questions are designed to help improve the examination for future students, and they do not affect your grade.
The topics included in your written exam are:
- Licensing and Regulation – 11 questions
- Infection Control – 19 questions
- Skin Care – 11 questions
- Facial Treatments – 19 questions
- Hair Removal – 11 questions
And a full breakdown of the topics included can be found here.
Step 6: Get your results
As soon as you complete your first exam, your results will appear on your computer screen. And an official score sheet will be printed on-site, for you to take away with you.
In order to pass your written exam, you must score at least 70%. And if you fail, you will need to book your test again.
However, try not to be disheartened. If you fail your exam, a diagnostic showing which questions you struggled with will show on screen, allowing you to concentrate your revision on your weaker subjects.
Step 7: Arrive at the test center to take your practical exam
Arriving at your test center to take your practical exam is pretty similar to taking your written test. So, remember to arrive 30 minutes early and check the list of prohibited items again.
However, there are a couple of differences you should be aware of:
- You will be expected to wear closed-toe shoes. (If you don’t meet this requirement, you will not be allowed to sit your exam and your fee will be forfeited.)
- And, you will be expected to bring some supplies with you:
The following equipment should not be labeled-
- Cotton/cotton pads/sponges/facial tissue
- Bowl for water (optional)
- Disposable applicators
- Eyelash strip
- Fabric strips
- Gloves or finger cots
- Head draping
- Mannequin head (prepped with eyelash strip to represent natural lashes)
- Mannequin stand or tripod
- Mask brush
- Paper towels
- Small scissors
The following supplies should be clearly labeled in English*-
- 30×30 kit labeled as “Pre-sanitized, Clean or Disinfected”
- Antiseptic/soothing lotion
- Astringent, freshener, or toner
- Blood exposure kit / first aid kit
- Cleansing product
- EPA approved disinfectant or simulated product
- Eye makeup remover
- Hand sanitizer
- Lash adhesive
- Mask or pack product
- Massage product
- Simulated product for soft waxing service (e.g., -petroleum jelly or honey)
- Trash bag(s)
*Be sure to label your products properly, as failure to do so may result in the loss of points.
And finally, the following equipment will be provided for you:
- Brooms and dustpans
- Covered trash cans
- Mounted wall clock
- Work stations/ manicure table with chairs
Step 8: Take your practical exam
After you have signed in and stored your personal items, it’s time to take your practical exam!
The examination will last for 1 hour and 55 minutes, and you will be given verbal instructions before your test begins.
At the start of your exam, you will be given 10 minutes to set-up and disinfect your workspace. Then, you will be asked to demonstrate the following:
- Eyelash Strip Application – Time Allowed: 14 minutes
- Cleansing – Time Allowed: 14 minute
- Steaming – Time Allowed: 7 minutes
- Massage – Time Allowed: 17 minutes
- Mask and Moisturizing – Time Allowed: 17 minutes
- Waxing with Soft Wax– Time Allowed: 14 minutes
- Blood Exposure Incident – Time Allowed: 12 minutes
- End of Examination Disinfection – Time Allowed: 10 minutes
Before each stage of the exam begins, your examiner will read detailed instructions. And, they will give you a verbal warning when your time for each task is running out.
If you would like to read about each task in more detail, a full breakdown can be found here.
Once your exam is finished, you’ll be directed to take a seat to wait for your results. This should only take 5-10 minutes.
Step 9: Get your results
After 5-10 minutes, you will be given a printed score report. The passing grade for your practical exam is 70% (or 61 points out of 87).
If you have passed both your exams, you are now a qualified Esthetician – congratulations!
However, if you didn’t score 70% or higher, you’ll need to book your test again.
Step 10: Get your Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations Esthetician license!
Now that you’ve passed both your written and practical exams, the only thing left to do is to get your license!
In the state of Texas, you don’t need to wait for your license to arrive in the post. You can start working straight away with your temporary license.
But, remember, you must apply for your temporary license before you sit your exams.
Providing you did apply for a temporary license, you can pick this up from your test center.
Your temporary license is valid for 21 days. And your permanent license should arrive within this timeframe.
The most common reason for not getting your license is failing your written exams: the pass rate in Texas is only 51.45% for the written exam! However, students who use our Esthetics Exam Preparation Package has a pass rate of 98.5%!
Frequently asked questions about the Texas cosmetology exams
How do I apply for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations examinations?
When you have reached the required number of study hours to qualify for an Esthetician license, your school will let the TDLR know.
Then, the TDLR will email you instructions for booking your exams via PSI.
I can’t make the date/time of my examination. What should I do?
If you need to reschedule your examination, you must give at least 2 days’ notice. If you don’t give a minimum of 2 days notice, you may forfeit your exam fees.
How much does it cost to take the Texas Esthetician exams?
- Written Test – $50
- Practical Test – $72
Where do the examinations take place?
The Texas Esthetician exams take place in PSI test centers.
How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations examinations?
To take their written exam, Estheticians in Texas must have completed 750 hours of training.
Can I complete my hours through an apprenticeship instead of attending school in Texas?
No, the state of Texas does not currently recognize Esthetician apprenticeships.
Can I take the State Board examinations before I’ve completed the required hours?
No, you must complete your hours before sitting your exams.
How long is the Esthetician written examination?
When you arrive at your exam center, you will have 15 minutes to complete a tutorial explaining how to sit your exam.
You will then have 105 minutes to answer 75 graded questions, and 10 minutes to answer 7 non-graded questions.
What’s the format of the written examination?
Your written exam will take place on a computer. And a breakdown of what each test includes can be found here.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the testing format, try out our practice test here.
How long is the Esthetician practical examination?
The Esthetician practical examination lasts for 1 hour and 55 minutes.
What’s the format of the practical examination?
You will be given a set amount of time to demonstrate the skills needed to be an Esthetician.
A full breakdown of what the exam includes can be found here.
What scores do I need to pass each of the Esthetician exams?
- Written Exam – 70%
- Practical Exam – 70%
What’s the pass rate for Texas Esthetician exams?
The pass rates for the Texas Esthetician exams are:
Check if you’re on track to pass your exam by taking our free esthetician practice test.
Can I take my Esthetician examinations again if I fail?
Yes, you may retake your exams as many times as needed. However, you will need to pay for each test.
How long does Esthetician school take in Texas?
The length of time needed to complete an Esthetician program in Texas varies considerably between schools.
But, you could qualify in as little as 22 weeks, if you attend day time classes.
How do I transfer my Esthetician license to Texas?
If you meet certain requirements, you will be able to transfer your Esthetician license to Texas through an application for endorsement (this means that you won’t need to retake any exams).
To find out if you’re eligible for an Esthetician license in Texas, based on your existing qualifications, you first need to head over to the TDLR website.
You will then be asked to answer questions about your existing license and will be advised on your next steps.
How do I get my Esthetician license in Texas?
To get your Esthetician’s license in Texas, you need to graduate from Esthetician school having completed 750 hours of practical experience and pass two examinations (written and practical),
Once you have met all of these requirements, you will be issued with a license.
How do I renew my Esthetician license in Texas?
In Texas, you must renew your Esthetician’s license every other year.
But, in order to renew your license, you must complete 4 hours of training. These short courses are known as ‘continuing education’ and are provided by many schools and organizations.
Once you have completed your mandatory training, you can apply to renew your license here.
The cost of renewing your license is currently $50.
How should I study for the Texas Esthetician written exam?
As we’ve seen, the pass rates for the TDLR Esthetician written exam are far lower than for the practical. So, it’s a good idea to use our Esthetician Exam Preparation Package to learn everything you need to pass the written exam.
- Our package includes a study guide that’s structured to help you learn the RIGHT information rather than ALL the information, which can help you cut your preparation/revision time in half.
- Then use our simulated exams to practice for the written exam under test conditions. This part is really important: it’s the key to helping you succeed!