Whether you’re done with esthetics school or getting close to graduation, you probably have a lot of questions about the state board exam. After going through school, taking another test is also probably not something you’re looking forward to. But as the last step toward your new career, it's important to be prepared!
We’ve outlined important points about the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation esthetics state board exam and gathered resources for you to use as you get ready. We recommend reading through the Esthetic License Examination Candidate Information Bulletin several times to fully prepare for the state board exam.
Preparing and registering
As you get closer to graduation, you should start getting ready to take the state board exam. This means studying for each exam (written and practical), obtaining a state board practical exam kit, applying for your temporary license and getting your application and exam fees ready.
Once you are eligible to sit for the exams (i.e., once you complete your 750 course), you can apply for a temporary license to immediately begin work after passing both exams. Temporary licenses are given to you once you pass the practical exam and are good for 21 days while you wait to receive your official license in the mail. A $50 application fee is required and you can apply for the temporary license online here.
Both the written and practical exams are administered through PSI Services. Once you’re eligible to take the exams, you’ll get an email from PSI instructing you to schedule your exams. Exams can be scheduled online, by phone or by mail.
Be prepared to pay application and exam fees – $50 application fee, $50 written exam fee, $72 practical exam fee.
Schedule your exam appointments with PSI Services.
Apply for a temporary license so you can begin work immediately after passing your exams.
The written state board exam is a 75 question exam taken on a computer. You have 105 minutes to take the exam and must get 70% correct to pass. After you complete the exam, you’ll immediately receive your test score.
The exam covers the following topics and question breakdown:
Licensing and Regulation - 15%; 11 questions
Health and Safety
Responsibilities of the Licensee
Infection Control - 25%; 19 questions
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Skin Care - 15%; 11 questions
Facial Treatments - 25%; 19 questions
Basic Facial Treatments
Skin Care Products
Hair Removal - 15%; 11 questions
Methods of Hair Removal
Facial Makeup - 5%; 4 questions
Products, Supplies, and Tools
The practical exam is 1 hour and 55 minutes long. This part of the exam tests your knowledge on sanitary and safety procedures involved in esthetic services. The exam is structured into different sections including:
Pre-Examination Set Up and Disinfection
Eyelash Strip Application
Mask and Moisturizing
Waxing with Soft Wax
Blood Exposure Incident
End of Examination Disinfection
You are required to bring supplies for the practical exam. Some of the items need to be labeled and some do not, we’ve broken down the list below:
Items that you do NOT label:
Cotton/cotton pads/sponges/facial tissue
Bowl for water (optional)
Gloves or finger cots
Mannequin head (prepped with eyelash strip to represent natural lashes)
Mannequin stand or tripod
Items that you DO label:
30x30 kit labeled as “Pre-sanitized, Clean or Disinfected”
Astringent, freshener, or toner
Blood exposure kit/first aid kit
EPA approved disinfectant or simulated product
Eye makeup remover
Mask or pack product
Simulated product for soft waxing service (e.g., - petroleum jelly or honey)
Items that are supplied at the exam site:
Brooms and dust pans
Covered trash cans
Mounted wall clock
Work stations/manicure table with chairs
You will receive your exam score afterwards. If you applied for your temporary license, you’ll receive it if you passed the exam.
Exam Information – https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/cosmet/individuals/exam.htm
License Information – https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/cosmet/individuals/apply-esthetician-manicurist.htm
Test Sites in Houston:
Houston North (WRITTEN EXAMINATION ONLY)
650 North Sam Houston Pkwy E, Suite 535
Houston, TX 77060
Houston East (WRITTEN EXAMINATION ONLY)
11811 I-10 East Freeway, Suite 260
Houston, TX 77029
Houston Southwest (WRITTEN EXAMINATION ONLY)
One West Belt
9555 W. Sam Houston Pkwy South, Suite 140
Houston, TX 77099
Houston Northwest (WRITTEN AND PRACTICAL EXAMINATIONS)
9800 Northwest Freeway Suite 200
Houston, TX 77092