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What to Expect During The TDLR Esthetic State Board Exam

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.

Key Points:

  • 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:

  1. Licensing and Regulation - 15%; 11 questions

    1. Health and Safety

    2. Responsibilities of the Licensee

  2. Infection Control - 25%; 19 questions

    1. Cleaning and Disinfecting

      1. Implements

      2. Equipment

      3. Work Environment

    2. Safety Procedures

      1. Exposure Incidents

      2. Patch Test

    3. Skin Analysis

      1. Diseases

      2. Disorders

  3. Skin Care - 15%; 11 questions

    1. Physiology

    2. Skin Analysis

      1. Skin Types

      2. Skin Conditions

  4. Facial Treatments - 25%; 19 questions

    1. Basic Facial Treatments

      1. Cleansing

      2. Extractions

      3. Exfoliation

      4. Masks

      5. Moisturizers

    2. Facial Massage

    3. Skin Care Products

      1. Brush

      2. Galvanic

      3. High Frequency

      4. Steam

      5. Vacuum

      6. Wood’s Lamp

  5. Hair Removal - 15%; 11 questions

    1. Contraindications

    2. Methods of Hair Removal

  6. Facial Makeup - 5%; 4 questions

    1. Artificial Lashes

    2. Color Theory

    3. Eyebrow Shaping

    4. 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

  • Cleansing

  • Steaming

  • Massage

  • 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)

  • Disposable applicators

  • Drape(s)

  • 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

  • Towels

  • Tweezers

Items that you DO label:

  • 30x30 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

  • Moisturizer

  • Simulated product for soft waxing service (e.g., - petroleum jelly or honey)

  • Trash bag(s)

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.


Online Resources:

Test Sites in Houston:


Greenbriar Place

650 North Sam Houston Pkwy E, Suite 535

Houston, TX 77060


Atrium Building

11811 I-10 East Freeway, Suite 260

Houston, TX 77029


One West Belt

9555 W. Sam Houston Pkwy South, Suite 140

Houston, TX 77099


9800 Northwest Freeway Suite 200

Houston, TX 77092


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