CORE Subjects EC-6 Ultimate Guide2019-04-03T17:51:40+00:00

CORE Subjects EC-6: The Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the CORE Subjects EC-6 test?


You’ve found the right page. We will answer every question you have and tell you exactly what you need to study to pass the CORE Subjects EC-6 test.

In fact, we will cover 4 key areas of the exam. Discover a realistic CORE Subjects EC-6 practice test below.

CORE Subjects EC-6: English Reading and Language Arts


The English subtest of the CORE Subjects EC-6 has 13 different competencies, but it can be neatly divided into 5 different sections. And those five sections are:

  • Literacy development,
  • Writing,
  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Oral Language Development, and
  • Reading Inquiry and Research

So, let’s start with the biggest, literacy development. Literacy development is simply promoting a student’s literacy development. Essentially, it’s teaching students to read.

Literacy Development

There are three big concepts you definitely have to know to get these questions correct:

  • Assessing developing literacy
  • Alphabetic principle
  • Phonemic awareness

Phonemic awareness is simply the ability to hear and distinguish between the smallest units of sound. And the smallest unit of sound is otherwise known as a phoneme. And developing phonemic awareness among students is really going to help them as they learn to sound out words as they’re reading.

Now, there are a few best practices for teaching phonemic awareness, so you need to make sure that you research and understand what those best practices are.

Alphabetic principle is simply the understanding that letters represent sounds, which really represents words. So, you have to know strategies to teach and promote students’ alphabetic principle and how to connect those dots between the written word and the spoken word.

And the last is assessing developing literacy. And there’s a lot of ways to assess developing literacy, from informal assessments to formal assessments, using criterion-referenced assessments or norm-referenced assessments.

Just know that you’ll get multiple questions about how to assess a student’s developing literacy and how to incorporate that assessment feedback into instruction.

Now, those are the three broad concepts to be familiar with.

Specific Concepts

Right now, I’m going to give you three specific concepts to be familiar with what is most likely going to appear on the test.

Sight Words

The first specific concept is sight words. These are words you immediately know and recognize based on sight. When you see them, you know them.

There are specific sight words that students need to learn as they are learning to read. It gives them a much stronger and proficient base in their reading development.

So, make sure you know these words and how to teach them to students.

Decoding Skills

The second specific concept is decoding skills.

Decoding is really the skill of grouping letters together so you can properly pronounce the written word. There are specific strategies and skills that elementary students need to learn about decoding.

Make sure you know what they are and how to implement those strategies.

Norm-Referenced Assessment

And finally, as I mentioned just a little bit before, you need to understand what a norm-referenced or criterion-referenced assessment is.

Now, these are two very different types of assessments with different goals, and knowing when and where to use each assessment is going to come up on the test.


The next concept we’re going to look at is writing.

Now, writing is going to be a little bit simpler.

But when you hear simple, don’t think easy.

You have to know these concepts, even though they are not as prevalent because they’re going to come up on the test.

The first concept you have to know is the stages of writing development. The stages of writing development will go from when a child is first learning to write–scribbling–to when they’re starting to use grammar and the finer points of grammar to make their point.

The official stages of writing development are:

  1. Scribbling
  2. Mock letters
  3. Letter formation
  4. Word writing
  5. Sentence construction
  6. Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammatical Expression

So, make sure you’re familiar with each stage of writing development, the characteristics, what students need to learn, and what kind of instructional activities they need to progress on to the next stage.

Now, the second concept you need to know is the stages of writing.

Now you’re thinking, “Didn’t this genius just say stages of writing?”

Stages of writing development and stages of writing are different.

Let me explain.

The stages of writing are specifically looking at a student who can already write and going from a not completed assignment to a completed assignment. The stages of writing are:

  1. Prewriting
  2. Writing
  3. Revision
  4. Editing
  5. Publishing

Make sure you know the purposes of each stage and how students should engage in each stage.

So, what should students be doing during the prewriting stage that differs than the writing stage? And what should students be doing during the revision stage that’s different than in the editing stage?

All this is almost guaranteed to come up on the test.

Getting the Help You Need

And if this seems like a lot of information, it’s because it is. This is a test that decides if you can teach the next generation of leaders. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be.

We’ve got the best study guides for the CORE Subjects EC-6: English. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you don’t even know where to begin to figure out how to teach phonemic awareness or how to identify the different characteristics of the stages of writing, we’ve got you covered.

You see, our study guides are filled with hundreds of pages of instructional content and hundreds of authentic practice questions that are going to walk you through the exact concepts we’re talking about in this video in much more depth and detail. And it takes you from knowing what’s on the test to knowing what you need to know to be successful on the test and equipping you with that information so that you can be successful when you take this test.

So, if at any point, you’re just overwhelmed or you want to save a lot of time and a lot of headaches, hop over to, get the English EC-6 study guide, and make sure you’re prepared today. 

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Reading Comprehension

Let’s move on to reading comprehension.

This section involves helping a student who can already read better understand what they are reading.

And there are three big concepts in this section:

  • Vocabulary Development
  • Promoting Reading Comprehension

Literal, Inferential, and Evaluative Comprehension

The first concept is vocabulary development.

Vocabulary development involves specific strategies or activities that enhance a students’ vocabulary so they can better understand and read those complex words that they’ll come across during their reading.

To get these questions right, you need to know activities and strategies to enhance a student’s vocabulary as well as assessments to understand where a student’s vocabulary development currently is.

The second big concept is promoting a student’s reading comprehension.

Now, remember these are elementary students. So, we’re not going to teach them how to analyze the finer points of a Charles Dickens character, but rather, we’re teaching students to pull out the main idea or to identify critical details in a story.

An example of a reading comprehension activity would be for a teacher, during a read-aloud activity with their elementary students, to stop the reading aloud and ask what’s the main idea or what are critical themes or details of the story.

The third and last concept to be familiar with is the difference between literal, inferential, and evaluative comprehension.

Each of these types of comprehension is different, so you need to know the characteristics of each and how to promote students’ understanding of each type of comprehension.


And finally, as a little bonus, make sure you understand how to measure a student’s reading fluency.

You’ll get at least one question on the EC-6 about how to measure a student’s reading fluency, whether informally or in a more formal diagnostic setting.

Oral Language Development

Let’s move to the fourth section of the English subtest, oral language development.

Oral language is simply promoting the students’ oral language skills. The three big concepts for this section are:

  • Oral Language Skills
  • Oral Language Development
  • Increasing Student’s Oral Language

And the first concept is to know the link between oral language skills and reading.

The first concept to know is why oral language is important to reading and reading development.

And the reason is as students begin to sound out words and start to translate written words to spoken words, the stronger their oral language development, the more likely they are to have reading comprehension of what they’re currently reading. If a student knows a lot of vocabulary words in their oral development, then that’s going to directly transfer to their reading comprehension as they begin to sound out those same words.

The second concept to know is the appropriate stages of a student’s oral language development.

And the goal here is to be able to identify abnormal or slower development of a student’s oral language. You see, once you understand a student’s typical development of oral language, you’ll be able to identify any abnormalities and then intervene earlier in the child’s academic career.

You see, the goal is to address any developmental issues as early as possible to set the student up for success throughout their academic career.

And the third concept is simply strategies to increase a student’s oral language development.

From students reading aloud to class presentations, you need to be familiar with ways to help students expand and improve their oral language skills.

Reading Inquiry and Research

And the final concept we’re going to cover is reading inquiry and research.

And this section is really about how to understand the message of an author or publication. The three concepts in this section are:

  • Validity of Media
  • Student Research
  • Features of Text

So, the first big concept to know is how to think critically of the validity of a piece of media.

On a simple level, can the source that we’re currently looking at be trusted? You need to understand strategies and activities to help students think critically about the media that they consume.

So, teaching students how to identify the motive or bias of an author will help them understand how that bias impacts the message that the author is presenting. And really this specific concept deals with how to judge if a website or any publication should be trusted and how the same event can produce different perspectives from different authors.

The second concept is basically teaching students to research.

Now, in the first concept, we discussed how to choose which sources to trust. This concept is looking much more at how we organize the information that we do take and how to properly manage our time.

Make sure you’re familiar with the best practices of research organization and time management for elementary students.

And the third concept is simply teaching students to identify the features of a text.

Every text has different features that are designed to quickly communicate what that text is about. And these features can be things like titles, headers, charts, graphs, maps, indexes, glossaries, and annotations.

Teaching students how to navigate these text features and how to leverage these text features to save time or better understand the message of a text is key in getting these questions correct on the CORE Subjects EC-6.


And here’s a bonus for you. Read the TEKS. TEKS are the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and they are the state’s standard for instruction. On the test, the CORE Subjects EC-6 will reference the TEKS, so make sure you give them at least a once-over just so you’re familiar with how they’re structured and what information they communicate.

And remember, if at any point, you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the studying you have to do or you don’t even know where to start, just hop over to

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CORE Subjects EC-6: Mathematics


The mathematics subtest of the CORE Subjects EC-6 can really be divided into five areas:

  • Algebra and Patterns
  • Number Concepts and Operations
  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Mathematical Instruction and Process.

We’re going to break down each section, what it is, and what you need to know. So, let’s get started.

Algebra and Patterns

There are three big concepts you have to know for algebra and patterns. Those three concepts are:

  • Solving for x,
  • Slope intercept form, and
  • How to create an equation from a data set.

Now, let’s look at each of these one by one. Solving for x is pretty straightforward. The test will give you an equation and then you have to solve for x. So, the test will give you an equation like:

4x2 – 4(3 + 2) = 16

4x2– 4(5) = 16

4x2– 20 = 16

And in this equation, we would just need to balance the equation for x, so you would simplify it as much as you can, balance the equation and you’d find that x equals three. And if you’re wondering how we simplified the equation and solved for x, I’m going to tell you in just a little bit. But first, let’s get to the second concept.

And that second concept is slope-intercept form.

Now, the slope-intercept equation is simply:

y = mx + b

And in this equation, m is equal to the slope of the line on a graph and b is the y-intercept, hence the name slope-intercept form.

So, for the equation:

y = 3x + 4

The slope of the line would be three and the y-intercept would be four.

Now, the last major concept to know is how to create an equation from a data set. The test will give you a data set that looks something like this:

x 1 2 3 4
y -1 -3 -5 -7

And you’re required to create a corresponding equation that matches the data set. For this data set, the corresponding equation is:

y = 1 – 2x

Now, if you look at the data set, anytime you plug the x value in, you get the corresponding y value if you solve for the equation. And while this kind of question can seem difficult, it’s one of the easier questions to answer if you just work backward.

All you need to do is look at the answer options, plug in the data set values into each equation and see if they match.

Number Concepts and Operations

Let’s move on to number concepts and operations.

For this section, there are three big concepts you should know and I’m going to give you two specific concepts that are almost guaranteed to show up on the test.

The three concepts are:

  • Order of Operations
  • Value of Integers
  • Word Problems

The first big concept and by far the most important is order of operations.

The order of operations, or PEMDAS, P-E-MD-AS, is simply the process you follow to simplify and work an equation.

Let me give you an example. If you have an equation like this:

2(x – 3) + 3(x + 4)2

You have to work the problem according to a specific order, the order of operations.

In this particular example, you would first solve for the parentheses, then you would solve for the exponents. Then going left to right, you do either multiplication or division then you would add or subtract in the same order (from left to right).

So that’s why we group the M and the D and the A and the S together.

Now, this is incredibly important because on the Core Subjects EC-6, you will be required to simplify an equation. So, you have to know the order of operations to get that question correct.

Now, the second concept you need to know is the value of specific, and sometimes irregular, integers.

Now, the test will, and I mean will, have you place different forms of numbers from greatest to least or least to greatest.

In a given data set, you might have two fractions, a decimal, the number pi, and a negative integer and a regular integer and you must organize all these from least to greatest.

So, make sure you know how to translate decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals so you can compare the two to figure out which one is greater or less than the others.

Oh, and also make sure you understand decimals to the hundredths place.

Now, the last major concept to know from number concepts and operations is how to read, structure, and apply mathematical word problems.

Now, my biggest tip to help you in this is simply to work through a lot of authentic practice questions, specifically, word problems in mathematics.

Now, while these questions aren’t going to be the most complex, it does take a lot of practice to learn how to read a question prompt, understand the mathematical question the prompt is conveying or asking, and then taking that and boiling it down so you can solve for it.

And really, it’s just one of those things you have to practice, practice, practice. So find a great source of authentic practice questions that you can use.

Getting the Help You Need

Now, let’s just step back for a minute and take a break.

If all this seems like a lot it’s because it is.

This is a very big and important test and it takes a lot to pass it. The state of Texas doesn’t want just anyone teaching the next generation of leaders, but if you’re overwhelmed don’t be because 240Tutoring has a fantastic CORE Subjects EC-6 study guide that really breaks down each of these concepts much more in depth than in this video and walks you through step-by-step and teaches you the concepts you absolutely have to know.

The 240Tutoring study guide is simply a one stop all inclusive studying solution.So, if you’re wondering exactly how the order of operations works, how to apply a word problem, or where to get authentic practice questions, look no further than a 240Tutoring study guide.

Subscribe today and begin preparing for the most important test of your life. Oh yes, before we move on to geometry and measurement, I did mention there’s two specific concepts you need to know for number concepts and operations.

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Bonus Concepts for Numbers and Operations

The first is a prime factor.

You need to know what prime factors are and how to find them.

And the second is to be familiar with different properties of mathematics like:

  • Associative Property of Addition
  • Commutative Property of Addition
  • Additive Inverse Property
  • Additive Identity Property

Geometry and Measurement

Now, let’s move on to the third section, geometry and measurement.

Geometry and measurement tends to be a little bit more straightforward than the previous two sections.

For this area, here are the major concepts you need to know:

  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Types and Characteristics of Triangles
  • Moving Objects on a Coordinate Plane

First, you absolutely have to know the Pythagorean Theorem.

The Pythagorean Theorem is used to find any length of a side in a right triangle if you know the other two sides.

The equation of the Pythagorean theorem is:

a2+ b2= c2

Where A and B are the two sides of the right triangle and C is the hypotenuse of the triangle.

And I guarantee you one thing, if you take anything from this, take this one thing: you will have a question about the Pythagorean theorem on the math test. That is an absolute guarantee. It will most likely be in some sort of word problem.

An example would be: Billy walked three blocks west, and four blocks north. If Billy walked a straight line, how many blocks would Billy have walked?

Something like that will show up on the test.

And while we’re talking about triangles, before you take the test, make sure you know the different kinds of triangles and their properties.

Now, the different kinds of triangles you most need to be familiar with would be:

  • Right triangles
  • Isosceles triangles
  • Equilateral triangles
  • Scalene triangles

Now, a lot of the differences between the triangles are really going to come down to the differences in interior angles within the triangle.

So, while you’re studying the different characteristics of triangles, make sure you understand the different characteristics of the interior angles of the triangles.

Which really brings us to our next concept to know and that’s just the difference between complimentary and congruent angles.

Make sure you’re familiar with the difference and when an angle is complimentary and when an angle is congruent.
And finally, for the geometry, you’re going to have to know how to move an object across a coordinate plan.

Now, when I say move an object, I’m not saying you’re physically going to move it, but the test will ask you to rotate, reflect or translate an option from one quadrant on a coordinate plane to another.

So, you need to know what the term reflect, rotate, and translate means and how that appears on a coordinate plane with an object.

So those concepts really take care of geometry. Let’s look at measurement.

Measurement Concepts

The first is how to estimate or approximate, it’s pretty straightforward.

The second is just to be familiar with different units of measurement. Units like temperature, time, money, mass, weight, volume, speed, and percentages.

Now, just like with word problems and number concepts, this mathematical concept isn’t necessarily complex, you just need to make sure you’re familiar with those different types of measuring units.

Probability and Statistics

Now, let’s move on to probability and statistics.

Probability and statistics is by far the least complex area of the entire test.

And by least complex, I mean it has the smallest range of concepts that it’s going to assess.

But just because something’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.

If you don’t understand these concepts, you’re going to get these questions wrong. So, make sure you’re paying extra special attention.

The three concepts are:

  • Central Tendency Measurements
  • Concept of Probability
  • Interpret Statistical Models

The first of the three concepts I’m going to share with you is almost guaranteed to come up on the test. It is as guaranteed as the Pythagorean theorem is to come up on the test. You will get a question on this.

Are you ready?

So, what’s almost guaranteed to show up on the test? Central tendency measurements. What’s central tendency measurement?

It’s simply four concepts: Mode, median, mean, and range.

Now, on the test, they’re going to give you a data set of about 8 to 12 numbers, and they’re going to ask you one or more of the following. What is the mode? What is the median? What is the mean? Or what is the range of the data set? So, you have to know what those central tendency measurements are and how to find them for a data set. And when you practice, work on a data set of about 8 to 12 double-digit numbers.

The second concept that’s very likely to appear in one of the probability and statistics questions is the concept of probability, and specifically, the probability of an event.

Now, the two most common scenarios presented on the test is a probability of a die roll or the probability of a coin flip. And so, when you see one of these questions on the test, you’ll probably get one or the other of this question prompt.

If a six-sided die is rolled, what is the probability of landing on any one of the sides? The answer, of course, is one in six.

The next question you might get is, Billy flipped a coin 10 times. Seven times the coin landed on heads, three times the coin landed on tails. What is the probability of the coin landing on tails on the next flip?

You need to know the answer to that question for the exam.

And the last major concept on probability and statistics is how to interpret different statistical models.

And really, it’s specifically regarding either standard deviation or quartiles.

Many times, when I’ve seen a question like this, the test will provide some sort of information about a set of students’ scores.

You will then have to extrapolate based on that information, and the concepts of either quartiles or standard deviation, some sort of information about a certain number of students’ performance on that test.

Now, Again…

Now again, if this is all going over your head, and you’re just thinking you’re going to fail this thing, don’t freak out. Now is a really good time to get the study guide you need to prepare for this all important test.

And if a lot of this information seems a little fuzzy, or you just have no idea, our study guide is going to walk you through exactly what you need to know.

We have hundreds of pages of instructional content that really break down these concepts in an easy to understand and learn manner, and we have hundreds of authentic practice questions that’s going to make sure you get the necessary practice you need to pass the test. 

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Mathematical Instruction and Process

Now, let’s move on to the fifth and the final area of the test: mathematical instruction and process. Now, the three big concepts you need to know for this section are:

  • The type of assessments and how and when to use them
  • The understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • How to interpret maps, charts, and graphs

Now, when I talk about the types of assessments you can use as a teacher, don’t freak out, because I’m really talking about formal versus informal assessment, and summative versus formative assessments.

Now, those are broad categories of assessments and different assessments can take different forms, but you need to understand formal versus informal, summative versus formative, and when it is appropriate to use any one of those.

The second concept is Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Bloom’s Taxonomy really walks through the cognitive stages or cognitive development levels of a student.

The general theory behind Bloom’s Taxonomy is that students develop their cognitive capabilities in a pretty set way. And once you identify where a student is and what their capabilities are, you can target instruction so that the student is more likely to understand and remember that instruction.

And finally, be familiar with different mathematical charts and graphs.

What kind of graphs do you need to know? Because that’s kind of broad.

Make sure you’re familiar with the following:

  • Venn diagram
  • Pie chart
  • Line graph
  • Histogram

Now, if you’re really familiar with all of those concepts, you should be good to go on the test. But if there are any questions, again, pick up our study guide and make your life easier.

You’ll save a lot of time and a lot of heartaches.

CORE Subjects EC-6: Science


Life Science

Now, for life sciences, there are three major concepts that you have to know because they’re going be on the test.

And just to help you out, I give you a few minor concepts, just to give you a few more questions right.

And those big three concepts are:

  • The Lifecycle,
  • The Principles of Evolution
  • Genetics

And when I say lifecycle, I’m talking about the lifecycle food chain, which begins with the sun providing energy through its light to producers.

Those producers, plants, algae in the sea, they feed consumers, level I consumers, and eventually, you go up the food chain until you get to the apex predator.

And then when the apex predator dies, the decomposers take over and replenish the soil helping the producers keep producing more energy.

Knowing this flow of life and really understanding how energy is transferred from the sun to producers, to consumers, is essential to getting these questions right on the test.

The second big concept is the main pillars or principles of the theory of evolution.

And those two big pillars, at least for the science test, are going to be natural selection and adaptation.

So, you need to know how adaptation fuels and catalyzes natural selection, and how natural selection continues the process of evolution.

So, you need to understand how traits transfer from one generation to the next through genetics. And also, make sure you’re familiar with the Punnet Square, and how that can help you better understand and conceptualize the flow of genetics.

Bonus Concepts

Now, I mentioned earlier that I was going to give you a few minor concepts.

And knowing these minor concepts should give you at least one, two, or three extra questions right on the test.

The first minor concept is knowing the different types of relationships between organisms, specifically, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.

Second, know the different and distinct life stages of both a butterfly and a frog.

Third, know the major systems of the human body, like the skeletal system, muscular system, digestive system, nervous system, and other major systems.

And finally, and this is super important for life science, know the parts of a cell, like the nucleus, mitochondrion, cytoplasm, and more.

Physical Science

Let’s move on to physical science. Now, the three big concepts you’re going to have to know for physical science are:

  • Newton’s Three Laws of Motion,
  • How Heat Transfers in the Three Different Ways
  • The Changes of Matter.

So, let’s start with the first one, Newton’s three laws of motion.

First, you need to know what the three laws are, and more importantly, how they impact everyday activities. So, make sure you’re familiar with how things like gravity or friction can reduce an object’s motion over time, as well as how energy is transferred between objects.

And along this line of thinking, make sure you understand the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

And the second big concept is the changes in matter, both the physical change and a chemical change. A physical change affects an object or substance’s physical properties.

So, think about water going from ice to gas. It’s still water. It’s just in a different state. Its physical property has changed.

Now, a chemical change is a change in the chemical properties of an object or substance. An example of this would be pouring hot water over coffee beans. The water goes through the coffee beans, its chemical makeup is changed, and it creates coffee.

And the third big concept to know for physical science are the three kinds of heat transfers:

  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Radiation

Each of these processes transfers heat in a different way.

You need to know the basics of each type of process and how they differ from each other.

Bonus Concepts

Now, here’s a few small concepts to pick up at least to one question on the exam. You need to know the different kinds of traditional and alternative energy sources like coal, oil, solar, wind, nuclear, and other things like that. Of those energy sources, know which ones are renewable and nonrenewable.

And finally, you need to know the different kinds of materials that make for good and poor conductors of electricity. For example, copper wire conducts electricity better than a wooden spoon.

Getting the Help You Need

Now, if all this seems like a lot, it is. This is a big important test and it requires studying to pass it, but if you’re overwhelmed, don’t be. We’ve created the best study guides possible for this test? Well, you can get that study guide. It has an all-inclusive, one-stop, simple studying solution. You see, we’ve taken all these concepts, broken down exactly what you need to know, and we’ve created a wonderful, amazing, easy-to-use study guide that you can enroll in so you don’t have to worry about if you know the right things.

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Earth and Space Science

Now, let’s get back to talking about Earth and Space Science. The three concepts to know for Earth and Space are:

  • Water Cycle
  • Lunar Cycle
  • Kinds of Rocks

The single biggest concept to know for Earth and Space Science is the water cycle.

Now, the water cycle’s really talking about how water goes from the ocean into the atmosphere, turns into rain, falls on land, and then it’s transferred back to the ocean.

You see, the water cycle is one of the pillars of life on Earth. So, we have to understand it to get questions right on that Earth and Space Science section.

Next, you’re also going to need to know the lunar cycle.

And the lunar cycle refers to the moon’s location relative to the Earth and the sun at any given time.

The lunar cycle is almost guaranteed to come up on the exam.

And finally, you need to know about the three different kinds of rock, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.

Make sure you know the characteristics of each and how they differ from each other.


Make sure you know the different layers of the atmosphere and the characteristics of each one. Make sure you know about erosion and weathering and how it impacts the soil and rocks. And make sure you’re familiar with the Coriolis effect, how it happens, and why it happens.

Scientific Instruction

The fourth area on the exam is Scientific Instruction. And for Scientific Instruction, you need to know the following:

  • Scientific Method
  • Fact v. Theory v. Hypothesis v. Prediction
  • Kinds of Assessments

The first is the scientific method. It’s incredibly important.

It’s the scientific method.

You need to know what it is and how to apply it.

Make sure you know the difference between a fact, verse a theory, verse a hypothesis, verse a prediction.

Each one of those is incredibly different and you need to know what they and really how they are different from each other to make sure you get these Scientific Instruction questions correct.

Now, you will be teaching science and in Scientific Instruction, you need to know the different kinds of assessments you provide to students.

And when I say different kinds of assessments, I specifically am talking about formal assessment versus an informal assessment, and a summative assessment versus formative assessment.

You need to know what those kinds of assessments are and when it’s most appropriate to use different ones.

And with Scientific Instruction, you need to know the different levels of blooms taxonomy. This is incredibly important and will help you understand what kind of material you need to teach at which age level.

Scientific Process

And the fifth and final section on the exam is the scientific process. For scientific process, you need to know just a few concepts:

  • Lab Safety Procedures
  • Tools to Measure
  • Metric Measurements

The first is basic lab safety procedures.

Second, you need to know how to measure various substances and the common tools used to measure substances in science.

This can include things like rulers, triple beam balances, beakers, and even graduated cylinders. There’s a lot of different tools scientists use to measure different objects.

And most scientific measurements are taken in the metric system.

So, make sure you’re familiar with metric measurements.

For your example, how many millimeters are in a meter? Hint. It’s in the name. And finally, know the scientific skills of inferring, analyzing, predicting, and classifying.

CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies


This page is going to prepare you for and breakdown the CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies test.

My name is Scott Rozell. I’ve helped thousands of teachers pass the CORE Subjects EC-6 test and today- I’m going to help you.

Specifically, this page is going to show you three things:

As a bonus, if you have already taken the test, at the end of the page I will show you how to breakdown your score report.

CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies Overview

The CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies test consists of 5 areas (or competencies): Social Studies Instruction, History, Geography and Culture, Economics, and Government and Citizenship.

I know this because Pearson releases these helpful PDFs called “Test Preparation Manuals”. In each of these Test Preparation Manuals, Pearson breaks down each TExES exam by domains, then competency, and then tells you what type of information can be on the test.

If Pearson gives me this breakdown, then why are you reading this page?

Great question!

This page is helpful where the Pearson preparation manual is INCREDIBLY vague. For example:

CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies, Competency 2 [History], Item B.


CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies, Competency 4 [Econ], Item A.

Where to even begin?

And even when the Pearson Preparation Manual is specific, it only points you in a general direction. For example:

CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies, Competency 2 [History], Item S.

So what does the test mean by “significant individuals” or “significant events”?

That is one of the tricky parts of studying.

And really, there are two ways to go about studying. Both are good options.

The First Option to Study

The first option is simply to Google: significant individuals from the Revolutionary War.

Take the first 3-4 results in Google and read through. Chances are, you will get the right information you need.

But, and here is the catch, you have to do that for EVERY POINT in the Pearson Preparation Manual.

There are 97 points, just for the EC-6 Social Studies.

So that’s at least 97 Google searches, a minimum 291 web pages to read- and that’s even if you know what to search for, and tens, if not hundreds, of hours of reading material.

I wouldn’t even know how to search for this point:

CORE Subjects EC-6: Social Studies, Competency 4 [Econ], Item A.

While this is the hard way of studying, it is a great option to prepare for the test.

The Second Option to Study

The second way to study is easier.

You use a study guide.

I personally recommend using the 240Tutoring study guide since it’s got hundreds of authentic practice questions, targeted instructional content, simple and reliable flashcards, and a full-length practice test- plus a money-back guarantee of success.

Now let’s skip to the super-helpful part of the page. I tell you a few concepts that are almost certain to appear on the exam so you can get a head start on studying.

Concepts on the Test

Social Studies Instruction

How to read the following graphs and tables: bar graph, scatter plot, pie chart, a population pyramid, or basic tables.

Pie Chart

Scatter Plot

Bar Graph

Population Pyramid


The biggest thing you need to know for Geography: How does geographic features of land influences human behavior?

Simply put- humans respond to their geographic circumstances.

Examples would be: every single major city founded before 1900 is by a river or water source. This is because humans need freshwater and water was the faster and easiest form of transportation until the invention of the steam engine and railroads.

Additionally, you need to know the three main parts of the water cycle are: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation.

The major geographic features you need to know:

  • Sahara Desert
  • Himalayan Mountains
  • The Amazon River
  • The Mississippi River
  • The Ganges River
  • The Rocky Mountains.


History can be extremely vague.

But these specific concepts are very likely to be on the test.

Manifest Destiny– the belief that the United States’ destiny is to stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This was a huge factor in westward expansion during the mid-19th century in the United States.

Columbian Exchange– the trade established by Columbus in 1492 between the New World Columbus discovered and the Old World. There is a lot cover here- check out this website for more information about American History.

Sectionalism– Sectionalism refers to the division between the North and the South prior to the American Civil War. The big aspects of sectionalism are: The Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, the Mexican-American War, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Northwest Passage– The Northwest Passage is a non-exist sea route across the North American that would establish trade between Europe and China. It was the primary cause of North American exploration by Europeans.


These specific concepts are likely to appear on the government questions for the CORE Subjects EC-6:

Articles of Confederation– The Articles of Confederation was the first governing document for the United States of America. These Articles created a weak federal government, that really couldn’t respond to the demands of the new nation. The Articles of Confederation were replaced by the U.S Constitution of 1787.

13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment– These three amendments were ratified after the Civil War and eliminate slavery in the U.S. and secure voting rights for any race and ethnicity.

19th Amendment– Allowed women to vote in elections.

The New Deal- A series of economic programs passed under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to help stimulate the American economy.

Plessy v. Ferguson– Segregation in schools is legal and allowed under the United States Constitution. Set the bar for “separate but equal”.

McCulloch v. Maryland– States cannot impede the power of the federal government when the federal government is exercising its constitutional powers. And, the Consitution has “implied” powers that the federal government can exercise.

Marbury v. Madison– Established the principle of Judicial Review- which states that the Supreme Court has the power to invalidate laws it deems “unconstitutional”.

Dred Scott v. Sandford­– Established that slaves were property and not entitled to the rights of citizens. Overturned after the Civil War.

Common Sense– A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1776 that helped sway American opinion in favor of independence.

Mayflower Compact– An agreement between pilgrims on the Mayflower. Set the precedent of representative, democratic rule for British colonies.

Magna Carta– An English agreement between the King and the English nobles that limited the power of the King and granted important powers to the nobles- one of the first agreements in history to limit the power of government.


These specific concepts are likely to appear on the government questions for the CORE Subjects EC-6:

Opportunity Cost– The cost of the next best forgone conclusion. Opportunity cost is the realized cost – not monetary cost – of a choice. The real cost of an action is whatever a person would do instead of the action chosen.

Scarcity– The idea that humans live in a world without limitless resources. Scarcity forces humans to choose and prioritize their time to pursue different goals. Without scarcity, we could all have what we all wanted.

Mercantilism– The belief that a country’s power is measured by its gold reserves. Mercantilism was the prevailing economic philosophy for almost 300 years between 1500 and 1800.

Supply and Demand– A basic economic principle that says economic activity is dictated by the supply of a good and the demand of that good. Generally speaking, when demand goes up, supply will go up. When demand goes down, supply will go down. If there is a lot of a good, it will be cheaper than if there was a little of that same good.

Monopoly/Oligopoly– A monopoly is where one firm (or business) controls an entire market. A firm (or business) that has a monopoly can charge whatever they want for their good or service. An oligopoly is where a few firms (2-3) have total control of a market and can collude together to set prices.

Comparative Advantage– An economic idea that some people can do things better than others. Firms (or businesses) that can produce a good faster, cheaper, or better than other firms (or businesses) have a comparative advantage.

So those are the big concepts that I HIGHLY recommend you know for the exam.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions in each area to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

CORE Subjects EC-6 Practice Test

English Language Arts Practice Test

Since very young children (age birth-4) learn oral language through family and friends, the early childhood teacher should first establish a common language among all the students. This can be achieved through:

  1. labeling items throughout the room.
  2. pointing to words while reading picture books.
  3. creating a Word Wall comprised of words the students supply from prior experience.
  4. prioritizing state curriculum words.

Correct Answer: A

Labeling items allows all students to refer to all items with the same language. Pointing to words while reading picture books gives all students the same context clues for language. Word Walls are helpful at many different levels; however, they do not provide a common language for all students if the words are from individual students’ experiences. State curriculum words are often at much higher levels and are more important for the teacher to know and understand; however, this knowledge and understanding does not provide a common language for all students.

Students in the fifth-grade typically have a mastery of the elements of the alphabetic principle. However, teachers need to have a clear understanding of this principle in order to be aware of any student’s difficulties in this area. What are the elements of the alphabetic principle?

  1. Phonemic awareness skills, schema development, and graphophonemic development
  2. Structural analysis, letter names, and the relationship of printed letters to spoken language
  3. Reading fluency, word identification skills, and letter names
  4. Letter names, graphophonemic knowledge, and the relationship of printed words to spoken language

Correct Answer: D

These are the major elements of the alphabetic principle.

Emergent literacy development means that:

  1. students have mastered their phonemic awareness skills, vocabulary development, and the ability to use structural analysis.
  2. students easily develop questions about what has been read.
  3. children understand that written language has messages and makes sense.
  4. children recognize many words and can apply phonics and word analysis skills.

Correct Answer: C

This is considered the emergent stage of literacy development.

A first-grade teacher can formally and informally assess students’ phonemic awareness development in a variety of ways including all EXCEPT:

  1. having the student give rhymes to short words that the teacher gives orally.
  2. repeating the words back after the teacher says them aloud.
  3. having the student read silently and write down certain syllables.
  4. having the student blend together sounds into words that the teacher gives orally.

Correct Answer: C

When a student is reading silently, the teacher cannot assess the pronunciation. Also, phonemic awareness is the ability to hear individual sounds, not necessarily read them. Therefore, this is the answer to the question.

Mr. Harper wants to assess his students’ reading fluency by listening to each student orally read a section from a selected text. Which of the following would NOT be a good indicator for Mr. Harper to use in assessing the students’ reading fluency?

  1. Consistency of the students’ reading rate
  2. How clear students are able to pronounce words
  3. The variation in students’ reading intonation
  4. Students’ accuracy of word identification

Correct Answer: B

This is the least appropriate assessment indicator because how clearly students can pronounce words can depend on a variety of factors that are not related to reading fluency.

Which of the following words should a teacher use to demonstrate structural analysis for vocabulary development?

  1. Unknown
  2. Maintain
  3. Develop
  4. Dog

Correct Answer: A

Unknown is the best option for structural analysis because it contains a prefix and root word that can be deconstructed.

A fifth-grade teacher wants to ensure that all her students know the elements, or story grammar, of narrative text. Which of the following discussion topics would best promote students’ retention of the narrative’s elements?

  1. Venn diagrams, charts, and graphs
  2. Newspaper articles, magazines, and dictionaries
  3. Characters, setting, theme, plot, sequence, and solution
  4. Planning, drafting, revising, and editing

Correct Answer: C

This is the correct answer. These are some of the elements that you typically find in stories which are narrative text.

By the time students are in fourth- and fifth-grades, teachers expect the students to be fluent in reading, which comes from having and using a large repertoire of word identification skills. Fluency involves:

  1. using structural cues, syntax and semantics.
  2. understanding connotative meaning along with the rate and accuracy of reading.
  3. rate, accuracy, and intonation along with state norms.
  4. denotative meaning, understanding narrative text, and rate of reading along with using state norms.

Correct Answer: C

This is the correct answer. These are the areas in which fluency is involved.

A fifth-grade teacher is going to read a story about two children visiting the aquarium. Which of the following activities is the best way to introduce the text to promote comprehension?

  1. Find the aquarium on a map
  2. Complete a KWL chart
  3. Have students write about their own experiences with aquatic animals
  4. Listen to the story on audio

Correct Answer: B

This is correct because having students complete a KWL chart before and after reading the text helps build and activate background knowledge, which promotes reading comprehension.

Students in fourth-grade have to begin doing various kinds of research and become better enabled to use appropriate study skills. Therefore, the teachers in this grade see the need to model and teach a variety of these skills. Which of the following would be the least effective student activity in promoting student research?

  1. Locating, analyzing, and summarizing information
  2. Outlining information
  3. Previewing what is to be read/studied
  4. Publishing their research

Correct Answer: D

Publishing their work is not a study/research skill in and of itself.

Mathematics Practice Test

Mrs. Brooks is a first-grade mathematics teacher. She wants to incorporate workstations into her lesson. She sets up the following stations:

Station 1: Students toss two dice and record the numbers on each die plus the sum of the two dice. They repeat the process ten times.

Station 2: Students build a tower consisting of nine cubes and each cube must have either a red or blue color on a side. Students then count the number of red sides and blue sides on each side of the tower.

Station 3: Two students place 13 marbles on the table. The students take turns removing from 1-12 marbles from the table and the other student has to figure out how many marbles the other student removed. The students then record the two numbers.

Which of the following concepts is Mrs. Brooks most likely trying to explore with the workstations for her students?

  1. Benchmarking numbers
  2. Part-part-whole
  3. Spatial concepts
  4. One more and one less

Correct Answer: B

This is correct because in this activity the students are conceptualizing that a number is made up of two or more parts.

A fifth-grade teacher writes the problem 5(10-5) on the board. She asks students to solve theproblem mentally and raise their hands when they find a solution. When all students have raised their hands, the teacher begins a dialogue with a student:

Teacher: “John, what solution did you come up with?”

John: “25”

Teacher: “That is the correct answer! (to the class) Raise your hands if you thought 25 was the correct answer.”

Every student then raises their hands and the teacher writes a new problem on the board.

Which of the following adjustments could the teacher make to best assess all the students’ understanding of the concept?

  1. Ask John to explain how he found the answer and then move on to another problem
  2. Require students to write their answers on a sheet of paper and then collect the sheets of paper at the end of class
  3. Ask multiple students for their answers and allow them to explain how they found the answers prior to identifying the correct answer
  4. Require John to demonstrate how he found the answer on the board in front of the entire class

Correct Answer: C

This is the best answer as it gives the teacher and students opportunities to explore multiple answers and multiple ways to solve the problem. It is best to ask students to share before revealing the correct answer so that students are not intimidated if their answers were incorrect.

X 1 2 3 4 5 6
Y -1 -3 -5 -7 -9 -11

Which expression best represents y in terms of x?

  1. y = x – 2
  2. y = 2x – 3
  3. y = 1 – 2x
  4. y = -(x + 4)

Correct Answer: C

The expression y = 1 – 2x is the only expression that satisfies ALL of the possibilities on the chart.

A teacher draws many variations of triangles on the board in front of the class. She then asks students to identify which triangles have acute angles, right angles, and obtuse angles. Which of the following is the teacher most likely trying to accomplish?

  1. Reinforcing geometric definitions
  2. Applying geometric principles to real-life situations
  3. Teaching place value using manipulatives
  4. Explaining the concept of angle congruence

Correct Answer: A

Students already know the definitions of acute angles, right angles, and obtuse angles because the question does not say the teacher is teaching the angles; the question implies the students already know the definition of the angles. The teacher is allowing students to exercise their knowledge of these definitions by drawing the angles on the board and asking students to identify them.

What is the median and mean of the data set below?

10, 8, 5, 3, 7, 4, 5, 9, 2, 3, 7, 3, 8, 6, 4, 1, 2, 1, 10, 3

  1. Median: 3.5; Mean: 5.0
  2. Median: 4.5; Mean: 5.0
  3. Median: 7.0; Mean: 5.0
  4. Median: 4.5; Mean: 4.5

Correct Answer: B

Remember that before you can find the median, the data must be arranged in order from least to greatest or greatest to least. Then the median is simply the middle term. In this set, however, there are 20 terms, so the middle two terms are 4 and 5. The median in this case is the average of the two middle scores: (4 + 5) ÷ 2 = 4.5. The mean is the sum of all of the numbers in the data set divided by 20, the number of items in the data set: 101 ÷ 20 = 5.02. The mean is about 5.0. The mean is written as 5.0 because the value has been rounded to the nearest tenth; writing the mean as 5 would indicate that it is an exact whole number, 5.

A sixth-grade class is asked to estimate the answer to the following question:

75.8 + 326.79 + 488.92 ÷ 11 = _____.

Which of the following would be the best answer?

  1. 900
  2. 80
  3. 450
  4. 82

Correct Answer: C

This question checks for understanding of the order of operations. Since this problem involves both addition and division, division MUST be done first. The correct order of operations is parenthetical expressions, exponents, multiplication/division (left to right, whichever comes first), and finally addition/subtraction (left to right, whichever comes first). So, the 488.92/11 is performed first. Since this is an estimation problem, it would be about 500/10, which is 50. Then 75.8 + 326.79 is about 400. Adding the 50 and 400, we get about 450.

Which of the following lists ALL the equations that are linear? (Select all that apply)

  1. y = -3x – 5
  2. y = -1/3 x – 5/3
  3. y = x – 2
  4. y = x

Correct Answer: A, B, C, D

All equations are linear. A linear equation is an equation whose graph is a line. The x and y variables contained in a linear equation are always first degree, meaning that they have no exponents – or they have exponents of 1 which are not usually written. So, x and x¹ are equivalent expressions. All quadratic equations contain one second degree variable: a variable with an exponent of 2. When quadratic equations are plotted, their graphs are parabolas.

Which of the following civilizations is most closely associated with the development of algebra?

  1. Arabian
  2. Egyptian
  3. Roman
  4. Mayan

Correct Answer: A

Al-Khwarizmi (770 – 840 C.E.) is generally accepted as the Father of Algebra even though there is evidence that many concepts from algebra were known many thousands of years before Al-Khwarizmi. The word, algebra, comes from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning to unite or combine.

Archer Number of Arrow Show Number of Targets Hit
Bob 25 15
Charlotte 22 14
John 16 7
Susan 18 12

The table above shows both the number of arrows shot by each of four archers, and also the number of targets hit by each archer. If each archer continues to be as accurate as depicted in the table, which of the following archers is most likely to hit his or her next target?

  1. John
  2. Bob
  3. Charlotte
  4. Susan

Correct Answer: D

The archer most likely to hit the next target would be the archer with the highest accuracy at this stage. The accuracy of each archer can be found by dividing the archer’s “Number of Targets Hit” by the “Number of Arrows Shot” values. The fraction or decimal results of this division can be converted to a percentage (by moving the decimal point two places to the right) and compared with each other. Using this approach, it should be clear that Susan’s accuracy is the highest at 12/18 = 2/3 = 0.666… ≈ 67%. The other archers have lower values (Bob: 60%, Charlotte: 64%, John: 44%), and so Susan is the most likely archer to hit her next target.

A third-grade teacher wants to assess students’ ability to calculate the area of nonstandard polygons. Which of the following figures would assess a student’s ability to find the area of nonstandard polygons?

  1. Figure 3
  2. Figure 5
  3. Figure 10
  4. Figure 12 & 11 combined

Correct Answer: B

Figure 5 is a nonstandard polygon because it does not have a standard geometric structure, such as a triangle, square or rectangle.

Science Practice Test

Density is measured by using the formula mass/volume. Which of the above tools would be helpful in finding the density of a regular-shaped, solid object?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

Correct Answer: A

The density of an object is calculated by measuring both the mass and volume and dividing the volume into the mass. The volume of a regular-shaped object is calculated by measuring the L x W x H of that object. This measurement is done with a metric ruler.

Which of the following would most engage students in scientific inquiry?

  1. Giving students tools used in various scientific processes
  2. Providing students an article regarding the usefulness of scientific inquiry in everyday life
  3. Assigning students into heterogeneous groups to perform scientific investigations
  4. Having students write down three problems they encounter on a weekly basis and suggesting they use a scientific process to solve one of the three problems

Correct Answer: D

This would most engage students with the concept of scientific inquiry because students are applying how to use the scientific inquiry in their own lives. This helps students understand and apply the principles of scientific inquiry.

All objects in the universe are attracted to one another by what force?

  1. Magnetic force
  2. Inertia
  3. Gravitational pull
  4. Electromagnetic waves

Correct Answer: C

The law of universal forces, including gravitational pull, applies to all objects in the universe.

The water cycle includes:

  1. evaporation.
  2. condensation.
  3. precipitation.
  4. all of the above.

Correct Answer: D

The water cycle includes evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Mr. Murphy is planning a lesson designed to meet the needs of all learners in his science class. The goal of his lesson is to help the learner enjoy learning science. Which of the following should Mr. Murphy incorporate first into the lesson, in order to reach his goal?

  1. Stories about former students who did not like science, then learned to like it
  2. Activities focused on a variety of interests and learning styles
  3. A worksheet for review of major content
  4. The explanation of difficult science concepts

Correct Answer: B

In order for all students to enjoy the content, a variety of activities should be incorporated into the lesson. When these activities focus on the students’ interests and learning styles, the students become more engaged in the lesson and enjoy learning.

Which of the following would be the most effective assessment of the students’ understanding of scientific method?

  1. Have students write about how to utilize the scientific method in their science journals
  2. Have students complete a multiple-choice quiz about the scientific method prior to any experiment
  3. Have students design and implement a hands-on experiment
  4. Have students sort the steps of the scientific method

Correct Answer: C

The most effective assessment of the students’ understanding of the scientific method involves the students utilizing the steps of the scientific method. Students best demonstrate their knowledge of the scientific method when they implement the knowledge in an experiment.

Which of the following systems in the human body breaks down food into a simpler form of  energy?

  1. Excretory
  2. Digestive
  3. Circulatory
  4. Endocrine

Correct Answer: B

The digestive system breaks down food for energy.

When the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, it can either partially or totally block  the sun’s light, keeping it from reaching the Earth’s surface. Which of the following options  below best describes this phenomenon?

  1. Atmospheric interference
  2. Structural interference
  3. A lunar eclipse
  4. A solar eclipse

Correct Answer: D

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves directly between the Earth and the sun. The moon can partially or totally block the sun’s light from reaching the surface of the Earth resulting in either a total or partial solar eclipse.

Students were asked to observe chemical reactions taking place and then record their observations in a data table.  Which of the following observations could indicate a chemical reaction has occurred?

  1. A change in temperature
  2. A change in color
  3. The production of bubbles
  4. All of the above could indicate a chemical reaction has taken place

Correct Answer: D

All of these are examples of observations that could be made indicating that a chemical reaction has taken place.

Which of the following are examples of selective breeding? (Select all that apply)

  1. The new hybrid corn plant that resists disease
  2. The purebred Saint Bernard dog with stronger muscles for working
  3. A female black widow spider selects her mate and eats him after breeding

Correct Answer: A and B

The first is an example of selective breeding because disease resistant corn is more desirable than non-disease resistant corn. The second is an example of selective breeding because Saint Bernard dogs are working dogs and their stronger muscles make them better workers.

Social Studies Practice Test

Social Studies Instruction

Mrs. Sims wants to demonstrate to her students how the price of gasoline has increased as the uses for gasoline have also increased. Which of the following graphs would best help Mrs. Sims visually demonstrate this concept?

A. Bar graph
B. Pie chart
C. Two dimensional diagram or scattergram
D. Population pyramid

Correct Answer: A

A bar graph is useful in analyzing one element by plotting data for each month or year, observing the trend. A bar graph uses bars to represent, in this case, the price of gasoline. This will allow students to see the price changes over a period of time in an easy to understand manner.

For which of the following reasons would a teacher use a population pyramid, like the one above?

A. To show the distribution of population based on age in the United States
B. To show the average age of populations in a given geographic area
C. To show the median ages of various socio-economic demographics
D. To show the number one cause for death in a given age group

Correct Answer: A

The graph shows the distribution of a population based on age.

Geography and Culture

The three main physical processes of the water or hydrologic cycle are:

A. transpiration, perspiration, and sweating.
B. building dams, creating canals, lowering the aquifers.
C. evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
D. irrigation, desalination, and insolation.

Correct Answer: C

The start of the water cycle begins with the Sun’s radiation evaporating the ocean water. As the vapor rises, it condenses to form clouds. The wind systems drive the moisture-bearing clouds over the land. Winds are forced to rise over mountains as the “orographic effect” produces rain or snow. Liquid water either submerges into the soil to form groundwater or runoff into rivers, drains the land, and returns to the ocean where it begins to start over again.

Which of the following best describes the primary purpose for the first European settlers settling around the San Francisco Bay area?

A. The area was rich in oil deposits
B. The bay was rich with gold deposits
C. The bay was far from government oversight so individuals could evade taxes on various economic goods
D. The bay was a natural harbor that protected ships inside the bay from turbulent weather and conditions outside the bay

Correct Answer: D

This is the correct answer. One of the most important features when settling a new land is the creation of a harbor so that goods can be shipped in and out of the region. This is why areas like New York, Charleston, and New Orleans are so significant. They are natural harbors. When the first settlers settled California, one of their highest priorities was establishing a harbor for trade; the Bay Area is a natural harbor.

Which of the following is the most common reason for forests to be cut down in developing countries?

A. To make land suitable for farming
B. To increase tourism destinations
C. To decrease carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere
D. To create more logging jobs

Correct Answer: A

Developing countries, generally, have an agrarian economy, an economy based upon agricultural production. Most forests are cut down to create additional land for farming.


Which of the following best describes the concept of Manifest Destiny?

A. America was not destined to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean
B. God’s will for America was to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean
C. Taking land from Native Americans was wrong and Americans should not settle west of the Mississippi River
D. America should expand from coast to coast but in collaboration with other European nations

Correct Answer: B

Manifest Destiny was popular in the 19th century and was the concept that it was the will of God that the United States stretch from sea to shining sea. The concept was used in the political sphere to justify the Mexican-American War and other military conflicts that resulted in land acquisition. The concept was also used to justify the transcontinental railroad subsidies and as a political tool to unite Americans towards a common goal.

Which of the following best describes the primary goal of the first French explorers of North America?

A. Establish a vibrant fur trade
B. Establish a military outpost to combat Spanish dominance of North America
C. Convert American Indians to Christianity
D. Discover a western sea-route to trade with Asia

Which of the following most significantly disrupted the balance of free states and slave states prior to the Civil War?

A. The Mexican-American War
B. The Missouri Compromise
C. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson
D. The Texas Revolution

Correct Answer: A

The Mexican-American War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which led to the admittance of the land of California into the Union as a free state without a balancing slave state. This upset the balance of free states and slave states.


Mr. Scotts breaks up a dispute among two second-grade students. In discussing the situation with the students, Mr. Scotts realizes they were arguing over the use of class resources. This situation could best be used to teach which of the following economic principles?

A. Scarcity
B. Opportunity costs
C. Mercantilism
D. Free trade

Correct Answer: A

Scarcity refers to the limitation of resources in a given scenario. Scarcity is a fundamental economic problem that humans have needs and desires, but live in a world of limited resources. On a daily basis, humans must choose how best to spend their time to accomplish their priorities; humans cannot pursue all their desires and needs due to the limitation of time and resources. Scarcity leads to the idea of opportunity costs. A person must decide to pursue opportunity A or opportunity B and the cost of pursuing opportunity A is that opportunity B cannot be pursued (and vice-versa).

A market where a few firms compete against each other is known as:

A. a monopoly.
B. an oligopoly.
C. monopolistic competition.
D. perfect competition.

Correct Answer: B

An oligopoly is a market where only a few firms supply a good or resource. A few examples would be Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors which produce 80% of the beer sold in America; AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint which control roughly 89% of the cellular telephone service in the U.S.

Mr. Smith begins a project among his fourth-grade class. He gives the class $20 to purchase pencils and has his students sell them to students who have forgotten pencils at home. Which of the following economic principles can Mr. Smith’s students learn from this project?

A. Opportunity cost
B. Supply and demand
C. Comparative advantage
D. Impact of imports and tariffs

Correct Answer: B

Mr. Smith is introducing his students to the concept of supply and demand because his students would supply pencils to students who forgot them at home and needed them, or to those who had a demand for the pencils.


Which of the following Supreme Court cases established that the Supreme Court had the power to rule laws passed by Congress unconstitutional?

A. Plessy v. Ferguson
B. McCulloch v. Maryland
C. Marbury v. Madison
D. Dred Scott v. Sandford

Correct Answer: C

Marbury v. Madison (1803) established the principle of judicial review. Although the Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court this power, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall reasoned that the checks and balances system created by the Constitution required that the Supreme Court be able to void laws deemed unconstitutional. It should be noted that no surviving framer of the Constitution argued against the principle of Judicial Review; it was generally assumed that the Supreme Court would have this power at the ratification of the Constitution.

Which amendment abolished slavery in America?

A. 1st
B. 13th
C. 16th
D. 17th

Correct Answer: B

The 13th Amendment (1865) outlaws the institution of slavery in the United States. It states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Which Constitutional Amendment prohibits the denial of voting based on race, color, or previous servitude?

A. Thirteenth Amendment
B. Fifteenth Amendment
C. Nineteenth Amendment
D. Twenty-First Amendment

Correct Answer: B

The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the denial to vote based on race, color, or previous servitude.

The legal doctrine known as “separate but equal” was instituted in which of the following cases?

A. Plessy v. Ferguson
B. Brown v. Board of Education
C. Marbury v. Madison
D. Mapp v. Ohio

Correct Answer: A

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) ruled that state laws requiring segregation in public and private sectors were constitutional, using the test of “separate but equal.”

Score Report

Now let’s look how to breakdown a score report.

Here is an example of a score report.

As you can see, there are 5 competencies listed, Competency 001 through Competency 005.

These competencies are identified and elaborated upon the ETS Preparation Manual.

  • Competency 001- Social Science Instruction
  • Competency 002- History
  • Competency 003- Geography
  • Competency 004- Economics
  • Competency 005- Government

Based on this score report, the test-taker seems to be scoring well in Social Science Instruction and Economics, but needs a lot of help in History, Geography and Government.

From this information, it would be best to focus on those three competencies. You can get more information, specifically, of what you should study in by reviewing the ETS Preparation Manual.

The Next Step

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