TExES CORE Subjects EC-6: The Ultimate Guide and Practice Test2020-07-17T19:38:49+00:00

TExES 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 above.

CORE Subjects EC-6: English Reading and Language Arts Breakdown

Domain I has 33 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 33% of the entire exam. This domain covers the following overarching concepts:

  • Phonics and Word Decoding
  • Teaching Oral Language
  • Literacy and Fluency Development

So, let’s explore some specific topics from this domain that are likely to appear on the test.

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.

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 240tutoring.com.

Save yourself a lot of time and a lot of headaches. Get the best resources bundled together in a simple, online, mobile-friendly, easy to use studying solution.

CORE Subjects EC-6: Mathematics Breakdown

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:

4x– 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:

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.

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.

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 Breakdown

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.

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 Breakdown

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:

  • What is on the test and how to study for it
  • What concepts are most likely to be on the test
  • Cover a few practice questions

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.

Social Studies Instruction

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

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.

CORE Subjects EC-6: Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education Breakdown


The Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education subject test has 52 questions and accounting for 19% of the entire test. This subject test is divided into five sections:

  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • Theatre

So, let’s explore a couple of concepts within each one.

Visual Arts

The Elements of Art

This competency tests your knowledge of the elements of art, including color, texture, shape, form, line, space, and value.

Line is the most basic element of art. It is the path that connects two points in a plane. Line can have weight, movement, and direction, and can communicate two and three dimensions.

Shape is defined as lines that are connected to create a closed area. Triangles, circles, and squares are all shapes.

Form is similar to shape in that it represents an enclosed area, but it exists in a three-dimensional space. For example, a circle is a shape, while a sphere has form.

Space refers to the area in and around a piece of art. Space can be positive (the area that an object fills) or negative (the absence of an object within a piece). Space communicates energy, emotion, and tension between subjects within a piece of art.

Color is produced when light hits an object or surface and the light waves are reflected into the eye.

Hue is used to describe the specific color; for example, blue, yellow, and green are hues.

Artists use color to express emotion to the audience. A monochromatic piece that uses one hue in a variety of intensities communicates a different message than one that uses many hues.

Value defines how light or dark a certain hue is, like navy blue or sky blue.

Texture engages the sense of touch that is inherent in a piece of art. Texture is used to describe both two- and three- dimensional pieces. When an artist evokes this element of art, that piece can be described as smooth, jagged, rough, etc.

Texture can be real or perceived. A mixed-media work might include fabrics and materials with differing textures, or a drawing of an object might represent varied textures.

Example Activities to Promote Understanding

Based on student age and ability, teachers can review multiple elements of art and allow students to create pieces with a focus on those elements.

  • Creating a collage is an activity that can be made more or less advanced for a range of student age, ability, and safety levels.
  • Students can gather items with different shapes, colors, and textures, like cotton balls, yarn, sand paper, crumpled tissue, and aluminum foil.
  • Students can recreate a familiar painting using their gathered objects. If the students are more experienced, the materials and equipment can be more complex or difficult to use.
  • Once the pieces are complete, students can take a gallery walk around the room and discuss how different choices of color, shape, and texture impacted the works.

The Principles of Art

This competency tests your knowledge of the principles of art, including emphasis, contrast, pattern, rhythm, balance, proportion, and unity.

Emphasis is defined as attracting the viewer’s attention to a specific focal point.

Contrast is the use of different elements to create a cohesive piece. In the image above (The Birth of Venus) there are dark and light spaces that work together to focus the audience on the subject of the painting.

Pattern employs the repetition of color, line, or other elements. In the painting above (The Birth of Venus), color and line are used to create a pattern in the water in the background.

Rhythm, like pattern, uses repetition of an element of art to create the perception of movement. The angel in the top left of the painting is wearing fabric that expresses movement using this principle.

Balance in a piece of art creates equilibrium. In the image above, the figure in the center is the focus and the figures on either side take up about the same amount of space, giving this piece even balance.

Proportion utilizes the relationship of one element to another within a piece of art. For example, Botticelli (the artist who created The Birth of Venus) elongates the proportions of a typical human figure in this image to exaggerate the divine qualities of the goddess at the center of the painting.

Unity is the principal that enlists all elements and principles to create a complete piece of art. In The Birth of Venus, all of the aspects discussed are working together to create a unified painting.

Promote Understanding of the Principles of Art

Based on student age and ability, teachers can use direct instruction to demonstrate the principles of art.

Many of these concepts are related and complex, so defining and identifying principles should be mastered before other levels of understanding are attempted.

Once the definitions are clear, students can break into small groups and analyze a piece of art for which principles are present, and then share out to the class.


Elements of Music

A competent teacher will understand the following elements of music:

  • Pitch – how high or low a sound seems to a listener
    • Intervals – the difference between pitches
    • Intonation – hitting the correct pitch when singing or playing an instrument
      • Flat – playing or singing below the designated pitch
      • Sharp – playing or singing above the designated pitch
  • Dynamics – the variations in loudness or softness in the volume of a singing voice or instrument
  • Rhythm – the pattern in time within music, includes the following parts:
    • Beat – basic unit of time in music
    • Tempo – the speed at which a piece of music is played
    • Meter – the pattern of strong and weak beats within a piece
  • Melody – a series of notes that creates a tune
  • Form – a predetermined set of principles around which a piece of music is created
  • Timbre – how sound is described; for example, bright, warm, harsh, etc.

Texas Culture in Music

In the same way that visual art can help us understand people of different time periods and cultures, music also reflects cultural values and ideals. Texas has a unique and rich history of creating music. Two genres that have strong roots in Texas are Tejano music and country music.

Tejano music was developed by Mexican-American populations in Central and South Texas, who adapted European waltzes and polkas into their own distinctive genre. This music is upbeat and pays homage to popular Mexican tradition as well as pop, rock, and folk from this side of the border. Selena and Flaco Jimenez are examples of Tejano musicians.

Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen are both Texas country musicians whose roots lie in the tradition of folk music in the rural South. Traditional country music combined sounds of folk and cowboy songs, but modern country artists also are influenced by pop and rock genres.



Nutrients are present in food and beverages and help to nourish the body and create energy. These are the six types of nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates come from bread, grains, starchy vegetables, and sugars. They are the primary source of energy for most people. Carbohydrates also provide fiber, which helps the body to digest food.
  • Fats help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and supply energy. There are good fats present in nuts, seeds, and avocados, and saturated fats from oils, which can increase inflammation.
  • Proteins break down into amino acids when eaten and help the body repair and generate tissue.
  • Vitamins are substances that the body needs for proper growth and development. There are 13 vitamins that the body needs in order to run properly, including A, B (several vitamins are included in B-complex), C, D, E, and K.
  • Minerals help the body produce hormones, build bones, and regulate the heartbeat. Macrominerals are minerals that the body requires a large amount of to function, like calcium and sodium. Another group of minerals that are required in a much smaller quantity are called trace minerals, like iron and zinc.
  • Water is necessary for transporting nutrients, removing waste, and other vital actions in the body. Water can be found in foods with high water content as well as in its liquid form.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are defined as emotional disorders that are expressed physically. There are three types of eating disorders:

    • Anorexia nervosa – refusing food
    • Bulimia nervosa – overeating, followed by purging or fasting
    • Binge-eating disorder – eating large quantities of food in a short period of time

Students with eating disorders might display an intense focus on health and exercise, skip meals, or express guilt or shame related to food or health choices, among other possible symptoms. Young people with these disorders can experience many different negative effects, including dizziness/confusion, weight loss or gain, depression, and vitamin-deficiency-related disease. Clearly, these concerns could impact the educational and social well-being of any student.

Physical Education


Walking is the first locomotor skill that we master. Most children begin walking around the age of one and have developed a mature gait cycle by approximately three years old. The mature gait cycle includes:

  • Stance phase, in which one limb is on the ground bearing weight.
    • Contact occurs from the heel hitting the ground to the entire foot being flat on the ground
    • Midstance can also be thought of as flat foot on the ground
    • Propulsion is when the heel begins to leave the ground and acts as a lever to push the body forward
  • Swing phase, in which the foot leaves the ground and begins swinging forward to reach the stance phase again. The swing phase is when the load of body weight moves from one limb to the other.

Meeting Students’ Diverse Needs – Sensory Processing Disorders

Sensory processing disorders occur when the brain has difficulty processing information from the outside world. These disorders include a broad range of conditions and symptoms and include those students on the autism spectrum. These students might be more sensitive to sensory inputs like light, sound, or touch, or they could be less sensitive to external inputs and appear to lack coordination.

While there are some concerns that need to be taken into account, students with sensory processing disorders can benefit from physical education activities. Sensory circuits are recommended for students dealing with these disorders. These include short physical activities that allow students to focus for a short period of time on one focus area, like swinging arms back and forth or doing push-ups. A sensory circuit should always include a station with little stimuli assigned to be a calming space in order to avoid sensory overload.

Although sensory circuits and calming spaces are especially developed for the unique needs of a particular group, they are beneficial to all students. Physical movement, focus, and calming exercises help all students feel refreshed and ready to achieve academic success.



Perception skills are important in any subject. These skills can be developed and mastered using the conventions of theatre and elements of drama as vehicles to increase our understanding of our world.

  • Elements of Drama
    • Plot: The storyline, or the “what happens” in a piece
    • Character: The people or subjects; the “who” in a piece
    • Thought: the larger emotional or philosophical meaning of a piece
    • Diction: the word choice within a piece
    • Melody: the music included in a piece, or the way in which the chorus or ensemble communicates; “how it sounds”
    • Spectacle: the technical aspects of a piece
  • Conventions of Theatre are the principles that apply to a specific performance, as developed by the actors, technicians, director, and playwright. Some examples are:
    • Suspension of disbelief
    • Actors “breaking the fourth wall” by addressing the audience or acknowledging that they are in a performance

Relating Theatre to History

Theatre can be a terrific vehicle to deliver a wide range of content to students. Students can use stories from Language Arts to create a performance using original dialogue, or they can act out the definitions of new vocabulary words. When studying history, creating theatre works is a great method to help students understand other cultures and time periods in a tangible way. The following are examples of how to use theatre in a history lesson:

  • Assign students different historical figures and have them write out a script for a debate between them. Ask students to perform the debate in front of the class.
  • Explain how certain pieces of theatre reflected what was going on during a historical period. For example, The Crucible was written during the McCarthy era, and addressed contemporary questions of justice and persecution by placing them in a different historical period. Have the class read a script from a specific historical period and discuss how that period affected the work.
  • Ask students to write an original script that explains an historical event. Have students perform their pieces in front of the class.
  • Remember to include a broad range of cultures and time periods in order to appeal to the broadest range of student interest.
So those are the big concepts that we recommend you know for the exam.

Your Score Report Breakdown

Now let’s look at 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 Pearson 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 Pearson Preparation Manual.

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