TExES History 7-12 Ultimate Guide2020-04-20T18:47:05+00:00

TExES History 7-12 (233) Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

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TExES History 7-12 Quick Facts

The TExES History 7-12 (233) exam is required to teach history in grades 7-12 in the state of Texas. The test is divided into four domains: World History, U.S. History, Texas History, and Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction. There are 100 selected-response questions in total drawn from all four domains.

Exam NameHistory 7-12
Exam Code233
Time5 hours
Number of Questions100 selected-response questions
FormatComputer-administered test (CAT)
DomainDomain TitleApprox. Percentage of ExamStandards Assessed
IWorld History30%History 7-12 IV-X
IIU.S. History36%History 7-12 IV-X
IIITexas History20%History 7-12 IV-X
IVFoundations, Skills, Research and Instruction14%History 7-12 I-III

Cost: 

The exam costs $116.

Scoring: 

A passing score for this test is 240. 

Study time: 

Allow plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the test format and assure that you feel confident about the content covered in each competency. While the specific amount of needed study time will vary from test-taker to test-taker, you should allow yourself at least two months to prepare so you do not feel overwhelmed or rushed.

What test takers wish they would’ve known: 

  • You should try to answer every question. There is no penalty for missing a question, so guessing is always better than leaving an answer blank. 
  • That said, it’s best not to spend too much time on any individual question. If you find a question difficult, select an answer and return to it if you have time — after going through all the other questions. Each question counts the same, so you want to make sure that you have time to answer all of them.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the examination room.
  • Restroom breaks are permitted.

Information and screenshots obtained from the TExES and NES website.

Domain I: World History

Overview

The World History domain has 30 selected-response questions. There are seven competencies within this domain:

  • Ancient World Civilizations
  • World History from 600 A.D. to 1450 A.D.
  • World History from 1450 A.D. to 1750 A.D.
  • World History from 1750 A.D. to the Present
  • Geography and Culture in World History
  • Government and Citizenship in World History
  • Economics, Science and Technology in World History

Let’s explore some specific concepts from a few of these competencies.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek civilization developed on the Mediterranean Sea in roughly the same area as modern Greece. The civilization lasted over one thousand years but achieved its peak during the Classical Period. Greece at this time was a collection of city-states: territories governed by a single city. Some of the city-states became great empires, the most prominent of which were Athens and Sparta. Athens was a powerful military state that conquered territory beyond Greece in Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Africa. However, Athens is best known today as the birthplace of democracy, the arts, sciences, and education in Western civilization.

The ideas of the Greeks greatly influenced their civilization’s successor, the Roman Empire. Most Greek writings were lost to the West throughout the Middle Ages, though they were preserved in the Islamic world. The reintroduction of Greek ideas into Europe during the Renaissance is credited with starting the transition from medievalism to the modern world. Ancient Greece served as an inspiration for the founding of the United States: a culture based on liberty for free male citizens, opposition to monarchy, pursuit of science and culture, and slavery.

Some important people from Ancient Greece:

  • Socrates, Plato, Aristotle (founders of Western philosophy)
  • Hippocrates (father of Western medicine), Euclid (father of geometry), Archimedes (one of the greatest mathematicians in history)
  • Herodotus (father of history), Thucydides (pioneer of historical and academic research)
  • Solon and Pericles (pioneers of democracy)
  • Alexander the Great (wasn’t actually Greek but personally conquered Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan and western India; ended the Classical Greek period)
  • Homer (father of the epic), Aeschylus (father of tragedy), Sophocles and Euripides (great playwrights), Aristophanes (father of comedy), Sappho (important female lyric poet known for love poetry)

The Silk Road

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that stretched from the East (China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia) through Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The trade routes reached all the way to Arabia, East Africa, and southern Europe. Caravans of merchants and goods (including Chinese silk, but also many other products) traveled the system of connected roads that spanned 4,350 miles.

The route also spread new ideas: religions like Buddhism, and technologies like paper and gunpowder. Diseases also traveled the Silk Road, including the Black Plague. The world had never been so closely connected before the Silk Road.

The Black Death

The Black Death was the greatest pandemic in human history. 75-200 million people died from this disease at a time when the population of the entire world was less than 400 million people. The pandemic peaked around the year 1350. This virulent disease, which produced terrible symptoms, killed between 30 and 60 percent of the European population.

The population of many regions did not recover for 200 years. This had many effects on societies throughout the world. For example, the feudal system in many areas of Europe collapsed because so many serfs died that the survivors became more valuable workers. Ownership of land was spread more equitably throughout society because of the death of many landowners. Fanaticism and persecution of outsiders like Jews and Roma (Gypsies) increased as they were blamed for the plague. More people questioned religion and looked at the world from a more secular point of view. The Black Death changed the world forever.

Decolonization

Decolonization was the establishment of the independence of colonies from imperial powers after the Second World War. Nations throughout the world were formed from former colonies. Many of these nations had been fighting for independence for years, but the devastation from the war weakened European powers so much that freedom became possible. Other powers, like the United States, had more important policy objectives than holding onto colonies like the Philippines. Colonies like Korea were freed from Japan after the war but were divided between the allied powers.

Because of its huge population, the most important colony to decolonize was India. India achieved independence from Great Britain in 1948. It eventually split into three nations: India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Most of the modern nations of Africa were born in this period of decolonization. Many global events and wars have resulted directly and indirectly from decolonization, and billions of people live in independent nations as a result of decolonization.

Code of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is the earliest surviving set of laws of significant length. The almost four-thousand-year-old legal code of ancient Babylon sets out a systematic schedule of punishments for crimes. For example, if you take another’s eye, your eye is taken; if you commit adultery, you are drowned, etc. The punishments may not survive in modern legal codes, but the idea of crimes being categorized in writing with set punishments has influenced all modern legal codes, including English and civil law. 

Communism

Communism is an ideology and a system of government. The philosophical basis for communism springs largely from the 19th-century works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who wrote out of concern for the suffering of working people under the extreme conditions of early industrialization. This philosophy eventually influenced the governments of entire nations. The Soviet Union was the most prominent communist country in the 20th century. The People’s Republic of China is the most prominent communist country today.

The basic idea behind communism is that under capitalism there are two types of people: the few (bourgeois) who own the means of making money, and the masses (proletariat) who work to support the few. The only way to change this, according to communists, is to overthrow the bourgeois. When this is done, then everything can be owned in common for the public good

Communists and socialists share a concern for working people, but have many differences. Socialists believe in democracy and private property. Communists believe that democracy is a sham and that (in theory) no one should be allowed to own property that they do not directly make use of. Historically, communists have advocated violent revolution and socialists have advocated a political revolution in attitudes about how society treats the working class.

Practically, communist societies can be very different: for example, communist China today is organized around a powerful economy driven by businesses, while communist North Korea is a primitive family dictatorship.

Domain II: U.S. History

Overview

The U.S. History domain has 36 selected-response questions. There are eight competencies within this domain:

  • Exploration and Colonization
  • Revolutionary Era and the Early Years of the Republic
  • Westward Expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction
  • The United States as a World Power
  • Political, Economic and Social Developments from 1877 to the Present
  • Geography and Culture in U.S. History
  • Government and Citizenship in U.S. History
  • Economics, Science and Technology in U.S. History

Let’s explore some specific concepts from a few of these competencies.

The Virginia House of Burgesses

First formed in Jamestown in 1619, the Virginia House of Burgesses was the first democratically-elected legislative body in the British American colonies. Each county in the colony of Virginia elected two representatives to serve in the House of Burgesses. 

In the decades leading to the American Revolution, the House of Burgesses frequently challenged the authority of the British Parliament in the colony of Virginia, arguing that they were the true representative government of the people. 

General Causes of the American Revolution

The American Revolution began in 1775 when 13 British colonies in North America sought to declare political independence from the British crown after over a decade of escalating tension. The American colonists won the war in 1783 and eventually went on to form the United States of America.

The roots of the American Revolution can be traced to 1763 when the British government started exerting more direct control over the colonies without giving them the same rights as other British subjects. The most serious source of conflict was the British Parliament increasing taxes on the colonists in an effort to raise money to support the British Empire. These acts included the Stamp Act (1765), the Townshend Acts (1767,) and the Tea Act (1773).

The growing tensions started to erupt into violence in 1770 when the British killed five colonists in the Boston Massacre. In 1773, a group of colonists from Massachusetts boarded British ships and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor in an act of resistance known as the Boston Tea Party. The British Parliament then passed what became known as the Intolerable Acts in an effort to reassert control, which only further exacerbated tensions. As a result, the First Continental Congress met in 1774 to demand an end to taxation without representation, with plans to meet again at the Second Continental Congress in May of 1775 if their concerns were not addressed. Before the Continental Congress had a chance to reconvene, British troops attempted to seize an arms cache in Massachusetts, and this action led to the first battles of the Revolutionary War: the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the middle of the Civil War on January 1, 1863, declaring that “all persons held as slaves” within any states in rebellion “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Emancipation changed the meaning and purpose of the Civil War. Lincoln was saying that the war was no longer just about preserving the Union but was also about freeing the slaves. As a result, foreign powers that were thinking of siding with the Confederacy, such as Great Britain and France, decided not to become involved.

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Alfred Thayer Mahan was a naval officer and historian who published The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 in 1890 and The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812 in 1892. In these works, Mahan argued that naval power was responsible for the rise of both the British Empire and the French Empire. His ideas had an enormous impact on shaping U.S. foreign policy as the country became an imperialist naval power in the Pacific. He was an early proponent of the annexation of Hawaii and the building of the Panama Canal.

Causes and Effects of Industrialization

The industrialization of the American economy from 1878 to 1899 occurred as a result of the rapid expanse in the volume of industrial production, particularly in the iron and steel industries. 

This widespread industrialization was caused by numerous factors. These factors included an increased exploitation of resources such as gold, silver, and lumber from the western United States, advances in the manufacture of steel, and a series of major inventions that included the telephone, the typewriter, the electric light, and the automobile.

Industrialization resulted in many widespread social and economic changes. Many people left their farms to work in factories in the cities. While this was enormously beneficial to the economy of the United States, it also resulted in terrible working conditions for the first generations of factory workers before industry became more tightly regulated.

Seneca Falls Convention

The Seneca Falls Convention was held in the town of Seneca Falls, New York, in July of 1848. It was the first women’s rights convention in the United States. It was organized by a number of prominent activists that included Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. This meeting helped to launch the women’s suffrage movement to gain the right to vote for women.

McCulloch v. Maryland

McCulloch v. Maryland was a U.S. Supreme Court case in 1819 that asserted the supremacy of the federal government over states in matters related to constitutionally granted authority. It was the first and most important case in establishing the power of the federal government in the United States.

A cashier named James McCulloch had refused to pay Maryland’s tax on the National Bank of the United States, arguing that the state did not have the legal authority to issue a tax on a national bank. The Supreme Court unanimously sided with McCulloch and ruled that Congress has implied federal powers in the “Necessary and Proper” Clause of the Constitution.

Economic Effects of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted from the end of World War II to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The two superpowers were in a power struggle for global supremacy, particularly in relation to the rivalry between the economic ideologies of capitalism and communism. In order to gain economic supremacy over the Soviet Union, the United States adopted a capitalist strategy that focused on job creation and high consumption financed by credit.

Time to move on to the third domain, Texas History.

Domain III: Texas History

Overview

The Texas History domain has 20 selected-response questions. There are three competencies within this domain:

  • Exploration and Colonization
  • Independence, Statehood, Civil War Reconstruction and Aftermath
  • Texas in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

Let’s explore some specific concepts from a few of these competencies.

Francisco Hidalgo

Francisco Hidalgo was a priest of the Franciscan order from Spain whose work establishing missions in East Texas brought the first permanent occupation of Texas by Europeans in 1716.

Fredonian Rebellion

The Fredonian Rebellion was a failed attempt by an Anglo settler in Texas to secede from Mexico. The rebellion started in December 1826 and lasted for one month. Haden Edwards tried to set up an independent republic around his farm in Nacogdoches. The rebellion failed and increased tensions in Texas between Anglo settlers and both Mexicans and local Indian tribes. However, the incident was later seen by some historians as the beginning of the Texas Revolution.

Major Cultural Developments 1821 – 1900

During this period:

  • The formation of the Texas Rangers occurred in 1823 (traditional date).
  • Quanah Parker, called the “last chief of the Comanche,” advocated for Comanche assimilation to European ways while retaining some ancestral cultural heritage. 
  • The plantation system dominated agriculture and was a primary force in the state economy: first, with slaves; after the Civil War, with tenant farmers.
  • Widespread irrigation of the state began in 1868 in Del Rio.
  • The University of Texas was founded in 1873 and Texas A&M was founded in 1876.

Oveta Culp Hobby

Oveta Culp Hobby was a female Texas pioneer in government, the military, and the press throughout the 20th century. She was the first department head of the federal government’s HHS (Health and Human Services), which was known in her time as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Today this is a cabinet position in the executive branch. She was also the first director of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and a board member of the Houston Post

Now let’s move on to Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction, the fourth domain.

Domain IV: Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction

Overview

The Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction domain has 14 selected-response questions. There are four competencies within this domain:

  • History Foundations and Skills
  • Sources of Historical Information; Interpreting and Communicating Historical Information
  • Historical Research
  • History Instruction and Assessment

Let’s explore some specific concepts from a few of these competencies.

Bias

Historical bias is an interpretation of history influenced by the perspective of the author or researcher.

Framing bias occurs when someone reaches historical conclusions based on the way information is presented or framed. For example, historical information that is written in an overly positive or negative manner might influence the reader to adopt the same attitudes about the material.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs. For example, someone might be guilty of confirmation bias if they conduct historical research by only looking for sources that agree with their predetermined ideas.

Negativity bias is the phenomena by which people give more weight to negative experiences than neutral or positive experiences. For example, many people assume that things in the distant past were worse than they actually were because they tend to remember negative events and forget positive events when they learn about history.

Primary and Secondary Sources

A primary source is a firsthand account of an event or time period. Examples of primary sources include diaries, letters, speeches, interviews, oral histories, photographs, official documents, and archival manuscripts.

A secondary source is a history of an event or time period written by someone who did not experience it firsthand. Examples of secondary sources include Wikipedia, online study guides, encyclopedias, textbooks, history books, journal articles, and other works of historical criticism and interpretation.

Formulating Research Questions

A research question is a question around which you center your historical research. A good research question should be clear, concise, focused, complex, arguable and appropriate to the domain you are studying. Research questions help writers to focus their research and work toward developing a thesis that is both arguable and specific.

The process for formulating a research question should include the following steps:

  • Choose an interesting general topic that is appropriate to the domain you are studying and to your audience. 
  • Do some preliminary research on that general topic.
  • Brainstorm specific questions about your general topic.
  • Evaluate your specific questions to make sure they are clear, focused, complex, and arguable.
  • Pick one specific question and begin the research process.

And that’s some basic information about the TExES History 7-12 exam.

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