TExES Social Studies 7-12 Ultimate Guide2019-07-26T16:43:34+00:00

TExES Social Studies 7-12: Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the TExES Social Studies 7-12?

Awesome! 

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 TExES Social Studies 7-12.

TExES Social Studies 7-12 Quick Facts

The Texas Examinations for Educator Standards (TExES) Social Studies tests skills and knowledge of perspective educators wanting to teach grades 7-12, covering seven different categories. 

Cost: 

The TExES Social Studies exam costs $161 to be paid using a credit or debit card. 

Scoring: 

The passing score is 240 out of 300. 

Pass rate: 

The average pass rate percentage between 2015-2017 is 88%.

Study time: 

In order to pass the TExES Social Studies 7-12 assessment, the amount of time needed to study will vary from person to person. Be sure to give yourself at least two months time to adequately prepare. 

What test takers wish they would’ve known: 

  • Review all test-taking policies well in advance of arriving to the testing center
  • Assure you’ve brought needed materials, including required identification
  • Research routes and traffic patterns and allow yourself plenty of time to travel to the testing center
  • Dress in layers
  • Find your confidence and take the test with a positive attitude!

Information and screenshots obtained from:

https://www.tx.nesinc.com/content/docs/232PrepManual.pdf

Domain I: World History

Overview

The World History domain has about 21 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 15% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be divided into 4 competencies:

  • 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

So, let’s talk about them.

Ancient World Civilizations

This section tests your knowledge of the ancient world civilizations. 

Let’s look at some of the concepts that will more than likely appear on the test.

Contributions of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece made major contributions to the modern world:

  • Lighthouses
  • Odometers: first described by Vitruvius in 27 B.C.
  • Robot: created a wooden bird capable of flying
  • Watermills
  • Mathematics: Pythagoras established the Pythagorean Theorem
  • Medicine: Hippocrates of Cos held experiments that proved diseases were results of the body’s reaction to germs
  • Alarm clocks
  • Maps: the developed idea of latitude and longitude 
  • Olympic Games: organized festival of athletes 

For more contributions the Ancient Greeks made, check out the link below: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/ancient-medieval/classical-greece/a/greek-culture

World History from 600 A.D. to 1450 A.D.

This section tests your knowledge of world history. 

Check out this concept.

Silk Road

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting the East and the West. People who managed to travel some or all of the Silk Road sprinkled their culture along the way, spreading it across the land. This, in-turn helped shape the development of world civilizations. The Silk Road exchanged culture, art, religion, philosophy, technology, language, science, and architecture. Although all of these characteristics helped civilizations, the disease was also carried along the Silk Road. The closing of the Silk Road lead merchants to use the sea as their way of travel but will be remembered as the route that broadened people’s understanding of the world they lived in. 

World History from 1450 A.D. to 1750 A.D.

This section tests your knowledge of world history from 1450 A.D. to 1750 A.D.

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a German theologian who was the catalyst for the 16th century Protestant Reformation. He is one of the most influential figures in the history of Christianity. He helped shape world civilizations as he divided the Catholic church into two churches- one loyal to the Pope in Rome, the other protesting against the Pope’s rule, calling itself Protestant. This reformation reshaped Europe. Luther gave us modernity. He allowed the world to be seen in color, rather than just in black and white. 

World History from 1750 A.D. to the Present

This section tests your knowledge of world history from 1750 A.D. to the present.

Keep reading to learn about an important concept.

Causes and Effects of World War II

Determining all of the causes and effects of World War II is something that even historians struggle with; however, here are three of the big reasons World War II started and the correlating effects of those actions.

Domain II: U.S. History

Overview

The U.S. History domain has about 28 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 20% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 5 competencies:

  • 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

So, let’s talk about each competency.

Exploration and Colonization

This section tests your knowledge of exploration and colonization. 

Let’s look at a concept that will more than likely appear on the test.

The Iroquois Confederacy

The Iroquois Confederacy was an alliance of American Indian tribes located what is now New York state. The tribes included the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The structure used both federalism and a type of bicameral council that inspired the framework of the U.S. Constitution. Some believe the preamble to the constitution was adapted from Iroquois oral traditions. The tribes that made up the Iroquois Confederacy were allies of the British in wars against the French but were divided by political and religious ties, resulting in a post-American Revolution migration into Canada by many members.

Revolutionary Era and the Early Years of the Republic

This section tests your knowledge of the Revolutionary era and the early years of the Republic.

Check out this concept.

Treaty of Paris of 1783

The Treaty of Paris of 1783 officially and formally ended the American Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were the main negotiators of the peace treaty with Great Britain. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 the British recognized American independence and ceded most of its territory east of the Mississippi River to the United States. 

Westward Expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction

This section tests your knowledge of Westward Expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. 

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny was the U.S. belief that the country was destined to expand across the country. 

Political Roots of Manifest Destiny

  • Britain reduced political power which increased the global position and strength of the U.S.
  • As American states grew westward, states had to decide to be a free state or a slave state
  • People moved to different states depending on the status of that state

Economic Roots of Manifest Destiny 

  • Growth in U.S. economy increased demand for farmland, ranches, and furs 
  • U.S. offered cheap land so families could farm for themselves 
  • Increased opportunities to start businesses 
  • Possibly get rich quick with findings of gold

Social Roots of Manifest Destiny 

  • Strong nationalism 
  • Belief that God supported U.S. expansion
  • Racism was part of Manifest Destiny: belief one race is better than others

The United States as a World Power

This section tests your knowledge of the United States as a world power. 

Keep reading to learn about an important concept.

McCarthyism

McCarthyism describes a period of intense anti-Communist suspicion in the U.S. that lasted from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. This fear of communism lead to a national witch hunt for suspected communist supporters. McCarthyism affected the U.S. interaction between Soviet Russia and Communist China; it intensified the Cold War. McCarthyism lead democrats and republicans to agree that anti-Communism should be the main focus of U.S. foreign policy. As a result the U.S. government supported corrupt dictators in Africa and South America because they were anti-Communist. 

Political, Economic and Social Developments from 1877 to the Present

This section tests your knowledge of political, economic, and social developments from 1877 to the present. 

The following person is important to know.

Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who is best known for his efforts to gain better working conditions for farmers who worked for low wages and under severe conditions.  

Cesar Chavez Major Achievements 

  • Co-founder of the National Farm Worker Association
  • Initiated the Delano grape strike and many different boycotts
  • Awarded the Jefferson Award for ‘Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged”
  • Bill Clinton awarded Chavez the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Domain III: Texas History

Overview

The Texas History domain has about 18-19 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 13% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 3 competencies:

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

So, let’s talk about them.

Exploration and Colonization

This section tests your knowledge of exploration and colonization.

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was an explorer from Spain. He explored what is now Texas and into Mexico, where he hoped to connect with other representatives of the Spanish empire. Cabeza de Vaca disapproved how Spanish explorers’ treated Indians and when he returned home he advocated for changes in Spain’s policy. Cabeza de Vaca lived for several years among Texas Indians, learning the tribes’ languages and customs. Cabeza de Vaca gained a reputation as a healer and was one of the first explorers to touch down in what is now Galveston, Texas.

Independence, Statehood, Civil War Reconstruction, and Aftermath

This section tests your knowledge of independence, statehood, civil war reconstruction, and the aftermath.

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Battle of San Jacinto

The Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836) was ultimately the battle that led to Texas independence from Mexico. Texans had recently lost very badly to the Mexicans at the Battle of the Alamo. The Mexicans were comfortable with their position in the war, while many Texan volunteers flocked to Sam Houston and his army to help try and defeat the Mexicans. The Texans planned a surprise attack on the Mexicans, ultimately capturing Santa Anna while he was taking a nap. Santa Anna was ultimately released from captivity after an agreement with Houston to end the war. 

Texas in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

This section tests your knowledge of Texas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Let’s look at a concept that will more than likely appear on the test.

Jane McCallum

Jane McCallum was an Austin housewife and mother of five who used her many talents to bring about votes for women and laws that helped women and children. She is best known for helping women earn the right to vote. McCallum organized the Women’s Joint Legislative Council which helped to promote laws affecting prisons, schools, maternal and infant health, and child labor. She was appointed as Secretary of State from 1927 to 1933. While McCallum was Secretary of State, she rediscovered the original Texas Declaration of Independence and placed it in the public view. 

Domain IV: Geography, Culture and the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Overview

The Geography, Culture, and the Behavioral and Social Sciences domain have about 18-19 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 13% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 4 competencies:

  • Physical Geography Concepts, Natural Processes, and Earth’s Physical Features
  • Global and Regional Patterns of Culture and Human Geography
  • Interactions between Human Groups and the Physical Environment
  • Sociological, Anthropological, and Psychological Concepts and Processes

So, let’s talk about them.

Physical Geography Concepts, Natural Processes, and Earth’s Physical Features

This section tests your knowledge of physical geography concepts, natural processes, and earth’s physical features. 

Let’s look at a concept that will more than likely appear on the test.

Climate

Climate is the typical weather conditions that prevail in a given area or region over a long period of time. The main difference between climate and weather is that climate is weather patterns over a long period of time while the weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere. 

Physical Regions’ Climates 

  • Polar Chill
    • The South Pole, extreme northern latitudes, the interior of Greenland
    • Very cold and dry 
    • Plant life is nonexistent 
    • Very few animal species 
  • Temperate Regions 
    • North America, Europe, and northern parts of Asia
    • Cold winters and mild summers
    • Diverse plants and animal life
  • Arid Zones 
    • Deserts of North American and central Asia, southwest U.S., and inland Australia 
    • Hot and dry all year round 
    • Little surface water
  • Damp Tropical Regions 
    • Jungles of South America and Africa, Southeast Asia, and the islands of the Pacific 
    • Hot and wet 
    • The greatest diversity of animal and plant life
  • The Mild Mediterranean
    • The land surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Southern South America, and Southern California 
    • Mild winters and hot, dry summers
    • Plants are usually shrubby 
    • Many animals are nocturnal  
  • The Cold Tundra 
    • Northern extremes of North America and Asia and southeast coast of Greenland
    • Very cold all year round 
    • Plants grow low to the ground 
    • Animal populations expand and shrink depending on the season

Global and Regional Patterns of Culture and Human Geography

This section tests your knowledge of global and regional patterns of culture and human geography.

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Components of Culture

Social Groups: how society places people together

  • Economic: upper class, lower class, middle class
  • Common interests: religion jobs, politics, sports 
  • Family units

Art: how people express themselves 

  • Music
  • Painting 
  • Architecture 

History: what people think are important to pass down to future generations  

  • People 
  • Events 
  • Wars 

Daily Life: what people do every day 

  • Housing 
  • Food 
  • Entertainment

Economy: what provides the goods and services 

  • Mining 
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing

Government: who has the power and makes decisions 

  • Dictatorship
  • Democracy 
  • Monarchy 

Language: ways to communicate

  • Written 
  • Oral 
  • Non-verbal 

Religion: what people believe in and their thoughts to explain the unexplainable 

  • Rituals 
  • Rights of Passage 
  • Birth/Death

Interactions between Human Groups and the Physical Environment

This section tests your knowledge of the interaction between human groups and the physical environment.

Keep reading to learn about an important concept.

Neolithic Agricultural Revolution

The Neolithic agricultural revolution marked the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers to agricultural settlements and civilizations. Check out the link below to read about the impact of agriculture. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/world-history-beginnings/birth-agriculture-neolithic-revolution/a/where-did-agriculture-come-from

Sociological, Anthropological, and Psychological Concepts and Processes

This section tests your knowledge of sociological, anthropological, and psychological concepts and processes. 

Check out this concept.

Social Stratification

Ranking people into various levels, typically based on wealth or power, is called social stratification. It often transpires when this wealth or power is distributed unequally, but can also occur as a result of ancestry, physical or intellectual traits, ethnicity, or age. In some countries, including the US, stratification can take place through athletic abilities, personal appearance, or achievements.

A part of stratification relates to standard of living. In a study conducted by the Federal Reserve System showed that in 2009, 1% of the population in the US held about one-third of the wealth in this country. That means that 1% usually have better health, consume more goods and services, and often have more education and power.

In most cultures, there is a group called the dominant culture which is the one with that has the strongest influence. In the US, middle-class Protestants are sometimes defined as the dominant culture. Cultures or individuals who are not in the dominant culture sometimes receive unfair or unequal treatment which is called discrimination. The Equal Opportunity Act has lessened the amount of discrimination within the US in that it prohibits the unjust or unequal treatment based on race, religion, sex including sexual orientation, gender, maternity status, or disability.

Social mobility is the movement up or down in a group or society. For example, economic mobility might occur if a person receives a large inheritance. A student’s social mobility will likely go up if he is accepted into the popular clique.

Domain V: Government and Citizenship

Overview

The Government and Citizenship domain has about 18-19 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 13% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 3 competencies:

  • Democratic Principles and Government in the United States
  • Citizenship and Political Processes
  • Types of Political Systems

So, let’s talk about them

Democratic Principles and Government in the United States

This section tests your knowledge of democratic principles and government in the United States. 

Keep reading to learn about an important concept.

Landmark Supreme Court Decisions

Marbury v. Madison

  • The established principle of judicial review
    • Supreme Court can declare an act of Congress void if it does not correlate with the writings of the Constitution
  • Impact on U.S. society- no law may be passed that violates the Constitution 

Plessy v. Ferguson 

  • Upheld racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine 
  • Supreme court ruled that a separation between whites and blacks was not unconstitutional 
  • Impact on U.S. Society- public facilities remained segregated including buses, trains, swimming pools, hotels, and schools 

Brown v. Board of Education 

  • Ruled racial segregation of children public schools was unconstitutional 
  • Helped establish the precedent “separate but equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal
  • Impact on U.S. Society- eliminated segregation in schools and fueled the civil rights movement in the U.S. 

Miranda v. Arizona 

  • Supreme Court ruled that detained criminal suspects must be informed of their rights before police questioning 
  • The ruling overturned a conviction of rape and kidnapping because the suspect was not informed of his rights before confessing to the crime 
  • Impact on U.S. Society- determined that a defendant’s statements to authorities are inadmissible in court unless the defendant has been informed of their right to an attorney and that anything they say will be held against them

Citizenship and Political Processes

This section tests your knowledge of citizenship and political processes. 

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Electoral College

Electoral College is a process established in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by votes in Congress and by votes of qualified citizens. The Electoral College consists of 538 votes. A potential President must have a majority of 270 electoral votes in order to win the election. Each state has a different number of Electoral College votes. This number is established based on the number of House of Representatives in your state, plus two for your Senators.

Types of Political Systems

This section tests your knowledge of types of political systems. 

Check out this concept.

Major Forms of Government in History

Monarchy

  • A country ruled by king or queen
  • Constitutional Monarchy- monarch’s power is limited by a constitution 
  • Absolute Monarchy- monarch has unlimited power

Authoritarian Government

  • One ruler or small group of leaders
  • May hold elections, but citizens have no voice in how they are ruled 
  • Rulers decide what people can and cannot do 
  • No freedom of speech, religion, and press

Classical Republic 

  • Power is held by the people 
  • People give power to leaders they elect to represent them 
  • Representatives are required to help all people in the country

Liberal Democracy

  • All power flows directly or indirectly from the people 
  • Rule of majority 
  • Follow the Constitution 
  • Rights for individuals and groups are valid even if they contradict the majority

Totalitarian Government 

  • Very little or no freedom 
  • Ruled by dictator 
  • The government controls almost all aspects of life 

Domain VI: Economics and Science, Technology and Society

Overview

The Economics and Science, Technology and Society domain has about 18-19 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 13% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 3 competencies:

  • Economic Concepts and Types of Economic Systems
  • Structure and Operation of the U.S. Free Enterprise System
  • Science, Technology, and Society

So, let’s talk about them.

Economic Concepts and Types of Economic Systems

This section tests your knowledge of economic concepts and types of economic systems. 

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Types of Market Structures

Pure Competition

  • A large number of firms producing a standardized product
  • Market prices are determined by consumer demand 
  • Examples: agricultural products such as corn, wheat, soybeans

Monopolistic Competition 

  • Many suppliers that try to differentiate their products from similar products to achieve price advantages 
  • Suppliers of toothpaste try to convince the public their product makes their teeth whiter or prevent cavities which allows them to charge more for their product

Oligopoly

  • A market dominated by few suppliers 
  • Have considerable influence over the market price of the product
  • Example: auto manufacturers’ fixed costs are high which limits the number of firms who can enter into the market

Monopoly

  • Pricing power over the market
  • Only one supplier who has significant market power and determines the price of their product 
  • Example: operating systems by Microsoft 

Structure and Operation of the U.S. Free Enterprise System

This section tests your knowledge of the structure and operation of the U.S. free enterprise system. 

Check out this concept.

Basic Principles of the U.S. Free Enterprise System

Profit Motive

  • Intent to achieve a monetary gain in a transaction 
  • Organizations expect to receive something that is worth more than their investment before they are willing to invest 

Voluntary Exchange

  • Free exchange of goods and services with buyers and sellers in a market
  • Allows both buyer and seller to be better off than they were before  

Private Property Rights

  • Assessment of the ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by clear laws determined by the state
  • Examples: land, buildings, money, copyrights, patents

Competition 

  • The rivalry between sellers in the same field 
  • Similar businesses can compete with you for the same customers
  • Because of this competition businesses constantly try to provide the best services and products at the lowest possible prices

Science, Technology and Society

This section tests your knowledge of science, technology, and society.

Keep reading to learn about an important historical figure.

Galileo

Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist and astronomer. He originally went to school to study medicine but discovered his talent in mathematics. He left school to become a tutor in mathematics and later became a professor of mathematics. Galileo heard about the invention of the spyglass and used his mathematics knowledge to improve the spyglass and built a telescope. He became the first person to look at the moon through a telescope and made his first astronomy discovery. He found that the moon was not smooth, discovered fours of the moons circling Jupiter, studied Saturn, observed phases of Venus, and studied the sunspots on the Sun. Galileo’s observations confirmed Copernicus’ theory that Earth and all the other planets revolve around the sun. The Catholic Church believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and after Galileo published a book saying the sun was the center of the universe, he spent the rest of his life in prison.

Domain VII: Social Studies Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction

Overview

The Social Studies Foundations, Skills, Research, and Instruction domain has about 18-19 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 13% of the entire exam. 

This domain can be neatly divided into 4 competencies:

  • Social Studies Foundation and Skills
  • Sources of Social Studies Information; Interpreting and Communicating Social Studies Information
  • Social Studies Research
  • Social Studies Instruction and Assessment

So, let’s talk about them.

Social Studies Foundation and Skills

This section tests your knowledge of social studies foundation and skills.

Check out this concept.

Problem-Solving Processes

The problem-solving process is sometimes referred to as discovery learning or inquiry. It follows a very similar version of the scientific method with a focus on examining the content. The steps are listed below, as well as an example of how to apply this process with social studies content. 

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Gather Information
  3. List and Consider Options
  4. Consider the Advantages and Disadvantages
  5. Choose and Implement Solutions 
  6. Evaluate the Effectiveness of Solutions 

Problem-Solving Process Example: Can disease change the world?

  1. Define whether or not the disease can change the world. 
  2. Gather knowledge about the Black Death and its effect on people in the 14th century.
  3. List and consider options as to whether or not a disease can change the world.
  4. Gather the advantages and disadvantages of disease. 
  5. Implement a solution as to how communities can better help limit the spread of disease.
  6. Evaluate whether the solutions are currently effective in society (i.e. the measles outbreak this year) 

Sources of Social Studies Information; Interpreting and Communicating Social Studies Information

This section tests your knowledge of sources of social studies information.

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Primary versus Secondary Sources

Primary sources are documents, images, or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a historical event. 

  • Examples: legal documents, speeches, eyewitness accounts, video recordings

Secondary sources interpret and analyze primary sources. They are one or more steps removed from the event that occured. 

  • Examples: reference books, articles from magazines, literature reviews, biographical works 

Social Studies Research

This section tests your knowledge of social studies research. 

Here’s a concept you need to know.

Population Pyramids

A population pyramid is a graphical illustration that shows the distribution of various age groups in a population. Populations patterns are used to detect changes in population patterns and can be used to compare patterns across countries or selected population groups. 

Check out the link below to learn how to read a population pyramid. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=Cx7KFyasW6A

Social Studies Instruction and Assessment

This section tests your knowledge of social studies instruction and assessment. 

Check out this concept.

Formative versus Summative Assessment

Formative Assessment: assessments conducted by teachers during the learning process that drives instruction and allows the teacher to modify teaching 

  • Examples: 3-way summaries, think-pair-share, exit ticket, one minute paper

Summative Assessment: used to evaluate student learning and academic achievement at the conclusion of the instructional period 

  • Examples: end of unit test, chapter test, project 

And that’s some basic info about the exam.

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