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TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) Exam Overview

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Planning to teach lower-level social studies in Texas? First you’ll have to pass the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam. But don’t stress—you’re in the right place. The following article will detail the structure of this exam and offer valuable tips and resources to help you ace it.

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam assesses your fundamental knowledge of social studies, ensuring you’re prepared to teach this subject in Texas public schools. Since this exam is an important part of becoming a social studies teacher, it’s natural to feel some anxiety. But there are ways to take charge of your testing experience. For instance, getting familiar with the exam structure can boost your confidence. A suite of effective study tools will also set you up for success on the TExES Social Studies 4-8 test.

With that in mind, let’s delve into the details of the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam and explore some strategies for preparation. Whether you’re taking the exam for the first time or gearing up for a retake, this article will empower you to tackle the TExES Social Studies 4-8 content exam with confidence. Let’s get to work!

Overview of the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam

Knowing what to expect can help ease your nerves on test day. Let’s take a broad look at the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam to understand what it covers.

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that you will have 4 hours and 45 minutes to answer. This exam tests your knowledge in two content domains:

  1.     Social Studies Content
  2.   Social Studies Foundations, Skills and Instruction

For specific details on topics that may appear in each content category, check out the information provided in the official Social Studies 4-8 prep guide. Familiarizing yourself with these content expectations should help you allocate study time. As you begin preparing for the TExES Social Studies exam, you should focus on concepts you know will be challenging.

Your study plan might also consider how often each content domain appears on the test. This exam puts a lot of weight on the Social Studies Content domain, which accounts for over 70% of questions. So if you’re already proficient in Social Studies Foundations, Skills and Instruction, it’s logical to prioritize Social Studies Content.

Overall, a balanced approach to studying both these content domains will set you up for success on the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam.

Time Limit

You will have 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam.

Passing Score

The passing score for the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam is a 240.

Number of Questions

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 test has 100 multiple-choice questions that cover two content domains.

Cost

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam costs $116. Visit the TExES website for more information on payment and additional fees.

Registration Information

You can register for the TExES Social Studies exam year round. Start the registration process by creating an NES account. Pay for the Social Studies 4-8 test online and then choose a convenient time, date, and exam site.

Scoring Information

Your TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) scores will be posted to your Pearson account after 10 p.m. (CT) on the report date for your exam. This typically falls within seven days of your testing date. You will also receive your TExES scores via email if you selected this option at registration. View the score report dates on the TExES website to find out when to expect your report. (Scroll down to “Score Reporting.”)

Want to learn more about TExES Social Studies scores? Explore the details with our TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) scoring guide!

Test Preparation Tips

Given its importance to your career, the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam may feel intimidating. However, the right strategies and mindset will give you the boost you need to succeed. Here are some preparation tips to make the most of your study time:

Take a Proactive Approach

  • Get familiar with the format and content areas of the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) test as soon as you can. The longer you put off studying, the more anxiety you’ll feel. (Reading this article is a great start!)
  • Avoid procrastination by using a calendar app to schedule study time. When you’ve made a formal appointment to study, it’s harder to skip.

Review Key Concepts and Skills

  • As you prepare for the TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam, you might build confidence by starting with the Social Studies Foundations, Skills, Research and Instruction domain. This category deals less with facts and more with skills-based knowledge about how to teach, support, and assess students in a social studies classroom.
  • When moving into factual content, be sure you have a solid grounding in the basics. For instance, you should be very familiar with the U.S. Constitution before you start reviewing details of American history.

Study Sample Questions and Take Practice Tests

  • Attempt sample questions in every content category. While you may already have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses in social studies, you should test those assumptions against exam materials.
  • Take full-length practice tests on a regular basis to ensure you’re comfortable with the exam’s format and timing. If you’re unable to finish tests within 4 hours and 45 minutes, avoid attempting a drastic time cut. Try gradually accelerating your pace instead.
  • Use official TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam preparation materials. Studying content that aligns with the real TExES exam will help prevent surprises on test day.

Develop Effective Study Strategies

  • Whenever you miss a practice question, don’t just move on. Read the explanation behind each answer and ensure it makes sense.
  • Break down your study routine into manageable chunks. It’s better to dedicate 20 minutes to studying every night than to burn out after 10 hours of nonstop prep.
  • Use timelines, charts, and flashcards to organize events and concepts. Visualizing complex ideas can make them easier to remember.
  • Engage in active learning techniques, such as defining terms in your own words, explaining an event to someone else, or participating in study groups. These strategies will help ensure you’re truly mastering the material, as opposed to memorizing surface details.

Important Exam Day Instructions

On the day of your TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam, read all pre-test instructions carefully. Allow ample time for travel—and verify that you’re headed to the location named in your confirmation email. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes before the time of your exam.

Check Required Documents

Before leaving for the exam, double-check that you have all you need. Essential items can include:

  • Valid identification: To take any TExES content exam, you’ll need to present two forms of photo ID. Both IDs must also show your signature, and neither may be expired.
  • Necessary materials: To combat cold exam rooms, the TExES website recommends bringing clothing you can layer. You should also wear soft-soled shoes to keep the testing space quiet. Read the official instructions to learn more about testing policies and what to bring to the exam site.

Understand Exam Format and Instructions

To prevent confusion on test day, familiarize yourself with the format and basic instructions of the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam well in advance. Key things to remember include:

  • Time limits: Be aware of the time limit and set your pace accordingly. You will have 4 hours and 45 minutes to answer all 100 questions.
  • Marking scheme: Make sure you know how to mark selections properly on your screen. TExES content exams take place exclusively via computer.
  • Special instructions: Pay attention to any special instructions provided by the exam proctors, such as rules around breaks or how to fill out the compliance agreement you’ll sign before starting.
  • Test difficulty: The TExES Social Studies (118) exam is adaptive, meaning that your performance on each question affects the difficulty level of the next question. Missing too many easy questions can start to limit the difficulty of your test, making it harder to earn enough points to pass. For this reason, you should take the exam seriously from beginning to end.
  • Test difficulty: Don’t assume you’re doing poorly just because the test seems tough. No matter how well you’re performing, this exam will feel challenging due to its adaptive design. Keep calm and carry on!

Manage Time Effectively

Time management is crucial to finishing the TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam within 4 hours and 45 minutes. The following tips can help you manage your time effectively.

  • Read and understand the instructions: Take a moment at the beginning of the test to go over all instructions thoroughly. This will help prevent errors and wasted time.
  • Pace yourself: On average, you’ll have a little under three minutes to answer each question. However, you should work faster whenever possible, since you’ll want to leave time to puzzle out tougher questions.
  • Anticipate needs: If you feel you’ll need a bathroom break during this lengthy test, be sure to budget a few extra minutes.
  • Know when to move on: There is no guessing penalty on the TExES Social Studies exam, so if you’re stuck on a question, it’s in your best interest to guess.

On exam day, you can use these tips to streamline your test-taking process and maximize your chances of success. Working efficiently, staying calm, and maintaining your focus are all essential to doing well on the Social Studies 4-8 test.

Conclusion

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 exam (118) exam is key to becoming a lower-level social studies teacher in Texas. To pass this exam, you’ll need to demonstrate proficiency in areas such as world history, U.S. and Texas history, systems of government, and geographical and economic concepts.

Don’t let this test intimidate you. If you familiarize yourself with the exam structure, review all content areas, and follow our test prep tips, you can approach the TExES Social Studies exam with confidence, increasing your chances of success.

More TExES Social Studies 4-8 Resources 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam?

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers two content domains:

  • Social Studies Content
  • Social Studies Foundations, Skills and Instruction

How long is the TExES Social Studies exam? 

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam is a timed exam that lasts 4 hours and 45 minutes.

What is the passing score for the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam?

To pass the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 240.

Are there study resources available for the Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam? 

Yes, there are several study resources available for the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam. You can find online TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) study guides, prep courses, and practice tests from various educational websites.

Do I get a break during the TExES Social Studies 4-8 (118) exam? 

The TExES Social Studies 4-8 test does not have scheduled breaks. You are allowed to take restroom breaks whenever you like, but the exam clock will not stop while you are gone.

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