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Get prepared for the Core Subjects EC-6 exam

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Core Subjects EC-6 Study Guide

ISBN Number: 978-1-68317-006-8

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TExES CORE Subjects EC-6 Study Guide

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Test Breakdown

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1,194 Interactive Practice Questions and 419 Pages of Instructional Content!

English Language Arts and Reading

299 Questions with Explanations
70 Pages of Instructional Content

Mathematics

200 Questions with Explanations
109 Pages of Instructional Content

Social Studies

232 Questions with Explanations
122 Pages of Instructional Content

Science

299 Questions with Explanations
37 Pages of Instructional Content

Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education

100 Questions with Explanations
81 Pages of Instructional Content

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Take a CORE EC-6 Practice Test!

Who should brush up on the test
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Who knows how the test works
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Average Score
65%
Recommended Score
90%

Average Score
52%
Recommended Score
90%

Average Score
56%
Recommended Score
90%

Average Score
52%
Recommended Score
90%

Average Score
70%
Recommended Score
90%

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE EXAM

What’s on the Core Subjects EC-6 Exam

The TExES 291 Exam is a required exam for anyone wanting to teach elementary school in the state of Texas. The purpose of the test is to ensure that candidates have sufficient knowledge in all relevant subject areas to teach students from Early Childhood through 6th grade.

Knowing the structure of the exam helps, but taking a core subjects exam can be a daunting prospect, and the TExES CORE Subjects EC-6 exam is no exception.  Because its goal is to test your classroom readiness across the spectrum of content, it covers a lot of ground.  This breadth can make it hard to know how to prepare.  Luckily, if you understand how the test is organized and what it is testing, you will have no problem prepping for this test.  In order to cover everything needed to teach elementary education, the exam is broken into five main domains—each of which is presented as its own subtest—which are then broken into 5-18 competencies, which are further explained through descriptive statements.

For more information, visit this CORE Subjects EC-6 breakdown.

Structure

Now that you have your test date set, you can turn to preparing for the exam itself. To begin, let’s look at the structure of the exam. The TExES 291 Core Subjects EC-6 exam in its entirety consists of 267 multiple-choice questions: 75 questions on Domain 1, 47 on Domain 2, 41 on Domain 3, and 52 each on Domains 4 and 5. The time for each domain depends on the number of questions (see right). The test is administered via computer. Because of this, there can be a variety in the style of questions that are asked. You should expect to see three main types of questions: single-answer, stimulus-based, and cluster. You should expect most questions to require you simply to click an oval next to the correct answer. However, there may be questions that utilize the technology more. They may ask you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture, click boxes next to all that apply, click on check boxes, click on parts of a graphic or sentence, use a drag and drop feature, or select your answer from a drop-down menu.

You Need to Pay for the Exam.

The Cost of the Test is $131

 ETS accepts all major credit cards for payment

Time

As previously stated, the testing time for each subtest differs based on the number of questions:

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Language Arts/Reading

1 hour 45 minutes
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Mathematics

60 minutes
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Social Studies

35 minutes
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Science

40 minutes
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Fine Arts, Health & Physical Education

40 minutes

This adds up to a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes testing time. You will also begin with twenty minutes to complete requisite tutorials, follow direction screens and sign nondisclosure agreements. This brings the entire testing time to 5 hours.

NOTE: There are no scheduled breaks with this test. You also cannot take a break once a subtest has started.

Exam Competencies

Domain I: English Language Arts and Reading

Competency 001 (Oral Language): The teacher understands the importance of oral language, knows the developmental processes of oral language and provides the students with varied opportunities to develop listening and speaking skills.

Competency 002 (Phonological and Phonemic Awareness): The teacher understands phonological and phonemic awareness and employs a variety of approaches to help students develop phonological and phonemic awareness.

Competency 003 (Alphabetic Principle): The teacher understands the importance of the alphabetic principle for reading English and provides instruction that helps students understand the relationship between spoken language and printed words.

Competency 004 (Literacy Development): The teacher understands that literacy develops over time, progressing from emergent to proficient stages and uses a variety of approaches to support the development of students’ literacy.

Competency 005 (Word Analysis and Identification Skills): The teacher understands the importance of word identification skills (including decoding, blending, structural analysis, sight word vocabulary and contextual analysis) and provides many opportunities for students to practice and improve word identification skills.

Competency 006 (Fluency Reading): The teacher understands the importance of fluency for reading comprehension and provides many opportunities for students to improve their reading fluency.

Competency 007 (Reading Comprehension and Applications): The teacher understands the importance of reading for understanding, knows the components and processes of reading comprehension and teaches students strategies for improving their comprehension, including using a variety of texts and contexts.

Competency 008 (Vocabulary Development): The teacher knows the importance of vocabulary development and applies that knowledge to teach reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Competency 009 (Reading, Inquiry and Research): The teacher understands the importance of research and inquiry skills to students’ academic success and provides students with instruction that promotes their acquisition and effective use of those study skills in the content areas.

Competency 010 (Writing Conventions): The teacher understands the conventions of writing in English and provides instruction that helps students develop proficiency in applying writing conventions.

Competency 011 (Written Communication): The teacher understands that writing to communicate is a developmental process and provides instruction that promotes students’ competence in written communication.

Competency 012 (Viewing and Representing): The teacher understands skills for interpreting, analyzing, evaluating and producing visual images and messages in various types of media, including electronic media, and provides students with opportunities to develop skills in this area.

Competency 013 (Assessment of Developing Literacy): The teacher understands the basic principles of literacy assessment and uses a variety of assessments to guide literacy instruction.

Domain II: Mathematics

Competency 001 (Mathematics Instruction): The teacher understands how students learn mathematical skills and uses that knowledge to plan, organize and implement instruction and assess learning. 

Competency 002 (Number Concepts and Operations): The teacher understands concepts related to numbers, operations and algorithms and the properties of numbers.

Competency 003 (Patterns and Algebra): The teacher understands concepts related to patterns, relations, functions and algebraic reasoning.

Competency 004 (Geometry and Measurement): The teacher understands concepts and principles of geometry and measurement.

Competency 005 (Probability and Statistics): The teacher understands concepts related to probability and statistics and their applications.

Competency 006 (Mathematical Processes): The teacher understands mathematical processes and knows how to reason mathematically, solve mathematical problems and make mathematical connections within and outside of mathematics.

Domain III: Social Studies

Competency 001 (Social Science Instruction): The teacher understands and applies social science knowledge and skills to plan, organize and implement instruction and assess learning. 

Competency 002 (History): The teacher understands and applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, multiple historical interpretations and ideas and relationships between the past, the present and the future as defined by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Competency 003 (Geography and Culture): The teacher understands and applies knowledge of geographic relationships involving people, places and environments in Texas, the United States and the world; the teacher also understands and applies knowledge of cultural development, adaptation, diversity and interactions among science, technology and society as defined by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Competency 004 (Economics): The teacher understands and applies knowledge of economic systems and how people organize economic systems to produce, distribute and consume goods and services.

Competency 005 (Government and Citizenship): The teacher understands and applies knowledge of concepts of government, democracy and citizenship, including ways that individuals and groups achieve their goals through political systems.

Domain IV: Science

Competency 001 (Lab Processes, Equipment and Safety): The teacher understands how to manage learning activities, tools, materials, equipment and technologies to ensure the safety of all students. 

Competency 002 (History and Nature of Science): The teacher understands the history and nature of science, the process and role of scientific inquiry and the role of inquiry in science instruction.

Competency 003 (Impact on Science): The teacher understands how science impacts the daily lives of students and interacts with and influences personal and societal decisions.

Competency 004 (Concepts and Processes): The teacher knows and understands the unifying concepts and processes that are common to all sciences.

Competency 005 (Students as Learners and Science Instruction): The teacher has theoretical and practical knowledge about teaching science and about how students learn science.

Competency 006 (Science Assessment): The teacher knows the varied and appropriate assessments and assessment practices for monitoring science learning in laboratory, field and classroom settings.

Competency 007 (Forces and Motion): The teacher understands forces and motion and their relationships.

Competency 008 (Physical and Chemical Properties): The teacher understands the physical and chemical properties of and changes in matter.

Competency 009 (Energy and Interactions): The teacher understands energy and interactions between matter and energy.

Competency 010 (Energy Transformations and Conservation): The teacher understands energy transformations and the conservation of matter and energy.

Competency 011 (Structure and Function of Living Things): The teacher understands the structure and function of living things.

Competency 012 (Reproduction and the Mechanisms of Heredity): The teacher understands reproduction and the mechanisms of heredity.

Competency 013 (Adaptations and Evolution): The teacher understands adaptations of organisms and the theory of evolution.

Competency 014 (Organisms and the Environment): The teacher understands the relationships between organisms and the environment.

Competency 015 (Structure and Function of Earth Systems): The teacher understands the structure and function of Earth systems.

Competency 016 (Cycles in Earth Systems): The teacher understands cycles in Earth systems.

Competency 017 (Energy in Weather and Climate): The teacher understands the role of energy in weather and climate.

Competency 018 (Solar System and the Universe): The teacher understands the characteristics of the solar system and the universe.

Domain V: Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education

Competency 001 (Visual Arts): The teacher understands the concepts, processes and skills involved in the creation, appreciation and evaluation of art and uses that knowledge to plan and implement effective and engaging visual arts instruction. 

Competency 002 (Music): The teacher understands the concepts, processes and skills involved in the creation, appreciation and evaluation of music and uses that knowledge to plan and implement effective and engaging music instruction.

Competency 003 (Health): The teacher uses knowledge of the concepts and purposes of health education to plan and implement effective and engaging health instruction.

Competency 004 (Physical Education): The teacher uses knowledge of the concepts, principles, skills and practices of physical education to plan and implement effective and engaging physical education instruction.

Competency 005 (Theatre): The teacher understands the concepts, processes and skills involved in the creation, appreciation and evaluation of theatre and uses that knowledge to plan and implement effective and engaging theatre instruction.

 Passing Scoring

Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly.  Although you will answer 267 questions, only 230 of those will be scored (too bad you can’t know which ones in advance!).  Each subtest is graded separately.  So, for each subtest, your correct number of answers will be converted to a number between 100 and 300.  In order to pass, you must receive at least 240.  While you will take all five subtests at once, it is not an all-or-nothing system.  You can pass some tests, but not others.

Registration

The first step in getting yourself ready for this exam is to complete the registration.  The TExES 291 Core Subjects EC-6 is offered continuously which means you can take it whenever it is convenient for you.  However, because of that, it is important to register as soon as possible to make sure you get the date and location you want.  It is also a good idea to register early, so that you leave enough time for yourself to prepare.

Step 1: Make Sure You Can Test

The absolute first thing to do is to check that you are an approved tester.  Enrollees in educator preparation programs are given approval by their programs.  Out-of-state credentialed teachers must apply for approval by submitting their existing credentials for review with the Texas Education Agency (TEA).  If you are in a different category than either of these (e.g. a charter school teacher, someone trying to qualify for an educator preparation program through your test scores), see the Registration Bulletin for more specific information about how you get approved.

Step 2: Get Organized

Registration will go much more smoothly if you have all of the information you need at hand.  This includes:

  • An ID that has your full and official name on it (this is especially important if you have a last name with multiple parts)—plan to use the one you will take with you on test day
  • Current home address
  • Current phone number
  • Current email address
  • A credit or debit card: MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover

Step 3: Create Your TEA Account

NOTE: If you are already a credentialed teacher in the state of Texas, a charter school teacher, or someone looking to use this test to help you get into an educator preparation program, skip this step, and go to step 4.

  • Go to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.
  • You need to log into Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL); you will see a link on the blue bar at the very top of the screen.
  • Since this is your first time, you will need to select “Request New User Account” (If you already have one, then just enter your info.)
  • At this point, the system will give you instructions for creating your account. You will need the ID you prepared. It is of utmost importance that your ENTIRE last name (including spaces, hyphens and all parts) is used to create your account.
  • Once you are done, look over everything to make sure your information is accurate. You should also write down your TEA ID number as you will use it as your ID throughout the rest of the registration process. If you want to be really safe, print out your entire Educator Profile so you have a hard copy to refer to along the way.

Step 4: Create Your Educational Testing Service (ETS) Account

Now that you are officially in Texas’ education system, it is time to register for the actual test.

  • Navigate to the ETS TExES page.
  • Find “Your Account” on the homepage.
  • Once again, you will follow the directions to create your account. You will need the same information you collected in Step 2. Make sure you are again completely accurate and consistent with what you enter into TEA. This allows your TEA information to automatically transfer over.
  • ETS will then email you your username. Write this down (probably on the same page as your TEA ID). Once you have this, go back to the TExES home page and click again on “Your Account”, and then “Existing User”, and enter your username.
  • You will then have to click “Forgot Password” (even though you haven’t made one yet). This will get a temporary password sent to you via email. Once you have that, you can go back one last time, log in and change your password to whatever you want it to be (you will be prompted to change it when you log in with the temporary password).
  • Once you are fully logged in, you will see instructions to register for this test, including selecting the test location and date. The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam is a continuous Computer Administered Test (CAT), which means it is always available and at a wide range of ETS locations within Texas, throughout the United States, and even in Mexico. You may select whichever location is best for you.

Step 5: Admission Ticket

You will know you are done when you receive your “Admission Ticket”. You will need this to get into the exam and you must bring a hard copy. They will not accept electronic copies of this, so your final step is to print this out. It will also list the location and time of your exam.

To get your “Admission Ticket,” log in to TExES and select “Print Admission Ticket”.

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