TExES Core Subjects EC-6: ELAR Study Guide

What Is the TExES Core Subjects EC-6: ELAR Exam?

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, or TExES, is a series of exams created to evaluate the knowledge and professional skills of prospective teachers in Texas. Taking and passing one or more of these exams is one of many steps that must be taken to gain teacher certification in the state. The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 is designed specifically for candidates who will instruct students in any of the grades between early childhood and 6th grade. This exam consists of 5 subjects, which are:

  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education
  • English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR)

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR only accounts for one section of the overall Core Subjects exam.

What to Expect from the TExES ELAR EC-6 Exam

The TExES ELAR EC-6 exam is a computer-administered test (CAT) which is composed of 45 selected-response (multiple-choice) questions. While there are 45 questions on this test, it is important to note that it is possible that some questions will not be scored (this will not impact the test taker's final score). Examinees could encounter the following types of selected-response questions:

  • Sentence selection
  • Drag and drop
  • Choose all applicable answers
  • Drop-down menu selection

Test takers will have 70 minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes) to answer all questions.

Test Name Delivery Format Time Allotment Number of Questions
TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR Computer-Administered Test (CAT) 70 Minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes) 45 Questions

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

What Is on the TExES ELAR EC-6?

The TExES ELAR EC-6 accounts for around 21% of the TExES Core Subjects exam. There are 12 standards that the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR exam covers. They are:

  • Alphabetic principle
  • Assessment and instruction of developing literacy
  • Development of written communication
  • Literacy development and practice
  • Oral language
  • Phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Reading fluency
  • Reading comprehension
  • Research and inquiry skills
  • Viewing and representing
  • Word analysis and decoding
  • Writing conventions

Some of the content that test takers could expect to see on the exam are questions regarding:

  • Instructional methods
  • Learning activities that promote literacy
  • Teacher modeling
  • Word analysis strategies
  • Concepts such as metacognitive skills and cognitive processes

No all the questions that a test-taker answers will contribute towards their final score, and there is no way to tell which questions these are. It is important for test-takers to answer all questions to the best of their ability to increase their chances of passing.

TExES ELAR EC-6 Standards

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR exam covers 12 standards. These standards cover the skills that teachers should possess to teach students in early childhood through 6th grade. The individual standards are discussed in more detail below.

Standard 1

Standard 1 emphasizes oral language. Prospective teachers should understand the significance of oral language and how it affects the skills necessary for speaking and listening as well as literacy development.

Standard 2

Standard 2 focuses on phonemic and phonological awareness. Teachers should be able to implement lessons and activities that will help students' phonemic and phonological awareness thrive.

Standard 3

Standard 3 is all alphabetic principles. Early teachers should be able to recognize the correlation between written words and verbalized language. They should understand how students typically develop alphabetic skills and how to help students further develop these skills.

Standard 4

The focus of Standard 4 is on literacy development. New teachers should have a good comprehension of the various stages of literacy development. They should implement instructional activities and strategies that will help students evolve in their development.

Standard 5

Standard 5 looks at skills in word analysis and identification. Some of the strategies that new teachers will need to know how to teach are decoding and word recognition abilities, including blending and sight words.

Standard 6

Standard 6 focuses on reading fluency. Prospective educators will need to know how to use multiple strategies to build fluent reading in young students, including silent reading, repeated reading, and self-correction. New teachers will also need to know how to help students identify books that they can use for independent reading.

Standard 7

With Standard 7, the focal point is reading comprehension. Beginning teachers should be aware of the significance of reading for comprehension and utilize activities that can improve these skills, including direct instruction and guided reading.

Standard 8

Standard 8 places an emphasis on written communication. Prospective teachers should have the ability to teach students the different stages in the writing process, including pre-writing/brainstorming, drafting, and revision. New teachers should also give students numerous occasions to engage with text to increase vocabulary that can be used in writing.

Standard 9

Standard 9 looks at writing conventions. New teachers need to know English writing conventions and how students use these. They should be able to teach students spelling skills, proper grammar usage, and appropriate punctuation.

Standard 10

The focus of Standard 10 is the evaluation of literacy development. Prospective teachers must have a good understanding of fundamental literacy assessments, including informal reading comprehension assessments, formative assessments, and self-assessments. Beginning teachers should also know how to use what they've learned from these assessments to inform instruction.

Standard 11

Standard 11 looks at the areas of research and inquiry. Within this standard, new teachers should have the skills to provide students with instruction on how to create open-ended questions for research as well as how to decipher information found in tables and maps.

Standard 12

Standard 12 dives into viewing and representing. Prospective teachers should provide students with numerous occasions to evaluate communication mediums such as newspapers and visual reports to evaluate how the type of communication affects the message. Teachers should also provide students with opportunities to compare and contrast various types of media, including blogs and email.

TExES English Language Arts and Reading Test Questions

The TExES ELAR EC-6 is made up of all selected-response questions or what is commonly known as multiple-choice questions. In the arena of multiple-choice questions, test takers might encounter clustered and single questions.

Clustered questions include a stimulus along with corresponding questions. A stimulus could be a graphic representation, reading passage, informational table, or more.

Single questions are the typical run-of-the-mill multiple-choice questions. In these instances, test takers will need to choose the correct answer choice for an incomplete sentence or answer only one question.

TExES ELAR EC 6 Scoring Guidelines

The score range for the TExES ELAR EC-6 is 100 to 300. Test takers must receive a score of 240 or higher to pass, and they can expect to receive their test scores within a week. TExES score report dates are not mailed in a paper format. Instead, examinees will receive their TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR scores electronically in their Pearson testing account. Test takers' scores are also automatically sent to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

How Do I Prepare for the TExES ELAR EC-6 Exam?

Test takers can utilize various strategies to get ready for the TExES ELAR EC-6 exam. Some strategies include:

  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses in content knowledge.
  • Understanding what type of information will be on the exam.
  • Using test preparation materials, including TExES study guides, class notes, and textbooks.
  • Creating a study plan and scheduling study time.
  • Taking practice tests and engaging in study groups.

By utilizing the appropriate test preparation strategies, test takers are more likely to get a passing score on their first attempt.

Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR Study Guide

One of the many ways that test takers can prepare for the exam is by using study guides. These test preparation materials can be found in libraries, bookstores, and online, including through the test provider's website and third-party vendors and sites.

Study guides provide test takers with a general framework of what will be on the exam, including standards and competencies that will be covered. Having this knowledge is helpful for studying. Study guides also include logistical information, including the number of questions on the exam, the allotted time for the exam, and how the exam is administered. There are even some study guides that include TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR practice questions and explanations.

Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR Practice Test

To make sure they have a good understanding of the content that will be on the TExES ELAR EC-6, it would be a good idea for test takers to utilize multiple practice tests to prepare for their exam day. Taking practice tests can allow test takers to see where they need to focus their studies. One approach could be taking a practice test at the beginning of studying as a sort of pre-test, and then taking another practice test after doing some studying to see how much progress has been made and target specific areas that test takers need to focus on more. To simulate the testing atmosphere, test takers could also consider taking a TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR practice test in a study group setting.

How to Take the TExES ELAR EC-6 Exam

In order to take the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR exam, test takers will first need to register for the exam. For TExES exam registration, examinees will need to log into their Pearson testing account on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website and do the following:

  1. Click on Register.
  2. Choose TExES Core Subjects-English Language Arts and Reading for the exam.
  3. Make a request for alternative testing arrangements, if applicable.
  4. Examine the registration period to ensure that you can schedule the test during that time (test takers must schedule their exam within 170 days of registration).
  5. Respond to background questions.
  6. Opt in or opt out of receiving a score report by email.
  7. Pay $58 for the exam.

Test takers can take the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR most days of the week (Monday-Saturday) at testing centers throughout the country. Testing times could vary, depending on the location and availability.

To schedule an exam, test takers must log into their Pearson testing account and do the following:

  1. Click on Schedule.
  2. Choose TExES Core Subjects-English Language Arts and Reading for the exam.
  3. Choose a convenient testing location, time, and date.
  4. Click on Book to schedule the exam.
  5. Review the exam appointment and confirm.

Expert Contributor

Amy Mayers

Amy Mayers, M.Ed. has taught middle school math for over 7 years. She is a Texas certified teacher for grades 4-12 in mathematics and has passed the TExES Math 4-8 and the TExES Math 7-12. Amy graduated with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Houston and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What subject is ELAR?

    The acronym ELAR stands for English language arts and reading. English language arts is a subject that some prospective teachers in Texas are assessed on with the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR exam.

  • Is the EC-6 content exam hard?

    The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 ELAR might be difficult for some test takers, but with proper preparation, test takers can do well on the exam. Test takers should be sure to focus most of their study time on concepts that they are less familiar with. They should also use practice tests to evaluate their understanding.


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  1. Which of these topic sentence games or activities includes separating topic sentences from samples of paragraphs in magazines and books so that students can work to place these together?

    • Correct Answer
  2. Which of the following is the concept of the directionality of print?

    • Correct Answer
  3. Which of the following reading approaches provides the best conditions for students to develop print awareness?

    • Correct Answer
  4. In the context of children's literature, which of the following provides the best definition for the term "transitional book?"

    • Correct Answer
  5. A mother has noticed that her four-year-old child has begun to frequently ask her to "read" the lines of aimless scribbles that she likes to draw on paper. What is this behavior more than likely an indication of?

    • Correct Answer
  6. Which of the following is NOT considered to be one of the seven basic stages of writing development for young children?

    • Correct Answer
  7. A kindergarten teacher can best help students improve within stage five of writing development by teaching students to

    • Correct Answer
  8. Parents of an emergent reader are concerned about their child's reading development. While their child is a novice reader, the parents have expected their child to pick up on reading habits more. The teacher should suggest that the parents use which of the following?

    • Correct Answer
  9. Students are using the dictionary to look up words as they are reading. A student is having difficulty finding words. The teacher instructs the student to look for guide words. The student should then focus on looking for
    • Correct Answer
  10. Which of the following terms refers to the retelling of a story from the reader's viewpoint?

    • Correct Answer
  11. Words that students pick up from other students during recess is an example of what?

    • Correct Answer
  12. A second-grade teacher is educating her students about the phonetic rules and spelling patterns of different words, including the use of the silent "e" at the end of many words. Which of the following phonics skills is she teaching?

    • Correct Answer
  13. Teachers can assess student's individual phonological skills by conducting screenings throughout the school year. Which of the following phonological skills is being assessed if the teacher asks the student how many syllables are in the word monkey?

    • Correct Answer
  14. Each week, students are required to complete an entry in their reading reflection journals. Which is the most effective way to use such journals in the classroom?

    • Correct Answer
  15. Students identifying the literal meaning in a text will seek out information about
    • Correct Answer