TExES EC 6 Science Practice Test and Study Guide

What is the TExES Science EC-6 Exam?

Teaching candidates who wish to teach at an elementary level in Texas must pass the TExEs Core Subjects EC-6 exam (391). The TExES Core EC-6 exam includes five subtests, each individually graded, with 210 multiple-choice questions. Teaching candidates must pass all subtests to gain a teaching certificate in Texas.

One subtest is the TExES Science EC-6, which examines a teaching candidate's knowledge of earth science, life science, physical science, and concepts taught in elementary classrooms.

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

TExES Science EC-6 Exam Breakdown

The TExES Science EC-6 Exam makes up 19% of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6. Teaching candidates will have 40 minutes to complete the 52 questions on this subtest, which are all selected-response questions. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge in 18 domains:

  • Lab processes, equipment, and safety.
  • History and nature of science
  • Impact of science
  • Concepts and processes
  • Students as learners and science instruction
  • Science assessment
  • Forces and motion
  • Physical and chemical properties
  • Energy and interactions
  • Energy, transformation, and conservation
  • Structure and function of living things
  • Reproduction and the mechanisms of heredity
  • Adaptations and evolution
  • Organisms and the environment
  • Science and function of earth systems
  • Cycles in earth systems
  • Energy in weather and climate
  • Solar system and the universe

The 18 Competencies of the TExES Science EC-6

Within the 18 domains of the TExES Science EC-6 subtest, questions are divided into two categories or 'competencies'. The first examines what a teaching candidate should do and is called the competency standard. The second examines the candidate's knowledge and skills and is called the descriptive standard.

Competency 1 - Lab Processes, Equipment, and Safety

This competency examines the teaching candidate's understanding of managing tools, learning activities, materials, equipment, and technology. TExES exams assess the candidate's ability to maintain a safe classroom in areas such as:

  • Procedures and safety regulations in regards to tools, materials, chemicals, organisms, and specimens.
  • Data gathering, recording, and organizing.
  • Converting units within measurements systems.

Competency 2 - History and Nature of Science

This competency includes the process and role of scientific inquiry and the role of inquiry in science instruction, such as:

  • Instructing students to ask questions and form hypotheses with a goal of developing critical thinking skills and logical reasoning
  • Guide students to use equipment, resources, technology, and techniques to develop, analyze, and evaluate observations and measurements.
  • Instruct students on scientific ethics, logical reasoning, verifiable evidence, prediction, and the historical development of science.

Competency 3 - Impact of Science

This competency examines how science impacts students and influences personal and societal decisions, such as:

  • The ways ethical standards, economic, personal, and societal needs influence science use.
  • How to apply scientific principles and processes to analyze advantages, disadvantages, or alternate courses of action
  • How to apply science to influence personal health and fitness choices including the effects and risks of substances and substance abuse.
  • Concepts, characteristics, and problems related to the human population, population growth, and consumption of natural resources.

Competency 4 - Concepts and Processes

This competency examines a teaching candidate's knowledge of the unifying concepts and processes common to all sciences, such as:

  • Evidence, models, explanation, change, consistency, and measurement.
  • How patterns, interactions, and interrelationships within data and observation can aid in the scientific process.
  • How to use models to evaluate and identify facets of the natural world.

Competency 5 - Students as Learners and Science Instruction

This competency area covers theoretical and practical knowledge when teaching science and how students learn science, such as:

  • Designing and implementing real-world instructional material, activities, and technologies that reflect and build upon students' developmental characteristics, knowledge, and experiences.
  • Effectively addressing common misconceptions in science.

Competency 6 - Science Assessment

This competency involves assessments and practices for monitoring science learning in the laboratory, field, and classroom, such as

  • Monitoring students' understanding of concepts, their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Communicating evaluation criteria and assessments to students.

Competency 7 - Forces and Motions

This competency covers:

  • The properties of universal forces and how to measure, graph, and describe changes in them.
  • The relationship between force and motion and how to analyze how unbalanced forces act to cause changes.

Competency 8 - Physical and Chemical Properties

Competency 8 tests candidates' ability to:

  • Describe and measure properties of solids, liquids, and gases and the physical and chemical differences between those properties.
  • Describe the differences between matter, elements, compounds, mixtures, and solutions.
  • Convey the importance of chemical reactions in daily life.

Competency 9 - Energy and Interactions

This competency tests on the interactions between matter and energy, such as:

  • The basic concepts of conservation and transformation of energy (heat energy and melting, evaporation, boiling, condensation, conduction, convection, and radiation).
  • The properties of electricity, magnetism, reflection, refraction, and the transmission of sound.

Competency 10 - Energy, Transformation, and Conservation

This section assesses examinee's knowledge of:

  • Electrical energy, its transformation processes, and how transferred energy works.
  • How energy transformations impact conservation.

Competency 11 - Structure and Function of Living Things

For this competency, candidates should review:

  • The structures, functions, essential needs, and stages of living things and their life cycles.
  • How the systems of the human body function and the relationship between those systems and structures.

Competency 12 - Reproduction and the Mechanisms of Heredity

This section tests on:

  • How genetic information is passed through generations.
  • The differences between hereditary traits and learned characteristics.
  • Dominant and recessive traits,
  • The ability to predict probably outcomes of genetic combinations
  • How the environment influences changes in genetic traits.

Competency 13 - Adaptations and Evolutions

This competency looks at organisms and the theory of evolution, such as:

  • Adaptive characteristics influencing the survival of a species.
  • Selective breeding, mutations, and other natural occurrences that enable species' traits to change or adapt.

Competency 14 - Organisms and the Environment

This section assesses a test taker's knowledge of:

  • Ecosystems and how they relate and depend on one another
  • How population and species change affects those systems
  • Adaptive characteristics and other factors that influence the size and growth of populations within ecosystems.
  • The role of stimuli and organisms interrelate, compete and depend on one another.

Competency 15 - Science and Function of Earth Systems

This TExES Science EC-6 subtest competency examines a teaching candidate's understanding of:

  • How geologic change functions how that changes has affected Earth's history.
  • How surface, ground water and the atmosphere function.
  • How human activity can alter Earth systems.

Competency 16 - Cycles in Earth Systems

The Cycles competency covers:

  • How the water cycle relates to the weather processes
  • How the nutrient cycles affect the Earth's systems.
  • Properties of Earth's materials and how materials such as rocks, minerals, and soil are formed.
  • Humans impact on Earth systems.

Competency 17 - Energy in Weather and Climate

This section involves:

  • The principles of weather and how it's affected by the Earth's systems.
  • How weather is measured and how to make predictions using charts and data.
  • The differences between weather and climate

Competency 18 - Solar System and the Universe

The final competency tests examinee's knowledge and ability to teach about:

  • The solar system, it's components and characteristics.
  • The Earth-Moon-Sun systems and related components.

How to Prepare for the TExES Science EC-6?

A daily study schedule is helpful when preparing to take the TExES Science EC-6. Candidates should spend time focusing on each of the 18 components and prioritize areas where they are least confident. TExES practice test can help teaching candidates assess areas where more review is needed.

Is There a Practice Test for the TExES Science EC-6?

The Texas Educator Certification Examination Program's website includes an abbreviated EC-6 Science practice test. More extensive TExES Science EC-6 practice tests are recommended and are available online, often for a fee. The most helpful ones offer the correct answers and reasoning for that answer to help the examinee notice their weaker areas and practice engaging with the question format and timing.

Registering for the TExES Science EC-6 Exam

To register for the TExES Science EC-6 Exam, candidates need to:

  • Create an account on the Pearson website.
  • Create a TEA Login (TEAL) account.
  • Complete an Educator Profile and obtain a TEA ID number.

From there, examinees can return to the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website and select the Register option. After signing in, they may select the Core subjects: EC-6.

The TExES Science EC-6 subtest can either be taken alone (testing time: 40 minutes), or all subtests may be taken at once (five hours). The allotted times includes any breaks the test taker chooses to take.

Candidates will then chose the date and location to complete the TExES exam registration, pay the $58 for the EC-6 Science subtest alone or $116 for the comprehensive exam.

Accommodations for Taking the TExES Science EC-6

Teaching candidates with disabilities, health-related needs, or nursing mothers can request alternative testing arrangements by giving documentation. Alternated testing arrangements are approved on a case-by-case basis.

TExES testing centers are wheelchair accessible. All candidates have access to visual enhancement featuring color contrast and enlarged font. Noise-reducing headphones or earplugs may require prior approval.

How is TExES Scored?

EC-6 generalist science score reports are available on the testing account and show a passed/not passed status. Candidates must earn a scaled score of 240 in passing the TExES exam (from a range of 100-300). The total scaled score shows performance by domain and competency. Selected-response questions are scored by computer immediately after the exam is completed.

The TExES score report will show the number of questions (45 for the TExES Science EC-6 subtest), and the number of questions answered correctly. In 2016, the pass rate on the TExES Science EC-6 was 77%.

Expert Contributor

Amy Lopez

Amy Lopez, M.A. is a high school teacher with over 8 years of experience teaching Family Consumer Science Education. She has passed the TExES PPR exam and the Praxis Family and Consumer Science Exam. Amy completed a B.S. in Family Consumer Sciences from Tarleton State University, an M.A. in Teaching from Grand Canyon University, and an Education Specialist degree from Northcentral University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How hard is the TExES Science EC-6 Subject Exam?

    This test covers a lot of information and is difficult. In 2016, the pass rate on the TExES Science EC-6 was 77%.

  • What should I study for the TExES Science EC-6 Subject Exam?

    Spend time focusing on each of the 18 components listed here. Teaching candidates should focus preparation time and priority on the areas where they are least confident, but should review the content of all domains and competencies. Practice tests can help teaching candidates assess areas where more review is needed.


Take a TExES Core Subjects E-6: Science Practice Test Online

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  1. The peppered moth scenario in London is an example of which type of selection?

    • Correct Answer
  2. All of the landforms, minerals and rocks on both the surface and interior of the Earth form the

    • Correct Answer
  3. Which kind of rock results from the transformation of another type of rock?

    • Correct Answer
  4. Where are supermassive black holes usually located?

    • Correct Answer
  5. What color are the hottest stars?

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  6. How much heat is needed to bring 0.400 kg of copper (specific heat capacity = 390 J/kgC) to 100 degrees Celsius if the copper was initially at 60 degrees Celsius?

    • Correct Answer
  7. In which instance will sound travel faster: during a very cold night or during a hot summer day?

    • Correct Answer
  8. All of the following are examples of consumers EXCEPT

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  9. Animals such as grasshoppers, desert tortoises, and koalas which only eat plant-based food would be classified as what kind of animal?

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  10. Which of the following is not an example of a biological specimen?

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  11. A new teacher just completed an experiment using a gene for antibiotic resistance to transform E. coli to demonstrate how traits help organisms survive in the environment. They followed the instructions included with the kit for decontamination, but want to be certain it is safe to throw the used materials away. Which best describes what they should do?

    • Correct Answer
  12. Which of the following properties is a measure of the amount of matter in a given space?

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  13. How did Mendeleev put the elements in order on the Periodic Table?

    • Correct Answer
  14. Which of these is a derived unit of measurement?

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  15. The density of Iron is 7.87 g/cm3. A piece of pure iron ore has a mass of 40 kg. What is its volume?

    • Correct Answer