TExES Core Subjects EC6 Social Studies Practice Test & Study Guide
What is the Purpose of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies Exam?
Candidates who wish to teach in elementary schools in Texas are required to take the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam. This TExES test consists of a series of tests that would assess the capability of aspiring educators to teach various subjects to elementary students.
The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies Exam (803) is just one subject area candidates must take. This test is for those who wish to teach social studies to students from early childhood to 6th grade. This exam covers five competencies: Social Science Instruction, History, Geography and Culture, Economics, and Government and Citizenship. Candidates are encouraged to include taking a TExES practice test for Social Studies in their TExES preparation.
TExES Core Social Studies Format
While the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam allows candidates five hours to complete the exam, the TExES Social Studies (803) exam is only 35 minutes of that time. Candidates must understand that the entire exam includes English Language Arts and Reading & the Science of Reading (801); TExES Math EC 6 (802); Social Studies (803); TExES EC 6 Science (804); and Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education (805).
Like other exams, the exam may have questions that are not counted towards the total score. It is essential to understand that the TExES scores are based only on those scored questions.
The following chart explains the various details about the TExES Core Subjects EC-6: Social Studies exam.
TExES Core Subjects EC-6: Social Studies
Time to Test
Number of Questions
Percentage of Overall Core Subjects Test
Note that the TExES exam passing score is a scaled score of 240. The number of correct answers to the 41 questions makes up a raw score, which is converted to a scaled score. The total Core Subjects test is 267 questions, taking 4 hours and 40 minutes.
Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.
TExES Core Social Studies Content
The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies exam includes five competencies that test-takers are expected to be familiar with to pass the test. These competencies cover everything an entry-level teacher should know to teach social studies at the elementary level.
The competencies for the EC-6 Social Studies exam include:
Social Science Instruction
Geography and Culture
Government and Citizenship
The competencies are derived from the Texas state standards set up by the Texas Education Agency, which is the governing party for Texas educators. We'll go into some detail on these in the following sections:
Social Science Instruction
Candidates for the Social Science Instruction competency must demonstrate their ability to design, develop, and deliver effective instructional strategies in the classroom. This section of the test assesses:
understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, for social studies content
knowledge of terminology
interpretation of maps and various graphs
understanding of technology as it applies to social studies instruction
Test-takers should also be able to create activities with materials appropriate for the grade level, and use assessments for the subject, and design instruction for a diverse population. They'll need to show they can communicate the importance of learning social studies to both students and families as well as communities and societies.
This History competency of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies exam measures a candidate's ability to understand essential concepts from a historical viewpoint. This knowledge includes historical events and developments in the United States, Texas, and worldwide and their impacts.
Candidates will need to know:
the importance of communities and common purpose
cultural differences and contributions
how various other disciplines impact the historical development of the world, country, and state
how to conduct specific research and how to interpret those findings
These skills will then be utilized to convey social studies instruction within the elementary social studies classroom using various instructional methods and activities to keep students engaged in the subject matter.
Geography and Culture
This portion of the EC-6 Social Studies exam examines the test-takers understanding of geography and how it relates to various relationships across Texas, the United States, and worldwide. Cultural competence is crucial because it involves the ability to adapt to specific disciplines by applying science, technology, and culture at large.
The candidate should have a working knowledge of:
the characterizations of areas related to geography,
different natural resources available in a variety of places
how geographic areas affect how societies are formed.
natural processes (erosion, climate and weather patterns, and faults in the earth)
how these topics relate to the overall environment in different locations
Candidates should also be able to demonstrate their understanding of cultural differences worldwide, across the United States, within the state of Texas, and within their communities and how to deliver this knowledge to students.
Candidates taking this portion of the EC-6 Social Studies exam should understand how the economic system works as a whole and how it affects all areas of society. This topic includes the ability to
understand various economic systems related to goods and services
concepts in economics that allow people to meet the most basic needs of society and beyond (how money works and the different ways people go about spending and saving it)
the free-enterprise system, how it operates and affects the way people live.
historical events concerning economics and their impacts on how people live and work.
With this knowledge, test-takers will be assessed on their ability to teach this topic to students in the elementary school setting in various ways.
Government and Citizenship
The Government and Citizenship section of the Social Studies exam the various systems and historical aspects that make up these areas. Candidates should demonstrate an understanding of:
how the governmental principles and policies are applied to the American, local, and worldwide regulations (including specific laws and documents that govern the United States, such as the Constitution).
various landmarks and symbols that represent different government areas
what it means to be a good citizen and the responsibilities and rights that go along with it
How to Sign Up For the TExES Core Subjects Exam
Candidates ready to take the TExES Social Studies portion of the teacher certification exam will first need to create an account on the Pearson website (the testing site login is different from the account on the Texas Education Agency website). The candidate will enter their TEA identification number so that the TExES scores can be linked to their educator profile. All those new to testing will need to accomplish TExES exam registration through the Pearson website.
Once test takers have created their accounts, they can register for the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies exam. The cost is $58; however, if they choose to take the entire exam at once, the fee is $116. Candidates will be able to choose the test schedule based on the TExES exam dates and testing centers available.
If a candidate does not pass the exam, they can retake the test. However, according to the TExES exam retake policy, they cannot schedule their retake exam for 30 days after their original exam date. Candidates must also seek approval from their educator preparation program before registering. Retakes can be select portions or the entire suite, depending on what they need. The TExEs exam cost for a retake is the same as registering for the initial test.
Ways To Prepare For the TExES Core Social Studies Test
Candidates can view preparation materials on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website to ensure they know what to expect and how to prepare for the TExES Core Subjects exam. Print the Preparation Manual provided to help prepare for the test.
Test takers should prepare for the TExES Social Studies EC-6, and other sections of the overall test by developing a study guide first. There are templates for TExES study guide in the preparation manual to help candidates create their plans. These manuals are printable by the specific test portion for easier studying. Once a plan has been developed, test takers should stick as closely to the schedule as possible to ensure they are ready on the day of the exam.
Additionally, test takers need to find and complete a TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Social Studies Practice Test and use it to assess what they already are familiar with and where they need to spend more of their preparation time. Taking a TExES practice test also helps examinees to get familiar with the question format and timing.
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
How many questions are on the TExES EC-6 exam?
The full suite of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam has a total of 267 selected-response questions. These questions are broken down by subject area.
What are the 6 core subjects?
The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam has six subjects that can be taken altogether or separately. These subjects are: English Language Arts and Reading & The Science of Reading; Mathematics; Social Studies; Science; Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education.
What's the difference between the TExES 291 and 391?
The difference between the TExES 291 and 391 is the content areas that are within each exam. The 291 had the English Language Arts & Reading along with the Science of Teaching Reading as one category. The new 391 has separated the Science of Teaching Reading into its own exam TExES 293.
How is the TExES EC-6 exam scored?
The TExES EC-6 exam is scored based on the number of correctly answered questions (raw score) converted to a scaled score. Although some questions do not count towards the score, the final score only comes from the scored items. For the overall exam, the report will show Passed or Not Passed based on the individual subject exams, which test-takers must score a 240 to meet the expectations.
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