TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Practice Test & Study Guide

What is the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam, or TExES EC-6 exam, is part of the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program. This program includes a range of exams required for aspiring educators in Texas. The TExES exams are designed to evaluate candidates' content knowledge in various certification areas. For instance, this specific exam (TExES EC-6 exam) is used to test the skills and knowledge of aspiring public elementary school teachers in the state. Candidates who pass the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam will earn their certification to teach students from early childhood to 6th grade.

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam is divided into 5 different subtests. Each subtest is designed to test candidates' knowledge in a core subject area taught at the elementary school level. Candidates must pass all of the subtests in order to pass the TExES EC-6 exam and earn TExES certification in the field. However, test takers do not need to pass all of the subtests at once. The TExES EC-6 exam tests candidates' skills in English Language Arts and Reading & the Science of Teaching Reading (Subject Exam 1), Mathematics (Subject Exam 2), Social Studies (Subject Exam 3), Science (Subject Exam 4), and Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education (Subject Exam 5). We will discuss more details of the TExES EC-6 exam below.

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

Format of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 test is a computer-administered test (CAT). Restroom breaks are allowed during the exam, but these breaks count towards the testing time. The break down of the number of questions and time constraints for each subtest in the TExES EC-6 exam can be found in the table below:

Test Name Number of Questions Time Limit
English Language Arts and Reading & the Science of Teaching Reading 75 1 hour 45 min
Mathematics 47 60 min
Social Studies 41 35 min
Science 52 40 min
Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education 52 40 min
Total 267 5 hours

What Kinds of Questions Are on the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

All of the questions on the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam are selected-response questions. However, test takers may need to answer questions on the TExES EC-6 exam in various ways. For example, some questions may ask candidates to select multiple answers that answer the question correctly. Other questions may ask test takers to type an answer in an entry box, choose an answer from a drop-down menu, or drag and drop answers into a target area. Finally, there are some questions that may require testers to click a checkbox, parts of a graphic, or parts of a sentence to answer.

TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam Content

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam covers a total of 47 competencies. Each of the core subject subtests on the TExES EC-6 exam covers its own number of these competencies as follows: English tests 13 competencies, Mathematics tests 6 competencies, Social Studies tests 5 competencies, Science tests 18 competencies, and Fine Arts, Health and PE tests 5 competencies. Below, we will discuss the content of these subtests in greater detail, including the competencies they cover.

English Language Arts and Reading & The Science of Teaching Reading

The English Language Arts and Reading & The Science of Teaching Reading subject test examines candidates' skills for teaching oral language, reading, vocabulary, and more. This section includes literacy development across these grade levels, as well as how students learn to write and conduct research. Questions will cover the various methods for teaching these skills and how to assess and monitor student progress. Test takers will be evaluated on their understanding of the following competencies:

  • The development process and importance of oral language, including listening and speaking skills
  • The development of phonological and phonemic awareness
  • The alphabetic principle for reading and the relationship between printed words and spoken language
  • The literacy development process
  • Word identification skills and opportunities to improve students' skills
  • Importance of fluency and opportunities to improve students' skills
  • Importance and processes for reading comprehension
  • Importance of vocabulary development and its role in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
  • The development of research and study skills for success
  • English writing and developing proficiency
  • The developmental process of written communication
  • Skills for evaluating images in different types of media
  • Literacy assessment


The Mathematics subject test is broken up into competencies that cover various areas within the field, as well as a competency that covers how to teach math to students. Within this subject test, candidates will need to be able to identify, analyze, and explain a range of basic math concepts appropriate for elementary-level math. Candidates may need to know multiple ways to represent different concepts, such as fractions and decimals. This subject test examines test takers' understanding of the following competencies:

  • The development instruction and assessments based on how students learn math
  • Concepts of numbers, algorithms, and operations
  • Concepts of functions, relations, patterns, and algebraic reasoning
  • Concepts of geometry and measurement
  • Concepts and applications of statistics and probability
  • Mathematical processes for mathematical reasoning, solving problems, and identifying mathematical connections

Social Studies

The Social Studies subject test aims to test candidates' knowledge and skills in several different social sciences, including history, geography, economics, and government. There is also a competency that examines the specific skills needed to teach social studies to elementary students. Test takers will need to know terminology in the field, explain concepts, analyze information, and demonstrate problem-solving skills based on provided information. Questions will test candidates' understanding of the following competencies:

  • The development of social studies instruction and assessment based on knowledge of the field
  • Historical events, historical interpretations, and relations between the past, present, and future
  • Geographic relationships at the local, national, and global scales; cultural development; and interactions of science, society, and technology
  • Economic systems and their organization for goods and services
  • Concepts of government, citizenship, and democracy


The competencies on the Science subject exam tests candidates' understanding of the scientific process, scientific learning, and specific concepts in various areas of the field. Questions will test candidates' ability to identify, explain, and apply concepts, as well as analyze relationships. Scientific concepts are tested from areas that include physics, earth and space science, and more. Test takers will answer questions that assess their understanding of the following competencies:

  • Managing learning activities and equipment while ensuring safety
  • The history and nature of science and scientific inquiry
  • Science in daily life and decision-making
  • Unifying concepts across sciences
  • How students learn science and how to teach science
  • Assessments for evaluating learning in the class, field, and laboratory
  • Forces and motion
  • Interactions between energy and matter
  • Energy transformations and conservation
  • Structure and function of living things
  • Mechanisms of heredity and reproduction
  • Evolution and adaptations
  • Relationship between the environment and organisms
  • Earth systems' structure and function
  • Earth systems' cycles
  • Energy in weather and climate
  • Characteristics of the solar system and universe

Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education

The Fine Arts, Health, and PE subject test is divided into 5 different areas: the visual arts, music, health, PE, and theatre. Candidates will need to know how to promote students' skills in these various areas, as well as how to explain main concepts. Specific skills may also be tested, such as strategies and skills for different games and sports in PE. Questions will cover instructional methods and assessment options in these different subject areas. Specifically, candidates will be evaluated on their understanding of the following competencies:

  • Art concepts and processes and the skills for visual arts instruction
  • Music concepts and processes and the skills for music instruction
  • Concepts and instruction for health education
  • Concepts, skills, and instruction for physical education
  • Theatre concepts and processes and the skills for theatre instruction

TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam Registration

TExES registration for the Core Subjects EC-6 exam must be completed online through a candidate's Pearson Testing Account on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. After creating their account and linking their Texas Education Agency ID number, candidates can select the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam. They can then indicate their intent to request alternative testing arrangements, answer background questions, select scoring options, and pay for their exam. During registration, test takers can also schedule their exam. However, if they do not want to schedule right away, registration is valid for 170 days.

Exam Fees

The TExES exam cost for taking the total TExES EC-6 exam is $116. Each subtest is $58 if they are taken separately. Test takers must pay for the exams during registration using a VISA or Mastercard. Should candidates need to cancel their exam for whatever reason, they may be eligible for a partial refund. In order to receive a refund of the exam cost minus $25, test takers must cancel their exam through their Pearson account at least 48 hours ahead of test time. They must then submit a withdrawal request through their account. A refund will be processed to the card they used to pay for the exam during registration.


What score do I need to pass the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

In order to pass the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam, test takers must earn a TExES exam passing score of 240 or higher on each subject exam. Test takers will receive their score report within 7 days of their test date. Score reports are available at 10 pm Central Time on test takers' expected score report date, which can be found on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.

Score reports for the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam include a total test performance score, domain score, and competency score. This means that candidates can see their total test performance score with their passed/not passed status. This scale is scaled to account for different versions of the test. The TExES EC-6 exam does not have separate domains for domain performance scores, but test takers will get a total score for each subtest. Candidates will also get a performance score by competency. This is not a passing score, but it indicates how well test takers did on questions pertaining to each competency.

If candidates do not pass the TExES EC-6 exam, they are able to retake it. Candidates who pass all but one subject test will be able to retake only the subject test they did not pass. If candidates did not pass two or more subject tests, they must retake the entire exam. Candidates must wait at least 30 days before retaking the test, and test takers are limited to a total of 5 attempts.

Dates and Locations

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam can be taken at CAT sites throughout the state of Texas. These sites are also available nationwide. Specific test dates and times may vary by test site, but in general, test dates are available year round by appointment. Testing appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Test takers can search for available test centers and dates through their Pearson account. A list of TExES testing centres are given based on a candidate's address they listed in their personal information. Candidates can search through the available dates and test times for the test center of their choice. After scheduling their exam, candidates will get a confirmation notice. On test day, candidates should be sure to arrive for their TExES EC-6 exam at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled test time.

Essential & Prohibited Items

Candidates will need very few items on test day. On test day, test takers should bring:

  • Two forms of identification
  • Layered clothes
  • Soft-soled shoes

While some items may be allowed with the proper approval (such as food and drink for those with medical needs), in general, candidates are not allowed to bring the following items to the test center on test day:

  • Tobacco products
  • Visitors
  • Weapons
  • Cell phones
  • Communication/recording devices
  • Calculators
  • Written or printed materials
  • Bags or packages
  • Hats/headwear
  • Unauthorized aides
  • Unauthorized medical devices
  • Food and drink


Test takers who are disabled, nursing mothers, or have other health-related needs are eligible for alternative testing arrangements. Candidates will indicate their intention to apply for these arrangements during the registration process. They must then fill out the Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form and submit the form with the appropriate documentation. If approved, test takers will receive an email that has instructions for scheduling their exam with the approved alternative testing arrangements. Candidates need to register for their exam as soon as possible and make their request as soon as possible to allow for at least 3 weeks to process the request.

How to Prepare for the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam

To pass the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam as quickly as possible, test takers should carefully prepare for the test. Candidates may want to start by learning about the format and content of the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam with a TExES study guide. These guides will allow test takers to evaluate their understanding of the different competencies on the TExES EC-6 exam and get familiar with the types of questions they will see. Candidates should plan their study time according to areas of strength and weakness, join study groups, and utilize at least one TExES EC-6 practice test.

Ready to Try a TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Practice Test?

After using a TExES Core Subjects EC-6 study guide to learn about the content and spending some time studying, candidates should take a TExES EC-6 practice test. This TExES practice test helps candidates get familiar with the format of the TExES EC-6 exam, practice with real questions, and take the test under a time constraint. Candidates can also learn from their mistakes on the practice test to pass the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam on test day.

Expert Contributor

Andrea Pickens

Andrea Pickens, Ed.D. has worked in the field of education for over 7 years, including more than 4 years as a middle and high school science teacher. As the Science Content Lead at her school, Andrea provides instructional support and resources to other educators. Andrea has passed the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 exam and the TExES 4-8 Science exam. She completed an Ed.D. at Baylor University and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction at Texas A&M University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How hard is the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

    There is no single available pass rate for the exam. However, we can look at pass rates of individual subject tests for the latest year for which scoring data is available, 2016-17. These scores are as follows:

    • ELAR -- 86%
    • Mathematics -- 80%
    • Social Studies -- 73%
    • Science --77%
    • Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education -- 92%
  • Do you get to use a calculator on the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

    No, candidates are not given an on-screen calculator or a reference sheet on the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 exam. Candidates are expected to be able to answer all math/science questions without using obscure formulas or complex calculations.


Take a TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of TExES Core Subjects EC-6.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

You have answered 0 out of 15 correctly.

The correct answers are highlighted with green below.

  1. Students were given 3 objects, each with a mass of 5.00 g. Each student weighed the masses of the objects using a triple beam balance and recorded their findings. Which student's data had high precision but low accuracy?
    • Correct Answer
  2. Which concept is needed to solve the following word problem? "In planning a mosaic, an artist counts up her yellow tiles and green tiles. She counts 28 yellow and 42 green. She wants to create areas that have the same number of rows of each color. What is the greatest number tiles each row can have and still share in common?"

    • Correct Answer
  3. A teacher has their students draw a picture of how a song makes them feel and add different colors as visual aids to their musical sheets about how a note should be played prior to learning to play. The teacher is

    • Correct Answer
  4. Sight words increase reading fluency by

    • Correct Answer
  5. What is the following symbol an example of?
    What is the following symbol an example of?
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  6. Of these choices, which is a psychodynamic factor that may contribute to substance abuse?

    • Correct Answer
  7. A science teacher wants students to compare plant and animal cells, which model would help students understand the location and function of different organelles in the two cell types?

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  8. What is the difference between oral and written communication?

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  9. _____ is the ability to write or spell words based on how they sound.
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  10. One way for students to increase their reading fluency is when a teacher reads aloud. What is the reading voice that the teacher uses that allows students to hear what it sounds like when people ask a question in their reading or when there's an ellipsis?

    • Correct Answer
  11. Simplify the following algebraic expression:

    {eq}3x^3 - 2x^2 + x + 4x^3 - 9x^2 {/eq}

    • Correct Answer
  12. Which of the following is responsible for trapping heat within the Earth's atmosphere and contributing to global climate change?

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  13. Which country was the first to explore Texas after their ship wrecked off the coast of what is now Galveston in 1528?

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  14. What term describes the buildup of an electric charge on an object that is transferred to another object?

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  15. What would be one way of teaching phonemic awareness to a child initially learning to read?

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