Saturday, 26 January 2019

About the Core Subjects EC-6 Exam

Are you studying for the Core Subjects EC-6 exam? You might be nervous. It is a challenging exam, and according to the TEA website the initial passing rate is only 54.5%. With the right preparation, you can pass the first time. Or, if you're re-taking it, you can pass on your next attempt.

Here are some important facts about the exam.

*You must earn a score of 240 or higher on EACH subject area of the exam.
*There are 267 multiple choice questions.
*You have 5 hours to take the exam.
*You have 5 attempts to pass the exam.
*If you fail only one section of the exam, you may re-take just that section.
*If you fail two or more sections, you should re-take the entire exam. This is because each individual exam you take counts as an attempt, and you only have 5 attempts to pass.
*There are 5 sections: English Language Arts and Reading and the Science of Teaching Reading, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Fine Arts/Health/PE/Theatre.
*Passing the exam makes you eligible for jobs ranging from Pre-Kindergarten thru 6th Grade.

In order to pass, I recommend the following:

*Buy or borrow a high quality study guide. Memorize the terms and concepts. Take notes and make flash cards. We have an excellent study guide at
*Check your understanding by taking sample tests and released STAAR tests.
*Consider scheduling a tutoring session. Our tutor has passed the Core Subjects EC-6 exam and is well-prepared to help you. To set up a session, email Courtney at
*Download the free tips at to learn more about strategies and tips for the exam.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Do you get nervous when taking an exam? A little anxiety is normal and can even be helpful. But if your mind is racing and you cannot think straight, you will not be able to perform at your best.

Maybe you have already failed your exam and are discouraged and nervous. Or maybe you are scared to take it because you have heard how hard it is.

There are some strategies to help you minimize your test anxiety and maximize your chances of passing. Putting in hard work is important.

Tips to Reduce Test Anxiety and Pass Your Exam

*Prepare well. Buy a great study guide, read it carefully, and take notes and make flash cards. When you start to get nervous, remind yourself of how well you prepared and replace NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH POSITIVE, REALISTIC THOUGHTS. You might have self-doubts and think "I'm never going to pass!" Replace that thought with this - "I have studies hard. I don't have to get a perfect score, but I have worked hard and can score at least a 240 to pass."

*Slow down your breathing. Practice "square breathing" before your test and use it on your way to your exam and during your test. To use square breathing, breathe in slowly for 3 seconds. Then hold your inhale for 3 seconds. Next, exhale for 3 seconds. Hold the exhale for 3 seconds. Repeat this a time or two until you feel calmer.

*If you are spiritual, pray, and ask your family and friends to pray for you. Pray for peace of mind.

*Do yoga or meditation before your exam to help calm your mind.

*Stay positive and use a mantra or verse to help you, for example "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

*Consider scheduling a phone tutoring session. I have passed the Core Subjects EC-6 and am happy to work with you! Email me at

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Sample Test Questions

Are you studying for the Core Subjects EC-6 exam? We post free sample questions on our Facebook page Texas Teacher Today. Also, a great way to prepare is to take released STAAR tests and when you miss questions, look up more information about those topics and concepts. Take STAAR tests for grades 3 thru 8.

Monday, 14 January 2019

How to Get a Teaching Job in Texas

Do you want to teach in Texas? Here is a quick explanation of how to land your dream teaching job!

In order to teach in Texas, you must be certified. To get certified, you either get a degree in education and get certified through your college, or you get a degree in something else and do alternative certification.

Two Options:

1. Earn your degree in education and get certified through your college
2. Earn a degree in any field and get certified through alternative certification

Both routes have the same requirements:

1. Complete required coursework
2. Complete mandatory observation hours
3. Pass TExES exams, including the PPR EC-12
4. Complete your field experience (either 12 weeks of student or clinical teaching, or a one year internship)

If you choose alternative certification, you can be hired by a school district after you pass your exam. The sooner you pass, the better! We sell great digital study guides and sample tests at

*After you pass your exam, apply as much as possible! Deliver your resume in person to schools and district offices. Attend job fairs and go to interviews. Send a thank you letter after the interview expressing your interest in the job. Network as much as possible. Consider substitute teaching to get your foot in the door.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

What Happens If I Don't Pass the Core Subjects EC-6 Exam?

The Core Subjects EC-6 exam is challenging! According to the State Board for Educator Certification website, the initial pass rate for the Core Subjects EC-6 exam is only 54.5%.

If you have taken it and not passed, you are in good company!

Important Information About Re-Taking the Core Subjects EC-6:

*You must wait 45 days to re-take the exam
*You only have 5 attempts to pass the test
*If you failed two or more sections (Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts and Reading and the Science of Teaching Reading, and Fine Arts), then you should re-take the ENTIRE exam. You may skip the questions in the sections you already passed. If you take an individual subject exam, like Math, it counts as one of your attempts. That is why you should re-take the entire exam if you failed two or more sections. Otherwise, if you take Math and Science after failing the entire exam, you will have used three attempts. However, if you re-take the entire exam, that is only two attempts.
*Buy a good study guide and read the entire sections you need to pass. Make notes and flash cards, and use meta-cognitive strategies to check your understanding.
*Take released STAAR tests and when you miss questions, look up more information about those topics and concepts.
*Take sample tests that are for sale at When you miss questions, look up information about those concepts in your study guide. We also offer a comprehensive study guide at the same site.

Free Sample of New Reading Comprehension Test Questions


We are updating our Sample Reading Comprehension Test for the BTLPT. Below we posted a free excerpt! To purchase the full version of the sample test, visit or

Excerpto de “Versos Sencillos” por José Martí
Yo sé de Egipto y Nigricia,
Y de Persia y Xenophonte;
Y prefiero la caricia
Del aire fresco del monte.

Yo sé de las historias viejas
Del hombre y de sus rencillas;
Y prefiero las abejas
Volando en las campanillas.

Yo sé del canto del viento
En las ramas vocingleras:
Nadie me diga que miento,
Que lo prefiero de versa.

Yo sé de un gamo aterrado
Que vuelve al redil, y expira, -
Y de un corazón cansado
Que muere oscuro y sin ira.

25. ¿Qué quiere decir el autor cuando dice “Yo sé de Egipto y Negricia?”
A. Quiere decir que él sabe de la geografía.
B. Quiere decir que entiende la historia.
C. Quiere decir que conoce países y ciudades desarrollados.
D. Quiere decir que a él le gusta el campo y la ciudad.

26. ¿Qué significa la frase “prefiere la caricia del aire fresco?”
A. Que a él no le gusta la contaminación del aire en las ciudades.
B. Que le gusta el cariño que siente en el campo.
C. Que prefiere la comida natural.
D. Que prefiere vivir en el campo en vez de una ciudad.

27. Cuál palabra tiene el significado más semejante a la palabra “rencillas?”
A. Orgullo
B. Rencor
C. Salud
D. Dinero

28. ¿Cuál palabra describe el tono de los dos primeros párrafos?
A. Alegría
B. Orgullo
C. Nostalgia
D. Rencilla

29. El tercer párrafo demuestra que:
A. El autor tiene una conexión con la naturaleza.
B. Al autor le gusta canta.
C. El autor se va a morir de agotamiento
D. Al autor no le gusta la ciudad.

30. ¿Cuál frase es un mandato negative?
A. “Del aire fresco del monte”
B. “Nadie me diga que miento”
C. “Que muere oscuro y sin ira”
D. “Que vuelve al redil”

31. ¿Cuál palabra es un sinónimo para gamo?
A. Partido
B. Juego
C. Ciervo
D. Paloma

32. “Las ramas vocingleras” es un ejemplo de:
A. Personificación
B. Símil
C. Metáfora
D. Onomatopeya

Answer Key:

25. C
26. D
27. B
28. C
29. A
30. B
31. C
32. A

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

What Tests Do I Need to Be a Bilingual Teacher?

Some of the most common questions we receive are about what tests are required to teach Bilingual Education or Spanish (Spanish as a foreign/world language).

This post will clarify what is required to teach Bilingual Education.

*Core Subjects EC-6 or Core Subjects 4-8 (depending on the grade level to be taught)
*Bilingual Education Supplemental
*Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT)
*Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) EC-12

Now you probably need to know where to buy study material for these exams.

We offer an excellent study guide for the Core Subjects EC-6, Bilingual Education Supplemental, and BTLPT at or at

If you are going to take the Core Subjects 4-8, we recommend the guide by

For the PPR EC-12, we like the guide by REA, which is available on Amazon.

WE also offer tutoring for all of the exams listed above. Email Courtney at to set up a session.