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Strategy #1

Study: I studied several weeks before and for most of each day the week leading up to the actual test. I went through the REA Generalist EC-6 (191) book and took notes, made flashcards on Quizlet.com, and worked the practice problems in the book. I also purchased the online material from CertifyTeacher.com, which is actually what I believe helped me do so well! I did hours upon hours of practice problems, learning the format of the question and what the test creators were expecting in terms of an answer.

Test: This test is different from others because it is divided (and timed) by individual sections. I really appreciated this because I wasn't too focused on one section and could just continue moving forward without obsessing over past questions. I had plenty of time for each and even went back through the questions at minimum twice. I would definitely tell someone to use practice questions as a major part of their studying! I think that I did so well on the test because I got to the point where I could know the answer that they were expecting, based on the language. Although the test was by no means easy, I did feel very comfortable afterwards.

Strategy #2

Study: I used the Certify Teacher program; took all the quizzes, did the exam took note of what I did not know, and then searched it and made my own study guide. I also looked at the test manual and took practice questions. Lastly, I took a STAAR test.

Test: Take your time, it is a bit hard. I took the new version of it the 291, and I passed it on my first attempt. The English section is applying the concepts and why a teacher may choose certain activities with students. Math was much easier than I thought; however, you do have to go quick. Social Studies, know your history; it was a bit of every standard. Science was the easiest. For the last section, go over applications of music in the classroom, how a teacher uses certain music activities, and how they help student learning. It caught me by surprise. Took me 4 hours to finish. Don't rush it, you do not want to re-take.

Strategy #3

Study: I was told by a few teacher friends to get the "Secrets Generalist EC-6" study guide book. I feel like this really helped me a lot. However, the Math in the practice test in the book was much, much higher level than what was actually on the test. Another friend told me about a website called CertifyTeacher. This was a life saver, it is laid out just like the actual test and you have access to flashcards, quizzes, and a timed practice test. This was about $50 (the book was $54) and I feel I would have passed with just using CertifyTeacher. I studied all day, for a month for this test. I advise you to focus on the Language Arts and Social Studies. I recommend doing the quizzes and practice tests as well. As long as you study, you should do fine.

Test: Be prepared! I can't say enough to study, study, study. Get a good night's rest, eat a good meal, and don't overthink it. You have plenty of time to complete the test. I began my test at 5:41pm and finished at 9:51pm (I used pretty much all the time). I left not knowing how I did. I was preparing myself for the worst, but low and behold on my first attempt I PASSED, 271! I took my test on a Friday night and got my scores the following Tuesday morning.

Strategy #4

Study: I actually took #291 (the current version of the #191), where it is split up by subject. I used the TExES Preparation Manual PDF and bought the REA book for study materials. Taking the two full-length practice tests that are part of the REA book was the most helpful thing I did. I would have given myself two weeks to study instead of one week.

Test: The test questions were at a similar difficulty level as I found in my study materials. I wasn't as anxious during the test as I thought I would be. I had more than enough time for each section. I was told I could only have one 15-minute break, so I strategically took it after Social Studies and before Science because during the practice tests I found that I wasn't as alert during those last 2 sections. I definitely advise you to take a full-length practice test, because shorter ones may be misleading. I took a couple diagnostic and shorter-length tests, and I did a lot better on those than on the longer practice tests. The REA book was very helpful.

Strategy #5

Study: I took the new exam: 291. I bought the REA book with online access about a month before the test. I read every section entirely and made flashcards for pretty much every concept or definition; I ended up with about 400 flash cards. After I was done with each section, I studied those flash cards and then did a practice test. After I was done studying all my sections separately, I retook the practice tests over and over again. Reading the correct and incorrect answer explanations was very helpful! The test is graded easier than they make it out to be.

Test: It took me 4 hours to finish the test, it was so long. After 2 hours, I just wanted to leave. Make sure to take a break to get your focus back. After leaving the exam, I was positive that I would have to retake at least 2 subjects. I received my scores 4 days after the exam and I passed everything with a 270/300 average score. Good luck!!

Strategy #6

Study: I had 10 years teaching experience in CA and moved to Houston, therefore I had to take this exam to teach in TX. I started studying 2 weeks for 4 hours average per day before my exam date. I studied the REA and took the practice exams in the back. I scored between 90-96% on the practice exams after taking them a few times. I completed the online PACT-Tarleton EC-6 module and practice exam. The final study resource that I used was the TExES prep manual exam. I felt extremely confident going in to the exam.

Test: The test surprised me and not in a good way. I thought the whole exam was 5 hours total, but each section is timed separately. I was under the assumption that I would be able to spend extra time where I needed it, but that is not the case. The first section was ELA and had lots of time to spare (over an hour left), so felt fine with that. Lots of time to go back and check answers if needed. The second section was Math. The questions were much tougher than on any of the practice exams. I marked about 7 to go back to because they needed time to solve. However, when I go to the end I only had 3 minutes left, not enough time to solve those marked questions. I left about 4 unanswered. My TIP would be if you don't know the answer, at least mark an answer. That way if you don't get back to it you at least have a 25% chance of getting it correct. The third section was Science. The questions were also more difficult than expected. A few random questions were about the wind bending to the right, genetic material in sperm and eggs, and what do asteroids and comets have in common. I don't remember seeing any of this in the study material I used. The fourth section was SS and it was fine. There were a few questions about Sam Houston, San Juanito, and Texas economy. The last section, PE/ART/MUSIC was pretty straight forward. I'm not a music person so some of the questions in relation to music notes were difficult. I walked out feeling like I failed the whole thing. However, I tested on Friday and got my scores on Wednesday and passed each section; my overall score was 270. I believe that the questions that were random to me were the "testing questions" that weren't counted. Good luck!

Strategy #7

Study: I took the new version of the Generalist EC-6 test #291 where the sections are split up by the subject. I used the REA EC-6 test 191 book that I bought on Amazon and the Texes Test Manual found on the website. I spent about a week studying for the exam. I used about 2 days reading and practicing the English/Language Arts subject and about 1 day for the rest of the subjects. What helped me was reading through the section, highlighting info along the way, creating flashcards for keywords and teaching methods. Then I would answer every question pertaining to the subject in the 2 practice tests given in the back of the book and the Texes Manual Online. Check your answers and go over what you missed. The day before the test I would drill my flashcards and review the questions and answers.

Test: The test was about the level I expected judging by the practice questions I was given in all my study materials. Each section is timed individually. English/Language Arts gives you the most time and honestly, the most reasonable. Utilize this time to go over your questions and to review any that you feel you could rethink. The tricky part with this was that every answer was applicable to the situation given, yet you must think of what is best for the child in the grade level described. Study phonemes, syllables, assessments, writing and reading levels, and the alphabetic principle. For mathematics, drill! The questions are not hard but you must think fast. I was going as fast as my head could go and still took it down to the wire. Brush up on long division, multiplication, and algorithms. Science was probably the easiest. Know your prokaryotes and eukaryotes, organs, life cycles, and laboratory safety pertaining to each grade. For Social Studies, study the Texas constitution. This caught me off guard. Know your native tribes and cultural differences. Fine Arts and Physical Education: Music was definitely a toughie, if you have time in your study schedule use it to study the scales and notes in a clef. PE is most of this section and is really common sense. Study locomotor and non locomotor movements and you will be fine. All I can say is go in calm. This test was tough, but mostly because of how long it is. Use your time wisely, including reviewing questions at the end of each section. Best advice is to utilize your breaks. I took every one I could get. One after each section. This test is not impossible!

Strategy #8

Study: I used the REA study guide and practice tests, along with T-Cert. I found that together they covered much of what I encountered on the test.

Test: The test took me about 2.5 hours and then another hour to go back over it. I went back and forth thinking it was easy then not as sure. I really didn't know if I passed afterward, but ended up with a 279.

Strategy #9

Study: Two study resources were especially helpful to me for the Generalist EC-6 exam. 1.) I bought the REA "TExES Generalist EC-6 (191)" book (ISBN 13: 978-0-7386-1051-1) and read through it. This took a few days. The book also includes online access to the REA Study Center where you will find an initial assessment quiz and two full-length exams, each with answers explained. 2.) I created an account at CertifyTeacher.com and purchased the online course for Generalist EC-6. This allowed me to work through several exams in Study Mode and Exam Mode. Similar to the REA materials, the CertifyTeacher.com content explains the answers. Some of the explanations only expounded on the correct answer, while I found the most beneficial ones also described why an answer was wrong. But, all in all, I benefited from the access to multiple sample test questions.

Test: ETS provides various links when you register for a test. The two most valuable being a video of what to expect at the test center and a downloadable .exe file that explains the CAT interface. I studied and prepared for the exam and scored a 258. I wish I could've scored higher, but passing is passing. I have always considered myself adept at English - grammar, punctuation, syntax, etc. - but I must say I scored lowest on the ELAR segment of the exam. This is because the ELAR questions are mainly about teaching methods and classroom scenarios, so study those the best you can. Finally, the TEA is looking for answers that are kid-centered; they want to know what the best situation is for the children. In many cases, answer choices are presented that could technically be correct, but they are given alongside other answers that are more student-centered. Watch for those and think about the students you will be serving as a teacher.

Strategy #10

Study: I started studying 4 weeks out from my test date. I mainly studied the TExES Generalist EC-6 Content Study Guide that I picked up one day at Barnes and Noble. The book helped me with definitions that were on my test. If I hadn't studied those I wouldn't have a clue what the question was asking. I took some practice tests online by just searching for EC- 6 practice tests, but they were nothing like what was on the test.

Test: I went into the test knowing that I wasn't going to know the answer to every question (it helped calm my nerves). The test itself was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. The trick that I figured out right away is to TAKE YOUR TIME ON EVERY QUESTION. The test is long and grueling, and you are going to want to give up after #100, but take a break. You have plenty of time. Get plenty of sleep the night before. My testing center I was at would let us get up to get something to drink (in the room) whenever we wanted. It made me nervous when people around me would finish within 2 hours and I was not even halfway done. I just had to keep reminding myself that I was most likely taking a different test than they were taking. I took my test on a Tuesday and found out my scores that following Friday. I passed!

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