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Read comments on Test # 191 - Generalist EC-6

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Strategy #1

Study: I had been putting off studying because the test intimidated me, and I didn't know where to even start. I purchased the REA Core Subjects EC-6 291 book that came with a test in the back of the book, as well as online diagnostic and practice tests. This book made all the difference! I took the practice tests over and over until I made a grade I felt comfortable with. I studied every day 3 weeks before the test, for 1-2 hours on weekdays after work and 3-5 hours each day on weekends. I had flashcards, highlighted what I knew I needed to work on, and took a spiral full of notes from reading the book. The tests give you the correct answer and the rational behind each answer choice, so I'd go back over my test after I took it and review each question, even if I got it right. That helped a ton. But if a term or concept was still fuzzy for me after that, I would go online to outside resources that could explain it in a different way: YouTube channels or old STARR test questions.

Test: Because of the excessive studying I'd done, I walked into the test cool, calm and collected. However, I left feeling the complete opposite. The test is long and grueling, and you will feel overwhelmed. You can do it! The first section was ELAR, which I studied for the least since that has always been my strong point. You have the most time on this section, so utilize it. If you aren't 100% sure on a question, mark it and come back to it. This goes for the entire test. Know phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle. The second section is Math, which has always been my weakest so I knew I would struggle. I ran out of time, but wound up doing so much better than I thought. Drill different math questions for this to get comfortable working them in a time crunch. Know probability! For Social Studies, study the Texas Constitution, economies, and governments! Science was a lot of adaptation and concepts. For Art, know your music! This test deals a lot more with teaching strategies than concrete information. I walked out after 4.5 hours (I used all my time and was down to the wire on each subject) feeling defeated and just knew I'd be retaking at least 2 subjects. I took my test on a Monday and got my scores on that Friday. I passed! This test is not impossible, but is designed to test your application skills and endurance. If you get overwhelmed, take a water break and breathe. YOU CAN DO IT!

Strategy #2

Study: I have practiced the quizzes on the PACT website, and also purchased the REA study manual. I started studying for about four weeks before the test, for about two to five hours daily. The REA practice questions online really helped me.

Test: Most questions are scenario based; not too much is directly stated. As to not waste time, if I didn't know an answer, I guessed, marked the question and came back to them later. I did second guess myself, don't do that; go with your initial instinct. I used the entire time allowed, and I passed the first time. Good luck!

Strategy #3

Study: I used the REA TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (291) study book. I mainly read, highlighted, and took notes for an hour or so each day for about 6 weeks prior to the test. I think the book was entirely adequate and it came with online practice tests that were helpful in familiarizing myself with the test layout. Not everything on the test was from the book, but a majority of it was. I passed each section, the lowest being a 255. I think however long it takes for you to finish and review notes from the book is adequate study time.

Test: I thought it was just as tough as I expected. Math is my weakness and I didn't have time to finish all the questions, much less review the questions I marked. In other sections, I barely had enough time. Marking questions that I was unsure of was very useful. There were some questions that appeared twice in a different way, or some questions that contained the answer to a different question in its wording, so pay attention to those.

Strategy #4

Study: I studied for the test using REA's 291 Booklet. I found that I was overwhelmed with all the material in the study booklet, so I went to online community sites to find further information to help me narrow my studies. I studied for about three weeks, about 1 hour a day. The week of my test, I studied each subject for 45 minutes a day, about 4 hours a day. On test day, I went there confident and calm; I didn't even use my 15 minute break.

Test: The first portion is ELAR. This was my strongest subject, so it was about what I expected. You should know reading levels (Independent, Instructional and Frustration) and what occurs at each level. You should also know components of phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, strategies to teach fluency and comprehension, best methods/strategies for teaching reading, the alphabetic principle, print, graphemes, morphemes, context clues, syntax and Lexicon. (286/300) The next section is Math. This section was my worst section; I ran out of time and had to guess on the last 8 questions. My advice would be to bubble in any answers you don't know, mark it, and come back to it at the end. I spent too much time on questions I didn't know the answer to and had to guess on questions I knew how to work. (255/300) I believe Social Studies was after that. Social studies was pretty straight forward. Know the amendments (up to 19), what states were union states and what states seceded, causes of wars (Mexican-American, French-Indian , American Revolution, etc), Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Emmett Till, Abraham Lincoln, etc. Know the different types of economies, different types of Governments and how they operate. Also know the major court cases and what the outcome was (Marbury vs. Madison etc)(288/300) Science was okay. Know ecosystems, the rock cycle (mot just the different types of rocks, but how they can change over time /pressure/cementation/erosion), the phases of the moon, and the water cycle. Know structure and functions of plants, genes, punnett squares, learned behaviors and inherited traits. (260/300 ) Last was Fine Arts, which happens to be my least favorite subject. Know about the different types of Art (Expressionism, cubism, etc) and different ways cultures express it. Know balance, lines, and space. For music know timbre, dynamics, Notes, clefs (Treble/bass). Know the different types of music for each culture (Tejano/Blues). P.E was pretty simple. Know loco-motor skills, non-loco-motor skills, manipulative activities, fine and gross motor skills and activities. Know proper ways for teachers to use physical education across content areas. Health was also straight forward; just know your organs and the IR functions. (270/300) This test is not impossible, you just have to study. It is a lot of information, just go in there calm and stay focused. Time goes by so fast, therefore you need to make sure you are focused the entire time. Be okay with not knowing every answer, just mark it and come back to it.

Strategy #5

Study: I used the REA book for 291, as well as TExES book. The study tests helped, however, there wasn't much to use as resources since the test is so new.

Test: The test for all subjects was normal, except for social studies! For some reason, the questions they asked had nothing to do with what I studied. Compared to the 191 test, these questions are more in detail and aren't just general ideas. Study as much as you can. Good luck!

Strategy #6

Study: I used TExES REA book and online practice tests, Quizlet, and free materials from TExES. I studied a little bit each day for a week or two, and then crammed two days before. I would suggest reviewing math and doing a lot of online practice tests.

Test: I was a bit worried about the test, because I had not done well on the Math section. On the real test, I did much better on Math than expected. The test only took me about 2.5 hours, because I did not take any breaks.

Strategy #7

Study: I was very nervous about taking this Generalist Exam, as I have a business background and a degree in marketing. I have also been out of school for many years and have elementary aged children of my own. I allowed myself a solid month of time to prepare for this exam. I purchased the TExES Generalist EC-6 (191) Book on Amazon and used a few practice tests online. I wrote many notes out in a spiral and went over them many times. I also concentrated on areas that I felt the most weak in. I brought the notebook with me in the car early that morning and read them through one more time before going in to take the exam.

Test: Any question I was unsure about I would mark and go back to at the very end of the section. I have to admit that I felt really defeated after the exam. I really thought I would have to retake a few sections. However, I passed with a fairly high score: 291 out of 300.

Strategy #8

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, and worked the practice problems in the book. I also purchased the online material from, 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 #9

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 #10

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.

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