Tips on beating the FTCE K-6 Subject Area Exam
The FTCE K-6 Subject Area Exam has four parts to it: Language Arts and Reading. Social Science, Science, and Math.
The language arts and reading section has more to do with teaching than any of the other subtests. In this section, you will be asked about scenarios in teaching the reading process. Here are some things to brush up on before taking the ELA portion of the K-6 Subject Area Exam:
- Know the difference between emergent and fluent reading.
- Understand that teachers must differentiate instruction without lowering expectations in the classroom.
- Always include students in the planning and execution of reading instruction.
- Pay close attention to key words in the questions. Most of the time there is a word that will lead you to what the answer is not, which will help you find what the answer is.
- Know the different writing stages: emergent (scribbling, mock letters, invented spelling), and fluent (conventional spelling).
- Understand the role tech plays in language arts and reading instruction.
The social science section of the K-6 Subject Area Exam is all about content. You have to refresh your history knowledge. Here are some main things tested on the social science section:
- The 20th century (by decades).
- Main players in history - John Locke, Ben Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- 3 branches of government - checks and balances, articles outlining the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
- Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments of the Constitution) - know the first 5 amendments and what the mean.
- Different types of governments - democracy, theocracy, republic, and oligarchy.
- Geography - maps, location, and population density.
- Citizenship - roles and responsibilities of citizens.
- Economy - monopoly, assembly line, investing and immigration.
The science section of the K-6 Subject Area Exam is all about content as well. Go back over all those elementary science concepts. Here are a few in case you can’t remember:
- Nature of science - independent/dependent variables, control, scientific method.
- Physical science - matter, atoms, ions, isotopes, compounds, molecules, changes in matter, energy, electricity (circuits).
- Earth space - plate tectonics, rocks (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary), water cycle, biosphere, Earth, Sun, Moon (phases).
- Life science - cell theory, classification, energy pyramid, open vs. closed circularity systems, sickness (common cold), heredity and genes.
The math section is like the language arts and reading section in that it has lots of questions on teaching math. Make sure you know:
- subitizing, tiling, arrays, and inventive strategies.
- progression of math knowledge over time.
- math fluency.
- how to read and set up word problems.
- fractions, ratios, proportions, and integers.
- measurement and data (speed, time, volume, conversions).
- geometry - area, perimeter, shapes.