Anyone else feel like the CSET-MS was nothing like the practice tests on CTC website?

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by Lauren, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    Dec 21, 2016

    hello,
    I took the CSETs on Saturday. I studied from the cliffs notes CSET book and other sources (what your _ grader needs to know). I also did the practice tests on the CTC website. I studied for four months at least an hour a day.

    The actual tests covered hardly anything I studied. I am at a loss about what to study, if I didn't pass. I have a feeling I didn't pass 2/3 of the tests. If I didn't pass, I don't feel like there was anything else I could have done.

    I feel like the state is making it incredibly difficult to become a teacher. I'm just feeling discouraged and looking for some input. Thank you.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think you assumed that questions would exactly mimic the format and arrangement of the practice questions you've seen and cover all and only the topics you'd see on CSET-MS. I suspect you expected more questions that would ask you to define key terms and that you encountered a good many more questions with odd-sounding scenarios than you anticipated. Am I correct?
     
  4. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    I figured the CTC would offer a practice test that prepared candidates to take the test. I knew it would not be the exact content, but yes, I naively assumed that the format would be similar. Why wouldn't the state of California want to accurately prepare the people who take the time to study and take practice tests? It doesn't make any sense to me. It'd be like a college professor giving a final on everything that's not been covered in the class.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 21, 2016

    I won't dispute the view that it would be good to update the practice tests, and there's certainly more emphasis on content-standard literacy (that is, how teachers develop literacy skills in, say, math or history) than there was when CSET-MS was first developed.

    With that said, let me share two observations from experience:

    1. CSET-MS rewards people who can recognize principles that they know lurking in the test question that, at first, seems to be from out in left field. In other words, it's not about what one has memorized, but rather about the answer one can invent because one knows the principles of the field.

    2. You'd be surprised how many people leave a test swearing that they must have failed, only to open their score-report email and find that they've passed.
     
  6. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    Thank you for your input. I definitely recognized the principles of the practice tests, but I felt like even with being ave to bridge that gap, it didn't help with the history section.

    Hooefully I passed at least one of the tests. Thanks, again.
     
  7. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2017

    Got my scores tonight. I passed all three!!!
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, Lauren! CSET doesn't report numerical passing scores - but if the diagnostic indicators on the second page of your score report run to +++ or ++++ and more than two checkmarks, you passed with room to spare.
     
  9. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    Ok, I was wondering why I didn't see a numerical score. I got +++ and ++++ on all the multiple choice sections. But I got ++ on the written responses.

    Do you understand how to read the score report of the written section?
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sure. What are you seeing?
     
  11. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    I have check marks on some of the tests, and then letters on some. Do the check marks indicate I passed those, and the letters mean I didn't pass and needed improvement on the aspects that the letters indicate?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Letters indicate areas of deficit. A p means that the answer was off point: either factually wrong or failing to answer the question that was asked. A k means the answer didn't show enough knowledge of the subject: either relevant related details or expected technical terminology are missing. An s means the answer wasn't well supported: either the thought process that led up to the answer isn't clear, or relevant examples of the sort that distinguish between related possibilities aren't supplied. (Hint: When analyzing literature, quote from the passage.)

    Checkmark means there are no obvious deficits of purpose, knowledge, or support. This is not to say that a checkmark necessarily correlates with acing the question, however: for CSET English Subtest IV, which consists only of four constructed responses, it's perfectly possible to get four checkmarks and yet come just barely short of passing.
     
  13. Lauren

    Lauren Rookie

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    Thank you so much for clarifying that.
     

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