CSET Mathematics Test Prep

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by rfluterby, May 25, 2005.

  1. rfluterby

    rfluterby New Member

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    May 25, 2005

    I am looking for some good test preparation books for the single subject cset in mathematics. Does anyone know of anything. Thanks :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Catherine

    Catherine New Member

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    Jun 18, 2005

    Same boat

    rolleyes, I too am looking. I am in Northern California and can't find a university or college offering a prep course for the CSET Subtest I Algebra. I have seen plenty of the multiple subject prep courses though. It has been very frustrating, and this would be an ideal time for me to take a course too.
     
  4. rfluterby

    rfluterby New Member

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    Jun 19, 2005

    I have just resolved to get myself a teachers edition of Algerbra II and study the entire book. Hopefully that will prepare me enough. I will at least be semi-solid on the content, but we will see how I do.

    There does not seem to be many, if any, resources for this test.
     
  5. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Jun 19, 2005

    Hi! I have quite a bit of CSET Single Subject Math experience - having taught a class at Cal State San Bernardino, last year.

    Here are my recommendations for Prep material!

    1. Any regular College-Level Algebra book of RECENT edition (1998+) should be adequate.

    Alternately, a Precalculus book (High School or College-Level) would be perfect.

    Typically, such books have titles with more than one of the following terms: (Advanced / College-level) Algebra, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, PreCalculus 2.

    The following texts would be woefully inadequate:

    a) Algebra I textbook

    b) Algebra II textbook: such texts ONLY serve as an introduction to advanced Algebra concepts, but do not treat the PRECALCULUS topics in the depth as required for the CSET.

    c) College Algebra textbook for a basic foundational/ remedial Algebra course

    3. Here's how to judge if an Algebra book is sufficient for CSET purposes. Look for the following terms in the Index at the back.

    (While NOT all terms/concepts are required for Subtest I, they indicate how sophisticated the book is!):
    i) Row Transformations or Row Operations or Row Reduced Matrix or Row Echelon Form or Transformations (some of them might be listed under the broad term: Matrix)
    ii) Vectors, Orthogonal or Orthogonal Vectors
    iii) Piece-wise defined function
    iv) Augmented Matrix
    v) DeMoivre's Theorem
    Vi) Oblique Asymptotes

    4. The following are books I have used with abundant profit:
    a) Algebra & Trigonometry (with Analytical Geometry) By: Swokowki/Cole; Pub: Brooks/Cole; Edition: 10th Comments: A terrific, lucidly written text!

    b) Algebra and Trigonometry OR College Algebra (3rd Edition) OR Precalculus (3rd Edition) By: Stewart/Redlin/Watson; Pub: Brooks/Cole Comments: Another marvellous set of books; any ONE of the above would be fine as they cover the same grounds almost identically!

    c) Precalculus with Limits: A Graphing Approach By: Larson/Hostetler/Edwards; Pub: Houghton Mifflin; Edition: 3rd Comments: A fairly popular High School Precalculus book; the 3rd edition layout is superior to the 2nd!

    d) PreCalculus : With Unit Circle Trigonometry By: David Cohen; Pub: Brooks/Cole; Edition: 3rd Comments: A stupendous College-level text by a UCLA chap with some very clever exercises to test your grasp; a little daunting for the rookie, perhaps, but strongly recommended if you want to TEACH Precalculus in High School!

    5. You can procure these books

    a) by approaching friendly High School teachers who might have copies of PreCalculus books to spare for a couple of months

    b) by borrowing them from friends who recently did Math courses in college

    c) by purchasing them (the best option as they're terrific for Reference purposes!) from a college bookstore (expensive!) OR online (used, hence, affordable!) at Amazon.com or half.com.

    d) by borrowing them from your local Public Library. This would entail renewing the books repeatedly, for which wooing date-less librarians wearing large glasses would help...

    e) by stealing them from college bookstores, which are, anyway, the face of evil behemoth corporations...

    6. I would strongly recommend having at least TWO Algebra texts!

    7. I've known chaps that do some sort of 'online research' for certain topics. Typical remark: "I was on the internet looking for stuff about parabolas (or vectors)!" I can't fathom what in the blazes these fellows are blathering about, as, to me, it all seems such a beastly WASTE OF ONE'S TIME: consult a bloody %&$#@%$# book!! (For starters, you'd pull up 8769876098 trillion gazillion quintillion mazillion billion jillion number of pages on parabolas! Oh, did I forget to say mahallion?)
     
  6. john_seed

    john_seed Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2005

    I went through National University's prep...and I found out last night that I passed the first subtest. I would not have passed if not for this course. I took it in Fresno, but it seems they are only offering it in San Diego now.
     
  7. shahindigo

    shahindigo Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2005

    Math subtest I

     
  8. shahindigo

    shahindigo Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2005

     
  9. shahindigo

    shahindigo Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2005

    Innovationguy
    I followed your recemmendation regarding various Algebra prep. books. It was very helpful. Thank you

    Now I am getting ready for the Subtest II in September. and i would like it very much if you would make similar recommendation for Geometry and Prob. & Stat. prep. books.
    Appreciate your help, greateful for your contribution to this website.
     
  10. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2005

    SUBTEST II resources

    Thanks infernally for your most kind and gracious words: I'm delighted to be of help!

    I've written about Subtest II resources before. So I'm just going to be a cunning bastard and Cut+Paste the material, and pretend that it's all fresh hot-off-the-oven stuff!

    The following is excerpted from the CSET-related site http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com:

    1. To begin with, any High School Geometry textbook should be good - though some are better than others: see below for my recommendations!

    2. I would advise you to avoid, if possible (!), books of the Geometry For Dummies and Geometry for Idiots variety! I don't have anything against these books per se and while elementary concepts can possibly be gleaned - and these books are quite competent at that - I sometimes feel that they're too rambling and discursive.

    Further, topics aren't treated in adequate breadth and depth. For a school student, they might be sufficient, but definitely NOT for a teacher, OR for the CSET. Instructors require more robust and rigourous preparation!

    3. The books one shall find to be to their delicious advantage are:

    a) Geometry
    Pub: McDougal Littell;
    By: Larson/Boswell/Stiff;
    Edition: 2001

    Comments: I use this in my classroom to good effect and I deem it to be a smashing textbook, written in an accessible, lucid style; very neatly laid out and devoid of the copious clutter that mars otherwise decent texts! Lest one imagine me to be biased in some way, all I can do is to exclaim, "Fiddlesticks!" The pages off our Algebra I book published by Glencoe McGraw Hill I wouldn't use to line my toilet-seat with...There!

    b) Geometry the Easy Way
    Pub: Barron's Educational Series;
    By: Lawrence S. Leff;
    Edition: 3rd

    Comments: An excellent 'non'-textbook, authored very capably. Don't be misled by its condescending title: it's actually quite forthright and austere, with none of the distracting prattle bestowed upon the Dummies/Idiots books. I believe it makes for an eminently good combination with the McDougal Littell book above.

    c) Geometry - Concepts and Applications
    Pub: Glencoe;
    By: Cummins/Kanold/Kenney/ Malloy/Mojica

    Comments: Another marvellous textbook. CAUTION: the 2001 edition is simply NOT adequate in the matter of Proofs; so check out the most recent version.

    d) Geometry
    Pub: Houghton Mifflin;
    By: Ray Jurgensen, Richard G. Brown;
    Edition: 2000

    Comments: A simply grand volume that I recommend for chaps of a superior constitution. Its exercises can be more than a tad challenging for the greenhorn and the text somewhat brusque and to the point: indeed, some might find the content a trifle pithy for their comfort. (At Amazon.com's customer reviews, students are not especially enamored about it, but teachers find it gratifying! So experience with Geometry helps in the navigation of this gem of a book!!)

    4. ALWAYS consult the back of your Geometry book for really precious resources such as:
    * Skills Review
    * Extra Practice
    * Definitions of common Geometric Terms
    * Potulates
    * Theorems
    * Formulae
    * Index

    As a source for ready Reference, these are invaluable since they're brief, clear and direct. Additionally, they are often accompanied by Examples and Illustrations to aid understanding.

    You can use the back of the book for quick review and for assessment purposes!

    5. You can procure these books

    a) by approaching friendly High School teachers who might have copies of Geometry books to spare for a couple of months: attempt to overcome their reluctance by requesting relatively 'abused' copies that remain very usable OR offering to eat their week-old gruesome leftovers at home...

    b) by 'borrowing' (WINK!) from friends who recently did Math courses in college...

    c) by purchasing them (the best option as they're terrific for Reference purposes!) from a college bookstore (expensive!) OR online (used, hence, affordable!) at Amazon.com or half.com (owned by Ebay). I've recently pawned by Mom's heirlooms to buy gargantuan quantities of Amazon and Ebay stock - so I strongly endorese THIS option!! (...I jest, you chaps!...I'm actually rather livid that my Mom doesn't have any heirlooms for me to pawn! Serious!!)

    d) by impersonating teachers and securing Examination copies for Free from credulous sales-reps. Tip: suggest that your enrolment is over 500 students...I jest, of course!

    6. I would strongly recommend you to have at least TWO Geometry texts! Further, for obvious reasons, it's not a bad idea to purchase the Solutions Manual too - if available.

    7. Finally, I've known chaps that do some sort of 'online research' for certain topics. Typical remark: "I was on the internet looking for stuff about Similar Triangles (or Polygons)!" I can't fathom what in the blazes these fellows are blathering about, as, to me, it all seems such a beastly WASTE OF ONE'S TIME: consult a bloody %&$#@%$# book!! (For starters, you'd pull up 8769876098 trillion gazillion quintillion mazillion billion jillion number of pages on Similar Triangles! Oh, did I forget to say mahillion?)

    8. I've just got feedback from several candidates about the MOST recent CSET Subtest II - I help coach blokes prepare, you see! - and the first thing that struck me was that even those that'd mastered 'regular' school Geometry books would have likely found both the MCQ section and the Free Response part (especially the latter), more than a mite challenging: the material on dilations and loci were definitely beyond what's in a garden-variety text! But that's just MY thoroughly non-humble (?!) opinion...!

    Re Statistics, there's a recent posting about the specific content and sample Qs on the site mentioned above! Be sure to take a dekko at it ! (dekko ~ 'to see': actually, a word from Hindi - a language of North India - that has insinuated itself into the Oxford English Dictionary)!

    Text-wise, even an elementary book - say, abstracted from a public library - would suffice! I teach AP Statistics, and the books I'd recommend would be of a much higher sophistication level than what the CSET requires, notwithstanding the pompous syllabus on their site!

    Let me know if I can answer any other Qs!
    Cheerio!
    Jay.
    innovationguy@yahoo.com
     
  11. mountainman

    mountainman New Member

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    Jul 23, 2005

    Study Groups

    I'm making my first attempt at the CSET in Sept. I plan on following the good advice I've come across here and get some good texts to study. However it has been a very long time since I've studied math and was wondering if anyone knows of study groups in the LA area or people interested in forming one. I'm very rusty and will need all the help I can get. Anyone with this kind of info can email me at sirishwork@hotmail.com.

    Thanks to everyone for all the great info I've found here particularly Jay, I can see your passion for teaching math.
     
  12. MissCece

    MissCece New Member

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    Jul 23, 2005

    Hello! Thank you for providing so much advice to those of us in dire need of math guidance! Question for you: you said you taught CSET math classes. Are they still offered? If so, is there a link?

    Thank you!
     
  13. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2005

    Thanks frightfully, mountainman and Misscece for your extraordinarily charitable words. If I were the blushing kind, I would've turned florid to the roots of my rapidly-turning-grey hair!

    Yes, Misscece, I do have quite a bit of CSET experience: I took the exam the very first time it was offered in Jan '03, and passed all 3 tests at one shot (er, I have 80+ Math credits, though I must confess that most of them are in (Calculus-oriented) Mathematical Statistics!). Then, since it was the first instance, the CSET results got delayed a month because of 'scaling' issues - deciding the passing scores, scoring criteria, that sort of thing! - and to forestall the worst-case scenario and meet a district deadline, I took it again in March, and again passed very comfortably (a most singular dissipation of $210, if you ask me!).

    And apart from this, I've received several exposures to the tests, as I've got to take and critique - ie. provide feedback - to NES (the blokes that contrive and conduct the exam!)...

    Anyway, I did teach CSET classes for all 3 Subtests at Cal State, San Bernardino, last year, but that was before I was encumbered by 2 classes of AP Statistics at my school - the AP course was being inaugurated by me, and naturally, it consumed enormous dollops of my time! (Soon after I ceased teaching for Cal State, I believe there were (unrelated) funding constraints that considerably constricted its scope. I don't know in what shape or form it currently exists...)

    Now that I'm quite familiar with AP Stat curriculum, I have a little time left over, and I have often pondered over the possibility of conducting CSET tutorials to groups of candidates - now, I even have my own home in Moreno Valley (that's Riverside County in Southern Califoirnia!) with enough room to spare for a classroom of sorts! - wherein I would, um, how do I put this modestly...guarantee one's passing(!) if my 'regimen' were austerely adhered to! (To the best of my reckoning, I had close to a 100% pass rate at Cal State, San Bernardino...).

    Alternately (or CONCURRENTLY), I could drive out - a reasonable distance, mind you! - to teach at study groups. These conclaves could even specify in advance the topics that offered them the most discomfiture to make the whole exercise beneficial.

    Currently, in addition to my school responsibilities, I merely operate a free website http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com where I periodically post CSET-related information: resources, articles, tips, practice Qs, and anything that might occur to my diseased and addled mind as being useful to CSET candidates!

    Anyway, I don't know if there's any particular demand for services like those I can offer...!

    Jay.
    innovationguy@yahoo.com
     
  14. mountainman

    mountainman New Member

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    Jul 24, 2005

    Hi Jay,

    My name is Shawn and I would be very interested in setting up some kind of study group or tutoring. The logistics may be more challenging since I live in the Pasadena area. Perhaps meeting somewhere halfway like Pomona or Diamond Bar.

    Shawn
     
  15. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2005

    Dear chaps!

    I'm tutoring a couple of candidates for Algebra CSET Subtest I in the Riverside area. These shall be very intensive classes especially beneficial to candidates that haven't done advanced Precalculus-level Algebra for awhile - fellows switching careers or Middle School Math teachers, for instance - in short, it'll be much profitable for blokes who, while otherwise self-motivated, industrious and mentally nimble, possess advanced-Math skills that aren't terribly astute!

    In additon to teaching / refreshing concepts, I shall (naturally!) be discussing Qs very much like those on the actual test, and providing Tips, Tricks, Conceptual 'Shortcuts'.

    Those interested may kindly contact me! Do remember, the sessions gets considerable cheaper when more sign up!

    Also, these are NOT your garden-variety 'community-college' classes that meander discursively about infertile terrain (Cue to Chorus: What the dickens is this fellow blathering about?! He gets more and more utterly incoherent each day...!): they're very CSET-focussed, and one's triumph on Subtest I (unless one's skills are beastly wanting!) I can practically assure! (Not to belabor the point or toot my horn - actually, me likes tooting my horn... - but at Cal State, San Bernardino, I had an exceptionally high success rate, upwards of 90%...).

    Finally, if you have decent Math skills and regard yourself 'moderately' well-prepred, and simply seek a refresher of some kind to go over CSET-like Qs, let me know!

    Jay.
    innovationguy@yahoo.com
     
  16. Jose

    Jose Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2005

    CSET math prep

    To InnovativeGuy

    When are you going to begin these tutorial services for the CSET Algebra test in Riverside? Very interested in being part of this. Thanks in advance for the reply.
     
  17. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2005

    Cset Tutoring Sessions Info


    Dear Jose:
    Greetings! There is one candidate so far - perhaps, even another: I'm gauging the latter's schedule / preferences! - very interested in CSET Subtest I Tutorial Sessions and she is eager that I commence more or less IMMEDIATELY, as her skills need a bit refreshing, and she wanted to get a head-start and start preparation for the test promptly.

    I was planning on holding the sessions on weekends at my house in Moreno Valley anyway - particularly Saturday, and some Sundays too, IF required and if it didn't interfere with, I don't know, engagements such as Church-going or whatever - so let me know if that is something you'd consider.

    It'd be more convenient and cost-effective, of course, if there's a confluence of schedules as you chaps would
    simply share the tutoring expenses. Of course, I don't
    know how pressing your needs are or your Math skill-level is! (The other candidate intimated that she'd
    go ahead even if she were the sole student!)

    I'd also appreciate if you'd answer the Qs below that I
    might get a feel for this:
    a) What is your current level of Math preparation? Math
    Qualifications? Degree? When you took your LAST
    Math class? Highest level of Math done? etc.
    b) What is your Current Status? Job unrelated to
    Teaching? Substitute Teacher? Teacher with Emergency/ Intern Credential?
    c) What Math Prep books are you using for EACH
    Subtest? Titles? Authors?
    d) How much study do you manage to accomplish on
    a WEEKLY basis?
    e) What CSET deadline, if any, do you need to
    meet? What CSET test date have you registered for?

    Thank you for your interest! You can get more information at http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com!

    ***Also, let me know your email that I might communicate with you directly!**

    Jay.
    innovationguy@yahoo.com
     
  18. innovationguy

    innovationguy Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2005

    Study Group!

    I'm coordinating the formation of a Study Group (SG) in the Bay Area for CSET SS Math Subtest II. If you're interested, PLEASE email me IMMEDIATELY at innovationguy@yahoo.com.

    Alternately, if you ALREADY are a constituent of a Subtest II SG in the Bay Area and aren't averse to more amiable blokes joining you, be a sterling chap apprise me of the same, will you?!

    Beastly thanks, and all that sort of poppycock!
    Jay.
    innovationguy@yahoo.com
    http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com

    PS. If you're eager to form a SG for same / some other Subtest in another location too, please let me know!
     
  19. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Aug 25, 2005

    I'm new to this forum. I appreciate the info that other members have posted on the tests. And I'll try to provide any insight that comes my way.

    I am working on passing the CSET Single Subject Math subtests. I am not a math major. In fact, I didn't take all that much math when I was at the university 30 years ago, no more than some calculus and statistics. But, I did have to pick up certain things like matrices when I studied operations research, and group theory when I studied automata theory. So, none of the material is totally foreign, although most of it is very rusty.

    I'll be taking the subtests one at a time, Subtest I in September. My main study tool for Subtest I has been Schaum's Precalculus, which seems to be a pretty good fit for much of the exam. I've supplemented it with other texts where it is obviously lacking.

    Jay, your site has been very helpful. It is the single best resource I have come across on the internet, even if you do sound like the product of a Brit public school (that's a private school for all you Americans) (put smiley face symbol here). Ofcourse, I'll know for sure how good it is after I take Subtest I. The only thing I don't agree with is blowing off certain topics, like number theory. The best test preparation course I have ever heard of, the Becker CPA Review, does blow off certain topics, but only topics that are virtually guaranteed to not appear. For instance, if a topic has historically appeared every other test, and it was on the last test, they won't cover it for the next test. Otherwise, everything is covered at least to some extent, the extent dending on how important it is likely to be to passing the test.

    I find it interesting that the consensus seems to be that the CSET Test Guide does not tell the whole story about what may be tested. I guess if you read only the Test Guide, that is the case. However, if you read the referenced sections of Mathematics Content Standards for Public Schools, you will get a better picture of what might appear on the exam. Anything referenced would seem to be fair game. And they pretty much warn you that you are expected to know the material at a higher level than you will be teaching it.
     
  20. HotMathTeacher

    HotMathTeacher Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2005

    I hope that this isn't too late. I have been a huge fan of this site; it has been beneficial to witness the methods of discovering resources/materials needed to pass the Math Subtest I & II. I was so inspiried that I actual researched the types of problems (almost everyone one of them :) ) stated in the Subtest Description, then proceeded to post them on the net. Since this forum will not let me post the attachment, I will post the link for both of the works in which I created myself in order to study for the CSET Subtest I & II.
    Math Subtest I
    Math Subtest II
    I would like to say thank you to innovationguy for giving me the idea to help those in need of math knowledge. I dont have a website up like he does, but I have placed my work as pdf files on UCLAs server. Oh, and for credibility - I am a math major from UCLA and have passed Math Subtests I & II. I currently work with special ed. (RSP) kids, focusing on math. Hope this helps. I am willing to clarify my work at eternick@yahoo.com Good luck to everyone. You will be glad once its over and done with.

    N
     
  21. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2005

    Thanks for posting the links. It is never too late to post something like this. There is always someone preparing to take CSET Math in a month or two. I have developed a similar document for myself to prepare for Subtest I. Your work will save me some time in preparing for Subtest II. When I get a chance, I will try to post this kind of info on my web site.
     

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