Minimum Word Count For CSET English Subtest III

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by CJ Deloney, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. CJ Deloney

    CJ Deloney New Member

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    Sep 20, 2016

    Hello All,
    I finally made an account after mining this site for information for months. This is the one question for which I couldn't find an answer. What is the minimum word count for the English Subtest III essays? While the CSET website says between 800-1000 words, the REA prep shows some 4-Point examples with significantly fewer than 800 words.

    I ask this because I take this test in two days and, even though I have written some practice essays I'm very proud of, I can't even break the 700-word threshold in the allotted time. Thanks.

    (I wrote this post from my phone, so I apologize if there are any formatting mistakes.)
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 20, 2016

    Um. CSET scorers are trained in what to look for by Pearson - the company that makes the test - and not REA, yes? Then doesn't it make sense to take CSET's word as to what's required over REA's?

    The diagnostics for Subtest III responses look at purpose (p), knowledge (k), support (s), and breadth and depth (d). One receives a p if, in the view of the person assigning the diagnostics, one failed to answer the question both correctly and completely. One receives a k for failing to use enough of the terminology and/or the analytical moves appropriate to English literature and non-literary prose. One receives an s for failing to support one's analysis with good reasoning and a healthy larding of evidence drawn from the texts in question. One receives a d for failing to do all of this at a level of sophistication that is consistent with literary and nonliterary competence not at the high school level but at the collegiate level.

    If you're comparing and contrasting two literary excerpts in fewer than 800 words, chances are you're not squeezing at least one of those excerpts hard enough.
     
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  4. CJ Deloney

    CJ Deloney New Member

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    Sep 20, 2016

    OK, thanks. At this point it is just a matter of not being able to type fast enough. Oh well.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 21, 2016

    That's a challenge, yes. Hugs to you, and good hunting when you take the test.
     
  6. CJ Deloney

    CJ Deloney New Member

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    Nov 11, 2016

    Update: I somehow passed all four CSET subtests, underwent successful brain surgery that I've needed since birth, and I am now eagerly awaiting news from the one graduate school I applied to.

    Thanks for everything. Take care.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2016

    Congratulations, and well done!
     
  8. lola_ross

    lola_ross New Member

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    Nov 13, 2016

    Just to add to this thought process: I was curious about word-count myself, so I retyped the 4-point sample response to the literary question given in the official CSET English Subtest III test prep materials from the CSET website. Including citations, it came to 692 words.
     
  9. lola_ross

    lola_ross New Member

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    Nov 13, 2016

    And actually, I have a question someone may be able to answer. When taking the test, does it tell you your word count anywhere? I struggle with maintaining a "sense" of where I am with word count, and rely on Microsoft Word's word-count feature a lot. I was feeling totally prepared for this exam, which I take on Wednesday, and now I am feeling underprepared after several practice essays. I have to keep reminding myself: literary terms! literary terms! I know I can do a good analysis; it's just having enough time that worries me.
     
  10. Jpthom9

    Jpthom9 New Member

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    May 18, 2017

    I hope you respond because I'm dying to know, were you able to pass the English CSET III using less than 800 words?? I just took it and was 50 words short on the first essay and about 100 short on the second and I'm freaking out. I need to pass this test!!! And results take 7 weeks and by the time I retake I may lose out on my job this coming year. Please enlighten me!
     
  11. Joseph112

    Joseph112 Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2017

    So did you pass with less an 800 words? I'm dying to know too.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2017

    It should be possible to pass with a response that's shorter than 800 words, if that response conveys that the writer understands literary or nonliterary analysis and has a good grasp of the technical terminology required. Citing examples from the texts one is analyzing is both expected and a fine way to bump up one's word count (and that was my point to CJ Deloney: a response in fewer words is less likely to have squeezed the passage(s) for examples).
     

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