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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:18 AM
chemophile chemophile is offline
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november science cset 118, 119, 121

Whew, I took a risk taking three tests in one day - especially since I have been out of school so long (received a B.A. in Chemistry 1988) - I work full time as a chemistry teacher in a private school.

I found out I passed all three subtests (118, 119, 121) on December 3.

I didn't study at all for the chemistry cset 121, but I studied for 2 hours a day starting in middle September. This is what I found useful:

1. UC Irvine open course ware for cset 118, and 119 - they have a whole bunch of multiple choice tests and quick summaries

2. Physical Science textbook by Paul Hewitt - If you read all 35 chapters, you should do very well on 118 and 119. I skipped the first 12 chapters since I have always liked physics, but if you don't, make sure you read the first 12 chapters.

3. For the cset 119, (biology and chemistry) I found the book 5 steps to a 5 in AP Biology really helpful since they summarized the material very nicely in each chapter, and had great practice tests which supplemented the online material from UC Irvine

4. Although I didn't study for the chemistry subtest 121, I believe that the book 5 steps to a 5 in AP Chemistry would prepare someone well

5. Also for more practice chemistry quizzes online, google Adrian Dingle's AP Chemistry quizzes. A fabulous resource.

6. I have listened to the chemistry lectures on Khan Academy and he does a good job - but you don't get practice problems.

Does anyone have good pointers for preparing for the U.S. Constitution exam?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:27 AM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
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Congratulations, chemophile! Probably the best preparation of all is teaching the subject matter.

As for the US Constitution exam, the first thing is to find out just which one you're taking: unless things have changed in the last year, there are at least four distinct versions on offer. Some universities offer a combined prep course and test, and they charge a fairly stiff fee, but you might see what your county office of education recommends; other universities offer a test on its own; some county offices of education administer a test, and that's usually the cheapest option. Tests vary in the number and type of questions; most are multiple choice with or without some fill-in questions, though I think one popular version has true-false questions.

It's generally the case that the test is aligned to a particular book that should be relatively easy to get on Amazon or at your local bookstore.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:33 PM
chemophile chemophile is offline
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Thanks, TeacherGroupie! I have been following your posts for a while before I signed up and I have found your advice practical. I went on Amazon today and ordered D.L. Hennessey's book titiled 25 Lessons in U.S. Citizenship. I will post something later this month if I feel that this paperback helped me.

I agee - teaching the material is the best preparation.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:08 PM
joeschmoe joeschmoe is offline
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I also vouch for the free UCI Online Open course website to study for 118 and 119. BUT it may not be adequate for those who are approaching the subjects without ever taking the corresponding courses. I've taken physics, chem, bio, earth science, etc. before (albeit over a decade ago) so I found the website to be sufficient in reviewing.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:08 PM
chemophile chemophile is offline
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I agree that you should also have taken science classes

You are absolutely right - although the UC Irvine open course ware is a wonderful resource, it really helps if you have taken college level introductory courses in biology and physics.

If you didn't major in science (I majored in chemistry, and received a doctoral degree in chemistry) it is almost crucial to read the entire Physical Science textbook by Paul Hewitt. I never took geology in my life (high school or college) and I might have had more problems with the CSET 118 if I hadn't read the entire earth science portion of the Physical Science textbook. I can't give away test questions, but don't underestimate the geology portion - it is detailed, and it demands knowledge of plate tectonics, dynamic processes of erosion, deposition, and transport, renewable resources, nonrenewable resources, weather, astronomy (stars, moon cycle, galaxies, etc). I also found the website How Stuff Works extremely helpful with its wonderful animations of geological processes. I am a highly visual person.

Being more of a chemistry/physics person, I really studied hard for the biology portion - don't underestimate the importance of ecology. Although I much prefer genetics and cellular processes, I was warned to spend time on ecology. I was glad I did.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:46 PM
joeschmoe joeschmoe is offline
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I used the UCI Open Courseware site to help me pass all 3 math subtests and so far the 2 general science subtests. The material is generally a tad more basic than what you encounter on the actual tests, but it is really good at outlining the topic you need to know. I think the most daunting task for anyone trying to study for these tests is to figure out a plan on where to start and what you need to cover. I highly suggest using the UCI website as a basis to guide you, and then supplement it with other resources.

One thing that I did notice off the top of my head that the UCI website didn't cover too well was cell structure and function. Was hit hard with that on the CSET.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:11 PM
chemophile chemophile is offline
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Yes, joeschmoe - the UCI website did not do the most thorough job on cellular function and structure - the only reason why I did well on that section was because I read an AP biology study guide "5 Steps to a 5" - that book does a top notch job on cellular structure and function and somehow makes the memorizing easier. Also, the UC Irvine website's coverage of the physics was a tad too basic - the actual test is much harder. I highly recommend reading the physics section of the Paul Hewitt Physical Science textbook and trying the diagnostic questions in each chapter to test for your understanding.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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teresaglass teresaglass is offline
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I bought 5 steps to a 5 in Ap chemistry but you can download a pdf file of the 2010-2011 edition for free.
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