Ok, so here's the thing. When I first encountered this website all I heard was "I failed" or "This is my 6th time taking the test" etc. I was worried to death about this test. It turned out not to be so bad. I took all three subtests on the same day, and passed them all in my first try. If I can do it, you can do it too. I studied for 6 weeks. The first four were very intense (2-3 hours of studying at least 5 days a week.) But I slacked off during the last two weeks because it was my bday and the following week I had guests in town...so I really only studied for 4 weeks.
I used the Cliffs CSET book as my main outline. This book is as boring as they'll get, but it was a good outline of what to expect.
With this book I used the scholastic books to study the topics in more detail. I also used brainpop.com (For history and science), answers.com, factmonster.com, and socialstudiesforkids.com
Using the cliff's outline, I made my own personal outline complete with pictures (haha, yes I'm an elementary teacher) But the pictures really helped me, and re-writing the outline was much more effective than just reading the Cliff's book. I only rewrote the outlines for the sections I really felt I needed to study more. (For me the history and science.) It took FOREVER for me to rewrite the history section.
Subtest III I studied the least for, hardly at all, in fact.
I also downloaded for $39 an online study guide called ACE the CSET. I would say it was worth the money because it had a lot of the same info as the Cliffs book but in a different format (games, crosswords, flashcards, etc.) So it was a nice break from the traditional study methods. It made it easier to buckle down and study for a longer period of time.
My final words of advice. Try not to focus too much on what other people are saying about the difficulty of the test. I really didn't think it was that bad. I left that day thinking, wow, this was a lot easier than I expected. Rather than wasting time dwelling on the fact that this is supposed to be a hard test, use that time to study. You'll do great! Anyone who wants to know more, feel free to reply to this or email me, I'm always happy to help. Good luck!
Oh yeah,one last thing. The night before the test. Don't study. I know that sounds crazy...but the best thing you can do is relax and get a good night's sleep. Rent a movie, eat some pizza, drink a glass of wine, take a bath, WHATEVER, just do something to relax so that your body is ready to focus in the morning. Also, if you plan on taking all three subtests in one day, take a snack. They will let you take a quick snack and it'll energize you when you start to slow down. Ok...I think that's it! Again, good luck!