anyone taking the test in Sept???

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by artnymph, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. artnymph

    artnymph Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2005

    is anyone on this forum planning on taking any of the three subtests for multiple subject in Sept? I am currently trying to study for them, have bought all the books i could find (barrons, cliffs, etc). i am also studying for the GRE and CBEST right now too, but those two I am taking in august. the cset is defintely going to be the hardest. it seems like the test has the most arbitrary questions i have ever seen. i understand that this is supposed to be a test of knowledge for a teacher that is teaching, but it is also a requirement to get into any credential program, which sucks. i understand the validity of the single subject tests, but it seems that the multiple subject test is too broad and specific at the same time. which makes it extremely hard to pass. or at least that is what it seems by going over the study guides and from the postings in this forum. is anyone in the same boat as me? i have been studying since the beginning of june and hope i will be able to pass it the first time around, but i am not so sure. just wanted to know if there is anyone else out there who feels the same way?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2005

    First thing: since your handle is artnymph, I assume your background is arts and humanities. There's an amazing amount of science and math in art - paints are basically applied chemistry. Web sites on materials and media in art may help you bridge from what you know to what you don't.

    Second thing: GRE math is more advanced than CSET-MS math. The major complicating factor for CSET-MS math is having to think about the process and the labels at the same time as you do the math. One practical way to handle this is to imagine that you're trying to help your kid brother (or some other favorite fifth grader) with his math homework.

    The reason CSET-MS tests subject matter is that credential classes by and large aren't there to teach subject matter: their goal is to teach process. Studying the subject matter now means you'll spend less time in credential classes being confused, and you'll have that much less fumbling to do while you're student teaching.

    The CSET-MS is aligned to California curriculum standards for elementary school: the outline of what students are supposed to know by the time they leave fifth or sixth grade. Yes, all that. You can get an overview of the standards across all seven domains in the Subject Matter Requirements document that's part of the Multiple Subjects Test Guide material (go to http://www.cset.nesinc.com, click on Test Guides, look for the link for Multiple Subjects). Anything, especially a scientific principle or law, that's in the SMRs and two or more of the major books (Kaplan has just issued one) will probably show up on the test. Some people like to make up notecards, one for each of the hot terms that appear in most of the books and the SMR document; they carry the cards around with them for quick study, and in addition, as they encounter examples while studying or going about daily life, they jot the example down on the notecard.

    You can also look up the terms on Ask Jeeves or Answers.com.

    Since you're in Oakland, and since you're not taking the test till September, you might do well to spend some of your study time at the Oakland Museum of California (which includes exhibits on science and the Bay), the Exploratorium in San Francisco (one of the world's great hands-on science museums), and/or the Maritime Museum on the Embarcadero (which has a terrific hands-on exhibit on pulleys). If you've got kids, make these family outings - family time and study in one package. For marine life... I'm blanking on SF-area aquariums, but who couldn't use an excuse to run away to Monterey and enjoy the wonderful aquarium there? (Remember, this counts as study time.)

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. artnymph

    artnymph Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2005

    thanks for the advice! I think I am most concerned about the language/history subtest. I feel it covers the most amount of information that is going to be hard to remember. I wish they published the previous tests like they do with the GRE so that I could get a real feel for the subject matter that is going to be on it and know exactly what to focus on. I know some people have suggested reading the books like
    "What your 5th grader should know" but I don't know how advantageous that is, not to mention having to spend more money to pass this test.

    I guess my question is where is one supposed to acquire all of this information before becoming a teacher? I haven't taken the traditional route to teaching (if there is one). I have two BFAs in Art, but I don't want to necessarily teach art, I am more interested in applying artistic and creative methods to teaching all subjects which is why I am going for a Multiple Subject credential. I don't think I could pass any of the single subject tests without a degree in one of the areas, other than art, but who is hiring art teachers? so that is my dilemma.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2005

    With two BRAs, I'm guessing you did at least some art history. That's a pretty good foundation right there: the art that's produced by a civilization depends partly on the materials and technology at hand and partly on who has money and what they're willing to spend on (and why). So you could use whichever one of your art history books is best about mentioning history (or try the Web sites of the Getty Museum or the Metropolitan Museum) - look at the art you know, look up historical figures of the same period, and see if you can get a sense of why they coincide. Literature also is shaped by its times. See if one of the community colleges in your area is using the telecourse THE WESTERN TRADITION - it's a talking-head show on Western civ, but the talking head is UCLA's Eugene Weber, who's fairly engaging, he's connecting the history and the money and the technology and the art and literature and even advertising, and the art's from the Met. The series is 52 half-hours, which is a lot, but dipping into it here and there will help. Children's histories are also increasingly good about using period art among their illustrations.

    For purposes of this test, we care about a historical event if it involves the US or has consequences for the US. We care about the Hundred Years War (look it up on Answers.com) because France won: if England with its Magna Carta had won, might France have ended up as a constitutional monarchy? Might France have ended up Protestant, or at least tolerant, and might the Huguenots therefore have stayed put instead of taking their talents and work ethic elsewhere in Europe and then to the Americas? Might Europe have been spared the Thirty Years War? A huge but fascinating read is Jared Diamond's GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, which is out to demonstrate that Western European whitefolks conquered the world because they had access to agriculture, domesticated animals, and technology, and they had access to these not because they were white but because they were geographically lucky.

    If what has you concerned is analyzing literature, the mental tools aren't all that different from what you've used to analyze art. The writer's equivalents to color, line, shading, etc. are words; the writer, like the artist, is taking a stand as to how something should be regarded and trying to sell the reader/viewer on the legitimacy of that position.

    If what has you concerned is teaching reading - this is the one subdomain of CSET that DOESN'T show up in general-education courses - do a Web search for "reading rockets", which should bring up some HTML and PDF documents that are helpful. You could also check out the sample questions for the RICA, http://www.rica.nesinc.com, but please don't do that till after you've found. (Sorry, I don't have the Web references for the best pdfs just handy - but you can find several by searching the A to Z Web site, too.)

    Hope this helps. If it's overwhelming, take it bit by bit.
     
  6. veg_guy

    veg_guy Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2005

    A few thoughts...you mentioned in your original post that the CSET is a requirement for credential programs. This is not true. I live in Oakland as well and have spoken with many of the credentialing programs in the East Bay and several of them do not require the CSET to enter the program (you do have to pass it prior to your student teaching).

    I'm also wondering why you're planning on taking all three of them at the same time. Five hours is not a lot of time to complete all three tests. I took the Math/Science test in May and will take the other two in July. Although I'm stressed about it, I wouldn't even want to think about taking all three at the same time.

    I'm also curious why you're studying for the GRE. I haven't seen that as a requirement to get into any of the credential programs.

    As for the Hirsch books (aka What Your 5th Grader Should Know), some people swear by them but I've only found them to be marginally helpful. They're pretty good for Math, Science, and Music and not very helpful for the other subjects. If you're worried about the expense, go to the library. Both the Oakland and Berkeley libraries have multiple copies.

    If history is a subject you're concerned with the REA CSET book covers it pretty extensively. I looked through the book at Borders and saw they had 170 pages on history, much for extensive than Cliffs or Barrons.

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2005

    Sorry, that should've been BFAs. Serve me right for typing in haste without my glasses.
     
  8. rlallen

    rlallen New Member

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    Jun 19, 2005

    Hi,

    I'm new to this site so I apologize for asking an unrelated question. I can't seem to figure out how to post a new question in the forum. ??

    I am currently working on my credential and need help designing a lesson or mini-lessons for a 4th grade math standard. I'd appreciate any and all help offered.

    Standard: 3.5 Understand that 90, 180, 270, and 360 degrees are associated, respectively, with 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full turns.

    I am unable to come up with something that works. The first part of this standard is knowing the definitions of angles; right, acute, and obtuse. That's easy enough but adding the 2nd half to this has me confused.

    Any ideas?

    Ronda
     
  9. veg_guy

    veg_guy Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2005


    To post a new topic, click on discuss, pick the forum you want and then click on "post new topic" which is on the top right hand side.

    To answer your question, I did a quick google search and came up with the following:

    http://www.michigan.gov/scope/0,1607,7-155-13481_13487_13489-36495--,00.html

    Look under assessment tasks #6. This teacher is having the students turn their bodies as a way of learning the concept. That sounds like a good idea to me. I'm sure you can come up with more ideas if you search through google.

    Good luck!
     

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