Anyone ever take these? Since I've completed my Masters, I'm considering spending my extra time studying to add a Foundational Math authorization (CA) to my MS credential. This is an attempt to mke myself more adaptable should another round of layoffs come... How hard are these tests, especially for someone with basically no background in Math. Don't get me wrong: I went to calculus in college, but that was 20 years ago. I took a glimpse at some sample questions, and I (at this point) have zero memory of these things! So basically, I would be starting from scratch! Is it possible to study (over course of this next year) to pass these tests, for someone who doesn't know much. I'd say I'm above average in Math, but certainly no guru.

I have an immense background in Mathematics and so I found them incredibly easy, BUT someone with a limited math background such as yourself — I mean no disrespect — will struggle on them because they are more rigorous than you might expect, especially if you take them with little to no studying. I didn’t study for more than a few hours in total, but I went to one of the best institutions in the country for my math program as an undergrad and also have a Masters in math, so that is the reason I didn’t have to prepare much at all. In your case, you should download the study guides from the CTC website and try them out for yourself. You will see what you are getting yourself into. Also, look up PatrickJMT on YouTube, use Khan Acadmey videos, and buy a prep book or books to relearn the material. And you may want to get a geometry and Precalculus book while you’re at it. (As an aside, I have a Full Single Subject teaching credential in math, by the way — I took all three CSETs as well as the Praxis 5161.) For CSET 1: Algebra and Number Theory, be familiar with the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, Complex Root Theorem, Rational Root Theorem, how to derive the quadratic formula, know how to derive the coordinates of the vertex of a parabola in standard form, how to derive conditions for parallel/perpendicular lines with respect to slopes, using matrices and determinants (e.g. Cramer’s Rule/analytic geometry), how to derive equations of conic sections (parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas), be able to prove propositions using mathematical induction, know how to find roots of polynomial functions or find polynomial functions given their roots, solve systems of linear equations using matrices/determinants, be able to graph: polynomial functions, especially quadratic functions (i.e. parabolas); rational functions; know how to sketch lines, circles, parabolas, ellipses and hyperbolas and determine the intersection of conic sections, know linear programming situations, and know how to find a function and it’s inverse. Lastly, know how to model quadratic functions to determine maximum/minimum values, linear programming situations, and conic section problems. For CSET 2: Geometry and Probability and Statistics, be familiar with rigid motions, transformations in the coordinate plan (e.g. know that the prime indicates the new image position), know how to prove properties of parallelograms, know how to find missing angles using properties of parallel lines and transversals, know to solve various area and volume problems of varying types, know how to calculate marginal and conditional probabilities using a two-way table or otherwise, know how to make a tree diagram (the intermediate branches are conditional probabilities and the products along the various branches are compound events) to find probabilities, know how to use the Fundamental Counting Principle (if you have m events and n events, then there are m*n ways to count them -> this is a combination problem), know the difference between a combination (order does not matter) and a permutation (order does not matter); concerning the latter, a permutation is an ordering of n objects represented notationally with n!, where n! = n(n-1)(n-2)...; know how to use the conditional probability formula [ P(A given B) = P(A and B)/P(B) ] for events A and B, know that if two events A and B are independent then P(A and B) = P(A)*P(B), know that P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) - P(A and B) and that P(A and B) = 0 if the events are said to be mutually exclusive or disjoint. NOTE: If two events A and B are mutually exclusive/disjoint that just means if either event happens then the other event cannot occur. Also, if A and B are disjoint, then they cannot be independent and vice versa. Furthermore, know how to model sample spaces using Venn diagrams for nondisnoint events (that just means that both events share elements in common and so they interesect, which is P(A and B). Also, know how to compute a z-score, how to use binompdf, binompdf, normalpdf, and normalcdf on a graphing utility, understand why we standardize data in the first place (to compare different data sets) and be able to interpret what a z-score means in the context of the problem (it’s the spread of the data about the mean or the number of standard deviations from the mean of a NORMAL distribution). Finally, know how to transform data linearly and how to calculate a line of best fit on a graphing calculator (using the LinReg command), which is also called the Least-Squares Regression Line (or LSRL for short); and know how to calculate residuals and what the difference is between the correlation coefficient, r, and the coefficient of determination, r^2. Good luck and happy studying the maths!

Thanks for the great info. As you said, I'm pretty clueless at this point in my life. I did buy a study guide from someone probably very similar to you (who produces study guides for these tests)... it all may as well be Chinese at this point! I'm going to attempt to dive into it t some point this summer. I hope to progress to the point to rekindle any dormant knowledge locked in my head. If so, I hope to pass these tests in the following year, to be available to switch paths, if/when the economy dictates.