CSET biology

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by loop, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. loop

    loop Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 5, 2009

    Hi, I am planning to take CSET exam in Biology in march. Anyone has tips on which book to study from? How hard is the exam? Is it possible to study in a short period of time & pass all the 3 subtests?
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Feb 5, 2009

    Let's move this where it will do you some good.

    Even for multiple subjects, there's no such thing as The One Right Book to study from. You're likely to find that you need a variety of resources.

    Whether you can tackle all three subtests and pass them will depend in part on your test taking style but mostly on your background - if you majored in biology, for example, your Subtest III and the information in biology in Subtest II probably won't give you much grief, but the remaining material in Subtests I and II requires some acquaintance with physics, chemistry, and the various earth and space sciences.

    Some test takers find it makes sense to take just one or two subtests at a time, and there's no shame whatever in that.
     
  4. BioTeal

    BioTeal Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 5, 2009

    I covered most of the points in the test outlines (from the CSET website) for tests III and IV working out of the 8th edition of "Life: the science of Biology" by Purves/Heller/Sadava/Orians/Hillis - filling in a few gaps with google/wikibooks. I think I had the 5th or 6th edition when I took college Biology, but the text got MUCH better in the last few revisions. I found myself reading sections that were beyond the scope of the CSET because I found them interesting and I speculated that trying to review a little too much was safer than reviewing too little.

    As far as difficulty and amount of study time, I feel compelled to be vague based on the sticky post in this subforum (and I don't know anything about test I or the non-bio parts of test II). What is and isn't possible in this amount of time I'm sure depends greatly on the person doing the studying and their existing science knowledge.

    You can always sign up for multiple tests now and then devote your time on test day to complete 1 or 2 well as opposed to dividing time equally over 3 tests and risking spreading too thin (downside being wasted $ for any tests you didn't have time to get to).
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Feb 5, 2009

    BioTeal, the restriction is against sharing actual specific test questions (or, one presumes, information that would make it easy to identify one). Approaches and categories of knowledge are fair game to the best of my knowledge - if they're not, there's not a test prep program or book that wouldn't be liable legally.
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 7, 2009

    A current California high school biology textbook should be adequate to prepare for the biology subtest. If you are looking for a test guide, the best I have found are the ones from the Orange County Department of Education. They have a lot of boiler plate, but they do summarize most of what you will be held responsible for. You'll need other sources to fill in the detail though.

    I used Usborne's Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia as my primary source for the first two subtests, supplemented by internet sources and Schaum's Outlines where necessary.

    If you are right out of college with the appropriate course work, theoretically you ought to be able to pass all three subtests in on session. IMHO the first two subtests can be done in well less than the 5 hours available in the test session if you are adequately prepared. I am not so sure that most of use who have been out of school for a while can do all three subtests in one sitting though, maybe if you are very well prepared. If you do need to pass all three in one session, be prepared to manage you time and make strategic decisions (like moving on to another subtest when you haven't finished the previous one to your satisfaction) as you go.

    Whether you can prepare for all three in March depends on how much time you have available and what your background is. The biggest problem could be that the first two subtests cover several different subjects. You have to prepare for all of them, but at least none of them in depth.
     
  7. biosue

    biosue New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2009

    I just took all three subtests in January and passed all three. The tests are very difficult, I think. You definitely need to study hard.
    I just followed the study guide provided on the CSET website. I looked at each point and researched it on the internet until I had found enough information to feel satisfied that I knew the information. So, if you prefer using a text book go for it. Just be sure that you understand each and every point listed in the study guide and you will do well. Also, do not rely on the practice exams, they are just short examples of things you might see on the real exam.
    I studied for two weeks every day for several hours. I think if you start studying now, you will be fine. The time allotted for the test is more than sufficient to take all three in one session. I finished an hour early and I took my time.

    I hope this helps you out! Good luck!
     
  8. BioTeach

    BioTeach Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2009

    I took them one at a time and i am SO glad that I did. I felt that 120 was very detailed and intense. Although none of them took me the entire time, they did demand a lot of time and attention for detail. 118 and 119 do cover a wide variety of info so you will need a variety of sources. I used Campbell/Reese Biology as well as a few AP biology books for sample tests. I also used the CSET website test guides as a guide for what areas to study.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. suggestible

    suggestible Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 24, 2009

    I am worried about biochem! I am starting fresh with no science classes since a class about dinosaurs freshman year.

    Maybe I should be worried about more than that.... I am a fast learner and a good test-taker, but I am not sure I am not putting too much on my plate for May.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Mar 24, 2009

    That's definitely a challenge, suggestible.
     
  11. BioTeal

    BioTeal Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 24, 2009

    Whether you need it for the test or not suggestible, you might want to look into MIT's Open Courseware (free lectures, notes, and exams), or UC Berkely class lectures on YouTube.

    It's one thing to do what's necessary for a passing CSET score, and another to be comfortable enough with the subject to teach it well in a classroom.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Mar 24, 2009

    A good deal of open courseware - including, I think, MIT's - is also available via iTunes U. One has to sign up and provide a payment method as for regular iTunes - but one can then view without charge.
     
  13. suggestible

    suggestible Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 24, 2009

    yes. exactly. i really like science and i want to teach. i think i might be better at history or english, but i will have a MUCH harder time getting a job there.

    what are your experiences with biology education, guys? not to take this offtopic... but how did you get to where you are?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. brandoptions
Total: 192 (members: 1, guests: 175, robots: 16)
test