CSET English III administration

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by Lizbeeloo, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Lizbeeloo

    Lizbeeloo New Member

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    Aug 6, 2016

    I'm prepping to take the English CSET for the first time in a few weeks. I've read several different things about subtest 3, some suggesting it is all typed/CBT and some suggesting it is all handwritten in a booklet. But I'm having a surprisingly hard time getting a straight answer that is trustworthy.

    Can anyone provide some insight into the administration of subtest 3? It will greatly impact the way I prepare. I've looked in other threads and haven't seen anything, so I apologize if I'm posting this redundantly.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 6, 2016

    Subtests III and IV are all typed, these days. (Some other CSETs have constructed-response questions that either invite or require drawings: think geometry for math and sketching for art. CSET English isn't one of them.) The shift to computer-based testing is within the last couple of years; any thread that dates back before about 2014 will reflect the paper-based testing.

    If you take all four subtests in one (long!) session, the subtests will be presented in numerical order, one at a time, with no going back - though, within a subtest, you can skip around. You will still have all five hours. If you take just Subtest III, you'll schedule it in its own shorter session. In either case you will be given dry-erase sheets and a marker by way of scratch paper.
     
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  4. jmckernan

    jmckernan Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2016

    A little quick advice from someone who recently passed all four in one sitting:
    It's brutal, but has the advantage if taking little notes that occur to you while going through the exams. You cannot look ahead to other exams, though, as much as you would like to.
    Subtests 1 and 2 are scored emediately upon the conclusion of your session. Instant gratification or not. But you know how you did without the wait. 3 and 4 take an actual human to grade, so you wait.
    Best advice for 3 and 4 : relax and take a deep breath after reading the prompts. If you are like me, your head is already spinning from stress...deep breath.
    Know your lit terms; there are a handful that are really common, have those down pat, ( simile, metaphor, alliteration, assonance, consonance, etc...) Plus a few of the more interesting ones in your back pocket, ( not literally.) As teacher groupie has stated, they want you to come across as an instructor. Don't be afraid to toss the terms around liberally. Case in point:
    On subtest 3, the compare/contrast prompt, ( two similar but different literary samples,) I froze up a little, to the point that the main similarity between the two didn't become apparent to me until literally 50 seconds left on the clock. Too late to mention, much less support. I did identify several minor similarities and supported them with text and a good slathering of literary term dressing. It was enough to score a xxx.
    On test 4, you can breath a little easier because each prompt is only 25℅ value, (assuming you answer,) again, lit terms give the impression that you know something. I BS'd my answer for the 2nd prompt, ( total misunderstanding of the question...didn't study that area well enough,) but threw in lit terms and educational terms.i n the scoring, I received marks denoting low knowledge and support. Evidently the other 3 answers carried the day.
    This is not to say that you should just toss terms around, though. You do have to support them with a rationale that is credible.
    Good luck folks, but luck really has little to do with these exams. How about we say: "good studying, folks"
     
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  5. Lizbeeloo

    Lizbeeloo New Member

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    Aug 12, 2016

    Thank you!! This is great insight.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2016

    CSET English I and II are the only CSET subtests (well, except for some world language subtests) that are strictly multiple choice. I'm surprised and pleased to learn that scoring is immediate.

    And, yes: luck is often cited by a test passer but is never a big factor. I like to wish test takers good hunting.
     
  7. Lizbeeloo

    Lizbeeloo New Member

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    Aug 12, 2016

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity!
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2016

    The thing I liked best about paper-based testing for CSET English was that test takers could work back and forth between Subtest I and Subtest III.

    Lizbeeloo, jmckernan does indeed give fine pointers. It would seem that jmckernan's Subtest III response centered on a similarity that, while not the most important one, was defensible given the text, and that jmckernan then defended that similarity with appropriate examples, analysis, and terminology. My sense is that, given a choice between a response like jmckernan's and a response that identifies the main similarity but fails to defend it adequately, the scorers are quite a bit likelier to pass the former than the latter.
     
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  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2016

    There is that, yes - though it can then be argued that the prepared test taker makes her own luck, no?
     
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  10. Lizbeeloo

    Lizbeeloo New Member

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    Aug 12, 2016

    Precisely.
     
  11. bananas1964

    bananas1964 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2016

    Hi! Any advice on what I could study for the 2 multiple choice sections, 1&2?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 18, 2016

    Are you asking what content is on each subtest, or are you asking how to learn the content?
     
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  13. jmckernan

    jmckernan Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2016

    Boy, I havn't been back for what seems like centuries.
    I'm assuming you're asking what to use as study aides. (What to study is given on the CSET site...although it is stated in less than plain English.)
    Whatever TeacherGroupie suggests is a good place to start. I'm not blowing smoke when I say this; the advise given is always on point.
    For myself, I used a couple of the test prep books, lots of internet info, ( lit periods, terms, etc..) I did find that the test prep books were lean on learning development stages and theories. Look those up, ( Paiget and his peers; including changes in theory as time evolves.)
    Multiple choice can be tricky, as was told to me: there may be a couple of answer choices that could apply...you have to know which one best applies. I think it is dirty pool, but I do suppose it separates the "I kinda know" from the "I do know".
    In using the test prep books...do take the practice exams and do follow up on any areas where you failed. It is impossible to be 100% proficient at everything, so don't beat yourself up. But be honest with yourself in areas where you need more help.
     
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  14. bananas1964

    bananas1964 Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2016

    Thanks for the great advice. The last time I followed advice from this forum, I passed! So I'm gonna follow the advice!
     
  15. bananas1964

    bananas1964 Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2016

    Yes, what content should I study? Thanks for responding!!
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 19, 2016

    The free study guides on the CSET English web page outline what the test can cover and give sample questions. On the first page of the thread "Elmer's English resources, revived", which you'll find at the top of this Single Subject Tests subforum, you'll find some useful glossaries in literature and in linguistics: you need to be able to use those terms like a boss. Armed with the study guides and the glossaries, you can get pretty far for Subtest I (and Subtest III) using the internet (Wikipedia is the test taker's friend) or AP prep materials. For literature, see if you can find a used copy of The Principles of Literature, published by Barron, or one or another edition of Perrine's Sound and Sense, or even a For Dummies book: if you buy anything, spend time with it first to help make sure you'll use it. For linguistics, I don't know whether Aitchison's Teach Yourself Linguistics is still in print; there might be something near it (or where it should be) in your local Barnes & Noble or library that can help. (I'm partial to Macauley's The Social Art, but it's probably already out of print.) Make sure you know your grammar terms.
     
  17. Courtney howe

    Courtney howe New Member

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    Nov 21, 2016

    Hi there everybody! My name is Courtney and I have been trying(without success) to pass the cset english since 2012. The first couple of times it should have been no surprise as I did not study. This past time I studied for subtest 2 for over two months, utilizing teachers test prep. Once I got to the test I recognized very little. I found this weird as I got 84% on their first practice exam and 94% on their second. I was labeled as 'Likely to pass." This time however, I was not given my immediate response, and I find it very troubling that I have to wait a month!!!! I feel that I need help on HOW to read and answer the questions. I have already finished the credential classes 3 years ago, as well as my masters in education. I want desperately to pass this exam and to step into my rightful role. I come to teaching after having been an actor. HEEEELLLPPP!!!!!!!
     
  18. jmckernan

    jmckernan Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2016

    Don't limit yourself to just one source. Google the heck out of lot stuff. I found that the most value the practice tests had was in identifying areas where I was weak, not relying on them to really reflect the actual.
    In reading and responding to the questions, I once saw advice given that stated something like this: it is harder for a test writer to compose a wrong answer than a correct one. Having said that, I found that a really large majority of CSET questions did indeed have at least one answer that was completely rediculous, and two that could answer the question correctly. Of those two, one is more correct than the other. So I'd say don't jump at the first "correct" answer you read. Be sure to give all answers equal time in your head. Flag any that made you go "hmmm?", and hit them again after you have finished the last question. I recall flagging a bunch, sometimes another question will ring a bell for a former one...
     
  19. Courtney howe

    Courtney howe New Member

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    Nov 21, 2016

    Thank you so much for the advice. I did notice that two questions make sense. We are programmed to expect the actual questions to look similar to the practice ones. This innate trait is in all of us. For some reason i am more confident on how i would do on the written exams. I also agree that i should not lay all my faith in one source and i didnt. I also did focus my attention on my weakenesses. Which was, so i thought grammar. I did print hundreds of worksheets, so i was good there. A lot of me feels that i am overreacting, cuz ive not even received my results yet. This waiting game can drive you nuts.
     
  20. jmckernan

    jmckernan Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2016

    I've had the pleasure(?) of taking two different CSET exam concentrations, (long story). Taking each set in one sitting, respectively, and on both occasions I had to fight the urge to just get up and walk out during them. They are a pain in the neck, they are mean and they are tricky.
    The CSETs are tricky, sneaky pains in the neck. But in a really weird, sick way I enjoyed the process. They do have a way of making smart people feel kinda dumb, though. By some miracle of fate I passed two separate CSET concentrations, (long story.) So if I can offer any pearls of wisdom that might help someone else get through this...I'm glad to do it. Go get yourself a good cup of Joe and try to let it go. I was certain of disaster on both occasions, (maybe some sort of reverse karhma ?) You are not an idiot; you'll get through this and be questioning your sanity before too long. Hang in there.
     

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