CSET English Thoughts…

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by VelveetaFog, May 14, 2020.

  1. VelveetaFog

    VelveetaFog New Member

    Jul 27, 2019
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    May 14, 2020

    I am an Elementary teacher who is looking to add some teaching options to my future. At the end of November (2019) I found out that I passed my last two CSET Subtests (3,4). I felt certain that I had failed Subtest 3 again, but was not about to question the results. :) Sheltering in place has given me some reflection time, so I thought I would share what I learned in the process of adding the CA Single Subject English credential to my quiver. This and other forums were insightful in piecing together my understanding of the tests through other's experiences. Thank you!

    My Strategy - Take the tests separately. My subtest order -- 2, 3 (take it to fail it and then study from it), 1, 4, 3

    Multiple Choice Tests (1,2) - I found mostly comprehensive Quizlets related to content for these tests. I made copies of other people’s Quizlets. Then, I killed and drilled until I was sick of it. When I could anticipate an answer, I slowed down and purposely re-read every entry before responding. I made changes to my Quizlets to include more detail or correct grammatical errors. This helped a lot. On the day of the tests, I jotted quick notes on the dry erase sheet they gave me so I could cross reference where I saw similar questions and double check them at the end. I typically finished early and used all of the remainder of the time to review flagged questions.

    Subtest 3 - Yuck. I failed the first time, but I knew I would. Then, when I took the test again it was the same prompts! Yikes! I was ready for different prompts and was actually thrown off by getting the same items to analyze. My first time I spent more cognitive effort on the Literary Analysis which meant I was mentally exhausted when it came to critiquing the Non-Literary text. I watched time and spent about an hour on each prompt. The second time, I spent more time on the Non-Literary text carefully picking it apart. My time spent on the Literary work was less. In hindsight, this may have been a good thing as it felt like I had to “nail down” some rhetorical devices on the Non-Lit, while I felt free to interpret the Literary work in my own way with evidence to support my thinking. I’ll never know for sure, but it felt like working on the Non-Lit piece first was a good call. The time constraint is a challenge if you are used to working ahead on a writing piece to allow for editing.

    How much does it all cost?
    From idea to the passing of the last test it took me about 6 months. Working full time does get in the way. The last two tests I took in the same week.

    The time it took to send my application to CTC and receive word that I was granted a credential took about one month. This timeline is different if you are referred by a university digitally. My application was paper via USPS. CTC notes that it can take up to 50 business days to process (10 weeks).

    Money - About $2400 to add a credential.
    CSETS $372
    Single subject methods course about $2000 for this required “hoop” (private university grad cost)
    CTC Application $100

    I hope someone finds this helpful. Reading others reflections gave me hope that I could do it and more data points to collect to help me understand the nature of the test.
  3. Cyber Wahine

    Cyber Wahine Guest

    Jun 28, 2020

    Hi there, Velveeta! Congratulations on passing!

    I am in the same situation. I just took #3 and I feel that I didn't do very well. I might take it again next week even before I receive my results just bc all of the studying is still fresh. I will also be taking #1 this week. I have already passed #2 and 4.

    I WOULD LOVE to know more about #3 from you if you can message me.

    BTW With two credentials, you are now able to apply to be a California Studio Teacher.
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Feb 4, 2010
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    Jul 1, 2020

    I think different strategies work for different people. I had 2 tries to pass the CSET, so it was a make it or break it situation. If I didn't pass everything by the second time I wouldn't have been able to get into the credential program in time and everything would have been delayed.
    On top of it I had 3 weeks to study - for some reason I didn't realize sooner that I had to take it (this was over 10 years ago so I don't remember why).

    I took all 4 subtests. I figured this way I get a feel for how hard it is, I'd probably pass some and then I can just focus on the one(s) I didn't pass. This turned out to be very helpful, because I passed 3 out of the 4, and the one I failed I thought was the easiest. I' not sure if it's #3 or #4, but it's the one that deals with drama. I failed it by a few points, because I didn't know anything about the subject. For the next time I focused on that and now I knew what t research and study and I passed it.

    As far as the 3 weeks of studying before the first test: I spent a lot of time on Google copying literary terms and their definitions. I was at a great disadvantage because I didn't go to school in the US so we didn't study Shakespeare as extensively and English is my second language so I actually had to look up things like "sonnet" and "ballad" I know, it's embarrassing.
    I really only had to time to write out anything and everything I could find, I couldn't eve study, however tests 1 and 2 deal with those types of terminology and how I passed I will never understand :)

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