Got my CSET Math 3 results on Friday, and I passed! Over the past six months I passed all three subtests, each on the first try. I thought I would share my preparation experience - what worked, what didn't - to help others succeed as well! ---------- My keys to passing: 1. Plenty of time to prepare for each test. I gave myself eight weeks for Subtest 1, four weeks for Subtest 2, and six weeks for Subtest 3. I studied 10-15 hours per week. In the mornings I studied from a textbook, and in the afternoon I reviewed the same topics from online resources. I understand some people are pressed for time to pass these exams, but if possible, take your time. I can't imagine cramming for one of these tests in just a couple weeks. 2. Using as many resources as possible. Below I'll explain which resources I used, but there isn't just one textbook or website that will cover everything. To get a good enough understanding of the material in order to pass, I needed several different perspectives. 3. Create a list of proofs to memorize. As I journeyed through the textbooks, I always noted down any proofs that seemed like a potential proof on a constructed response question. Some proofs are easy enough to understand and derive when needed, but others are just complicated enough that you just have to memorize. Instead of trying to memorize weeks before the exam, I created a running list. Then the day before the exam, I committed all of these proofs to memory. They won't ever get saved to your long-term memory, but you'll remember them long enough to recall them on the exam the next day. 4. Using flash cards. I created flash cards for Subtest 2 and 3 (geometry theorems/postulates, basic derivatives/integrals). Memorizing certain concepts/formulas was so helpful. Anything you memorize, you'll have to understand how to derive it, but when you're taking the CSET exam, being able to derive and pull from memory at a moment's notice will greatly help with the time factor. ---------- What I wish I had known before I started: 1. Take Subtest 2 first. I had heard some people say this, and wish I had listened. Sure, I think Subtest 2 material is overall easier than Subtest 1 for most people, but for me a huge factor was just getting used to the preparation routine and test format. I think it's better to take on Subtest 2 first as you get used to studying, and especially dealing with those stupid scanners (see #2). That way when you move on to Subtest 1, you have some experience under your belt. 2. The scanners are a headache. On Subtest 1, I budgeted one minute at the very end to scan my last constructed response sheet. I literally got it in with one second to spare. I admit I should have allowed more time, and I simply got lucky it worked, but I had to re-scan that sheet so many times until it scanned correctly. It kept leaving a black area at the top of the scan, cutting off the bottom. I was seriously panicking! Finally after taking three subtests and submitting eight constructed responses, I finally figured out the problem. When you click scan, the scanner starts spinning to slide the page through, but as soon as it starts spinning, it's scanning whatever it sees, even if the page hasn't begun its journey though. Instead of waiting to push the page through, you need to put pressure on the page before clicking, and then with your other hand, click scan. That way the page will be pushed into the scanner immediately. I bet that scanner will become one of my recurring nightmares one day! 3. Focus your studying based on the CTC Test Guides. When preparing for Subtest 1, I ended up reviewing a lot more than I should have. I accidentally studied topics for Subtest 2 (conic sections, combinations), and really under-studied number theory and matrices. By Subtest 3, I just printed out the test guide and reviewed it consistently to make sure I was on track. 4. Don't buy any materials that are explicitly labeled as a CSET Math study guide. I bought one and it was a total waste of $40. It contained a bunch of very generic test taking suggestions, clearly not written by people who know the actually CSET Math exams. Textbooks are better and cheaper. ---------- My top 10 study materials (in order of value): 1. CTC Practice Tests - Why not study materials that are written from the same people who write the actual CSET tests?? (same goes for #2) Several times I saw questions on the CSET that were very similar to questions from the study guide (different values, same approach). Don't just use the practice test as a practice exercise, study every question and review multiple times. It will also give you an idea as to how in depth you must study each topic. 2. CTC Test Guides - The CTC is basically telling you what will be and what won't be on the tests. This was valuable in knowing what I needed to study, and what I shouldn't study. 3. Jay's website (Math CSET Guru) - The best site out there for CSET Math, period. I seriously couldn't have passed without this site. Every single page has gold. 4. Textbooks - I bought textbooks recommended by Jay (Innovation Guy). Don't buy new! You can buy 10 year old used textbooks for under $10-$20. Math doesn't change. - For Subtest 1, I used "College Algebra", by Stewart, 2010. It was a pretty good book for algebra, but I wish I had supplemented with another book for Number Theory. - For Subtest 2, I used "Geometry: Concepts and Applications" by Cummings, 2001. This was an excellent book! It was pretty much a review of high school geometry, but it covers everything you'll need for the CSET 2 test. For stats, I bought "EZ-101 Statistics" by Sternstein - this was more of a study guide than a textbook, and I barely used it. For stats I recommend just using online resources (see below). - For Subtest 3, I used "Calculus and Analytic Geometry", by Thomas, 9th edition. This was the best book I bought, very applicable to the actual CSET 3 test. It literally covered all topics on the CTC study guide. 5. Flash cards 6. Teacher Test Prep - You can take one practice test for each subtest using a free account. Just like the CTC practice test, first take this practice test as an exercise, and then use it as a study guide. The questions are pretty close to what you would find on the actual CSET exams. 7. Khan Academy - Khan's videos are just fantastic. They're easy to understand and simply enjoyable to watch. Khan is great for proofs. Whenever I stumbled upon a Khan video that contained a proof that looked like a constructed response candidate, I bookmarked it. 8. Math is Fun - This site is more about basics and fundamentals, but it's very easy to understand if you're starting from zero on a particular topic. 9. Regents Prep - Very good Subtest 2 practice problems. Just google "Regents Prep Center Geometry". 10. Wikipedia - Wikipedia can get too advanced and formal for what's necessary on the CSET exams, but it can help stretch your brain a bit.