Hi! So I want to take the Math Subtests I & II. Anyone have a suggestion as which to take first? Is Subtest I or II more difficult? Does Subtest II build upon concepts listed in Subtest I? Thanks in advance for the advice!

If you have the luxury of taking one subtest at a time, my advice is to take Subtest 2 first to gain some confidence. In my experience, it is the easier of the two. Of course, whether it is easier for you will depend on your background. Subtest 2 is on geometry and statistics. It builds on Subtest 1 in the sense that you need to have basic algebra skills for geometry and statistics, but not in the sense that it tests the skills and concepts of Subtest 1 in a more advanced form. Subtest 1 takes a very broad sweep at every form of algebra an advanced high school student might experience and then some. It was the most time consuming of the three subtests for me to prepare for.

Thanks for the insight! I wanted to take Subtest II first because that is where I am strongest, but I was worried that I might miss something if I test "out of order." Thanks again!

The specific Algebra skills for Subtest II are at a fairly basic level: writing equations of parallel and perpendicular lines; distance, mid-point formula; Pythagoras' Theorem; solving proportions...that sort of thing. Begin by studying the California High School Math Content Standards for Subtest II... Jay. http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com

response questions Does anyone have a guess as to what the point range is for the response questions? I understand the grading values of 1 to 4 but what about the number points given for values? (Just trying to get to 220!)

It doesn't work that way: it's NOT a linear scale in the way you imagine! The 220 points is a SCALED score, not a RAW score. Jay. http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com

There is very little information available about how raw scores are converted to scaled scores. It appears that many raw scores may map to a single scaled score, and it also appears that the mapping is in no way linear. The only score one may reasonably make conjectures about is the magic 220. For the math subtests, based on the information published by the CTC when the initial passing scores were set, that score corresponds to something around 66% of the raw points, give or take a bit depending on the subtest. Constructed response questions are graded 0-4 by two graders (and by a third if they disagree) for a total of 0-8 points. Constructed response and multiple choice points are not the same value. The 32 CR points are worth 30% of your raw score. The 46 MC (not all questions are scorable) points are worth 70%. If you averaged 3s on the CR questions and got 2/3 of the MC questions right, you probably passed. Note that it is entirely possible to pass without a single point from the CR section if you ace the MC section.

Thank you for everyone's comments. I appreciate the insights you are all able to provide. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions about National University's on-line CSET test prep course (1 month)? Does anyone recommend any particular test prep book or program? I have read in other threads that Jay's test questions come highly recommended... Thanks! jenichan

cr scoring When the test results come back and you get a check mark for the CR question, do you think that this is a "4" score, which would be a strong response grade? That would make sense if the next question you get scored had no check mark but the letter(s) indicating deficiencies, but you still get some points, right?

The check mark "indicates that the response meets the minimum requirements for all performance characteristics." I am not sure what that means. My guess is that a check mark is roughly equivalent to a 3 or better, or less likely a 2 or better, and almost certainly not a 4. I think if you got +++ overall for constructed response, that would be roughly equivalent to 3s. But there is really no way to tell for sure. FWIW it seems that if you write anything relevant for your answer, you are likely to get at least one point. I think the only sure way to get 0 is to write nothing or be totally clueless.

A check mark isn't necessarily a 4 (if that's the maximum score possible on the question) or a 3 (if that's the maximum score possible): this we learn from CSET English, which is the only CSET exam with subtests that contain only constructed response questions: it is possible to get four checkmarks on the four Subtest IV constructed responses and not pass.

I just took the CSET Math yesterday, and I have to say that it was a harder than expected, especially Subtest II. I studied with "The Best Teachers Test Preparation For The CSET Mathematics" but found the questions on the real test a bit more difficult than either of the two practice tests provided in the study guide. I haven't used other guides for the CSET Math, but I give this one a 3/5. AND PLEASE do NOT take all three subtests at once. I had my brain fried yesterday for 5 hours straight (actually 4 hours and 58 minutes...) trying to cram all 3 tests in. There were definitely a few questions I knew I could have done better with more time. I spent... 2 hours on Subtest II (Required to be taken first if you are taking more than one at a time) 1.5 hours on each Subtest I and III ... but I've always found the Geometry/Stat portion more challenging than the other two. Hope that helps!

i just got my unofficial scores for CSET math subtest I. I received a 218! I am so mad that I missed it by 2 points! Does anyone know about requesting a score verification? Does it actually help? I'm looking to get those two points (maybe from the constructed response portion).

Score verification is almost always a waste of time and money. The MC questions are machine scored and the odds of the machine making a mistake are infinitesimal, and when it does, it usually does it in a big enough way that it is obvious to the folks at NES that there is something wrong. Your chances on the CR questions are equally infinitesimal. They have already been scored by two separate graders, three if the first two disagree. FWIW a score of 218 doesn't necessarily mean you are two raw points away. It appears that many raw scores map to 219, and many more to 218. The only score that really means anything is the magical 220 or above, and that only means you did well enough to show you have enough subject matter knowledge to be successful as a first year teacher. 300 doesn't necessarily mean that you are significantly better prepared than someone with a 220.

thanks for all the input! This may seem like a dumb question, but how exactly can you "show" that you know the material besides getting more questions correct?

When you get your printed score report in the mail, take a look at side 2. You'll see a chart of performance indicators that can help you figure out where to focus your efforts in preparing for the next round.

for those of you who have passed both subtest I and II, and did not have a bachelors in math, how many attempts did you make? out of curiousity....

Let me answer your question a few posts ago a little more directly, then, bongbong: You show you know the material in part by using the tools of the trade in the ways that people who know the field use them. In analyzing a poem for CSET English, one uses the technical terminology from English (synecdoche, enjambment, syntactic inversion) and one cites examples from the text in more or less the format that would be generated by someone with high sophistication in dealing with literature. In CSET Science, the answer is in "Science-ese", if you will; given a question about the correct procedure for sprouting chia seeds (to take a very simple example), the answer includes the technical terminology (germination, not sprouting) but also is NOT framed in first person conditional ("I would first put the seeds between two pieces of wet paper towel...) - because real science writing is either in third person ("The researcher would first place the seeds between squares of 10cm x 10 cm blotting paper damped with 5 cc of sterilized water...") or in passive voice ("The seeds were placed between squares..."). For CSET Math, the analogous approach is to solve the problem in a format that supply, and the solution can be annotated with terms that relate to the various concepts that underlie each step.

My major was business. I passed each of the three math subtests the first time. I took one at a time and spent about three hours a day for two months preparing for each one. CSET isn't designed for you to show a potential employer how much you know. All it does is demonstrate that you have the minimum content knowledge to be successful as a first year teacher. In fact, the score reporting is designed to preclude its use in choosing between applicants. If you pass, you don't get a numerical score, just "PASSED" on your transcript. As far as showing what you know to get the test scores to give you higher marks, on the CR questions, answering like you are teaching the concept to a class is IMHO likely to produce the best results. If you have, for instance, to derive a formula, show the math, but on each line, annotate why you are doing each step.

My college major was physics. I passed all three CSET math subtests in one attempt last June. I got my California teaching credential in math and physics (specialized) last October.

Every test taker is different, bongbong... I think you'll be hard put to find someone else whose experience exactly mirrors yours. But it's not particularly uncommon for test takers to need more than one shot at these subtests, and there's certainly no shame in that, either.

Don't feel bad at all. A colleague of mine who is an excellent math teacher took over two years to pass the first two subtests.