CSET Physics Brain Dump

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by Malcolm, May 21, 2006.

  1. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    May 21, 2006

    Well, I took CSET Physics yesterday even though I haven't been able to do a lick of preparation for the past month or so. All the time jumping through the necessary hoops to get into a credential program, plus the demands of work, school, home and friends just didn't leave a lot of time for studying this time around. And when time was available it was just harder to study. I think I am suffering from CSET burnout. If there is a subtest I don't pass the first time, this will be it, because I found it difficult to remember some of the necessary formulas. Oh well, if not this time, then next time.

    Frankly, the test was not very difficult. Schaum's Physics should have been more than sufficient to prepare for it, perhaps with a little extra help on the standard model of the atom.

    Just like on the sample test, there are pages of formulas at the front of the booklet. And as they warn, not all of the forumlas you need are in there. Based on a quick glance at the sample test, I would say that the pages are very similar to what are on the real thing.

    The MR questions pretty much spanned the advertised domains weighted somewhat towards linear and circular motion. Perhaps half of them required some math and half tested concepts. The math was pretty simple, nothing more than basic arithmetic and a little basic algebra, no calculus or linear algebra. Anyone qualified to sit for this exam should have been able to do this version of the test with without the provided calculator, with the exception, perhaps, of square roots. I would say that by and large the questions are much better phrased than most of the questions in CSET Math.

    The CR questions were straight forward and pretty much the kind one would expect. There was one that required an understanding of the relationship between acceleration, velocity and distance (about as close to calculus as anything on the test came), one that dealt with an object moving in a circular path, and one that dealt with an electrical circuit. Really, no surprises here.

    No questions on lab safety or practices, scientific method, etc. Perhaps those are confined to the general science subtests.

    I took 4 of the 5 hours to complete the test. As usual, that was enough for a first pass through the MC section to answer the easy ones, a second pass to answer the harder ones after some reflection, time to rough out my answers to the CR questions and then write the final answer on the answer sheet, and time to go through everything once again to get for obvious errors.

    Looks like not a lot of folks are taking CSET Science subtests. I was the only one in my room with a calculator. I did see one or two folks outside with their own calculators. I guess they were taking CSET Math Subtest II.

    I cannot get over the dumb things people do in conjunction with CSET. This time a guy showed up in the exam room with no admission ticket. Don't know how he found the right room. I guess the folks at the front door looked it up for him. The proctor had to check with the supervisor to see what to do. They let him take the test anyway.

    Most of the candidates looked like they were fresh out of school, which figures. There were some older folks, like me. Don't know how many of them were credentialed teachers trying to meet NCLB "highly qualified" requirements for the coming school year and how many were career changers.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 21, 2006

    Knowing you, Malcolm, you passed.

    As to not having the admission ticket - there aren't very many excuses for that, though it seems to me I've heard of someone who'd set it out very carefully the night before along with the requisite #2 pencils and such, but apparently the family cat decided it was a night-time plaything and dragged it under the sofa...
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    May 21, 2006

    So then you print out a copy of the electronic one NES emailed you...

    At least it is better than the guy who showed up for CSET Math Subtest II with a calculator that wasn't on the list. He wound up with no calculator. Must have been fun on the CR questions if he got the same ones I did. It is tedious at best to do Chi-square or linear regression without one, and error prone.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    NES emails you an electronic ticket? Hm - wonder when that started... The cat-dragged ticket did get found, if memory serves, but the experience left the test taker somewhat discombobulated.
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    NES has been emailing tickets for at least as long as I have been taking CSET, but that's only about a year. You get the snail mail ones, too.
     
  7. Bijaya

    Bijaya New Member

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    Apr 11, 2008

    To become a physics teacher in California

    Hi,

    I am a physics teacher and newly moved in to California. It's been quite long that I am away from teaching job, however I am looking to continue it again due to many factors. Please let me know how can I become teacher and get into HS classroom to teach physics.

    I also would like to get information regarding CBEST and CSET.

    -Bijaya
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    For information on credentialing in California, start your search here, Bijaya: http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/CREDS/secondary-teaching.html

    Your best bet is probably a credential that will allow you to teach physics and general science. For that, you'd need take the two general science subtests of CSET Science plus the subtest for physics.

    CBEST is a basic skills test, and you'll find it discussed on the Basic Skills Tests subforum.
     
  9. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Welcome. You will be very needed. Subtests I and II are easy. You can get Usborne's Internet -Linked Science Encyclopeia for them.
     
  10. Bob T.

    Bob T. Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2008

    Hi, to those of you who have taken or have opinions on the CSET Physics Subtests.

    I am considering taking both Physics Subtests - Subtest III, 123 and Subtest IV, 127. I understand both are required for single subject physics cert. Five hours is allowed for one test or both. Is it realistic to try to do both in one five hour test session? Or, should I just plan on taking two test sessions? Thanks for any opinions.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Both Physics III and Physics IV are required if you want to teach physics and only physics, Bob T. If you want to teach physics plus general science, you need Physics III plus the general science subtests I and II, but you don't need (nor want) Physics IV.
     
  12. Rigel

    Rigel New Member

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    Apr 14, 2008

    Bob T,
    Five hours is plenty of time to take both test. A simple preparation guide would be sufficient, or none, depending on how good your general knowledge is of physics. The Physics IV subtest tests your overall understanding of concepts, easily doable in less than an hour. Physics III subtest requires more calculator time, but is not much more difficult, just more time consuming. I would say 1.5 to 2 hours should do it for both tests.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, Rigel.
     
  14. Bob T.

    Bob T. Rookie

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    May 18, 2008

    May 17 I took both Physics Subtests. The two best pieces of advice I heard on this forum were work the problems from the Schaum's College Physics (thank you Malcolm!) and follow the Subject Matter Requirements specified for the exam (thank you TeacherGroupie or teresaglass). I probably spent too much time studying First Law of Thermodynamics and Forces in Magnetic Fields. I studied for three and a half weeks (after the CBEST on April 12).

    Physics III was definitely harder - no surprise. When I did the CSET practice test, I averaged two minutes per MC question and 10 to 15 on the CR problems (as indicated in the practice test). I figured 100 minutes on the MC's plus another 45 on the CR's - two and half hours with three as comfortable. I figured Physics IV would be easier based on the specified SMR's and 40 MC questions and one CR problem - an hour and 10 minutes with an hour and half comfortable. Total anticipated time four and a half hours plus any breaks.

    Besides the Schaum's College Physics, I also bought a copy of XAMonline's CSET Physics 123, 127. I found it comforting in translating some of the SMR's to example type problems, although the actual problems in it did not parallel the CSET exams as well as those in Schaum's. I bought the CliffsQuickReview Physics, too. It helped somewhat. I worked 134 problems from Schaum's - mostly the Level III problems; I figured that would also cover for the MC questions as well. I'm not so sure of that after the tests.

    I started with the Physics III test and the MC's did seem to take about two minutes each. I finished them without review after an hour and 50 minutes and then started the three CR problems. I made good progress on the CR's, but then got distracted with sign problems on one of the problems - two and a half hours. I took a bathroom break and ate a couple peanut butter crackers, then started the Physics IV test. The MC's were significantly easier. There were a few Part II Content Domain questions - three, four, five? - on the the IV test; none one the III test. I finished the IV test after a little over an hour and took another bathroom break. Overall time a little under four hours.

    Then I went back to the III test and cleaned up my sign problem and reviewed all three problems. My work did not look as neat as it could have. I should have roughed out my solutions in the exam booklet and then done a final in the answer booklet. But they were complete and answered all parts of the problems. Then I reviewed all the MC questions in both tests. I did find a half dozen or so stupid errors - needlessly lost exam points. So the rechecking was profitable. I took the full five hours.

    The III test MC questions covered all six SMR Domains - about equally except only a couple questions on Quantum Mechanics.

    Working the problems from Schaum's seems like a good approach in the absence of a Cliffs Exam Prep book, like the Cliffs' CBEST prep book. Cliffs AP Physics B&C is overkill: the problems in it are much harder than the type of problems in the CSET Practice Test.

    For anyone contemplating the Physics III test, I would suggest picking 50 random Level I problems from Schaum's distributed equally from the first five SMR Domains and a couple from the sixth, plus a random Level III from each of the first three SMR Domains and the fifth Domain (that would be four CR's, but one wouldn't know which three would be picked). Make up three or four of these practice tests and do them in three or four hours. I hope I don't have to follow my own recommendation.

    Bob T.
     
  15. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    May 19, 2008

    Sounds like you passed...
     
  16. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Hope you aced it.
     
  17. Bob T.

    Bob T. Rookie

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    May 20, 2008

    Hi, Malcolm and teresaglass,

    Thank you both. I feel very fortunate having discovered this site. You both have been helpful and I expect your contributions will be returned several times over. I was inspired by your contributions to add my own experience in the hope that it would aid others.

    Bob T.
     
  18. Bob T.

    Bob T. Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2008

    I passed both Physics Subtests. Thank you, again, Malcolm, Teresaglass and others on this thread. In looking over the study materials, I've changed my mind on my previous assessment of the CliffsAP Physics B & C. I think the Physics B Practice exams are relevant. But, I would only do 50 of the 70 MC questions and 3 of the 7 Free Response (Constructed Response) problems. And, use the Constants and Equations pages from the CSET Practice Exam. The Physics C exams are only mechanics and electricity and magnetism (and, potential calculus). I don't think the AP C exams parallel the CSET level of rigor.

    Also, I don't think the physics text reference on CSET's site, Feynman's Lectures on Physics, is worthwhile or even appropriate. Feynman even admits in his preface that only the top 10 percent of CalTech's students understood almost all of the lectures. Schaum's College Physics is an entirely useful and appropriate level for advanced public school physics.

    I hope this helps others who are considering these exams.

    Bob T.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think CSET also mentions at least one of Hewitt's Conceptual Physics texts, doesn't it?
     
  20. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 17, 2008

    Congratulations!

    Wow! I guess Feynman's book is probably not going to be of much use to most CSET candidates. For those considering getting the books listed in the General Examination Information, note that they use weasle works like "...may help..." and "...not expected to read all...". These lists seem to have been compiled by academics who looked at their book shelves and decided because some of the books contained something relevant to the subject they should be included. In almost all cases, I have found that there are far more relevant books available (for me they were generally Schaum's). The one exception I can think of was CSET Math. In addition to Schaum's, I used many of the books on the list, mostly for only a few chapters, with the exception of Thomas and Boyer which I used extensively. Thomas is the go to man for Calculus (I used my 1970s edition). And Boyer has one of the few useful texts on the history of math.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The longer the resource list for a CSET exam, the likelier it is that the compiler of the list is throwing a bunch of suggestions out there to give a sense of what might work. It would be surprising if every resource on any list ever worked for every test taker (so far, for example, I haven't found One Universal Resource for CSET multiple subjects, and it's not for lack of looking).
     
  22. robotent

    robotent New Member

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    Are three subtests in one day possible?

    Hello,

    I'm taking the following tests this Saturday, and I'm feeling a little nervous about them:

    118 SCIENCE SUBTEST I: 58 multiple choice, 2 written response
    119 SCIENCE SUBTEST II: 58 multiple choice, 2 written response
    123 PHYSICS SUBTEST III: 50 multiple choice, 3 written response

    Time break down:
    Total number of minutes during exam: 5 hours = 300 minutes.
    Let's say on average I spend about 15 minutes per CR question. That leaves about 1 minute, 10 seconds per MC question, with no time to go back over my answers!

    I'm bummed because it is too late to reschedule one of the subtests for the next test date, so I'm stuck with the $210 hole in my pocket. I'm wondering if I should just go for it and try to pass all three, or intentionally not do one of the tests so I have more time on the other two, then register for the final test in March.

    I've been reviewing casually, and I've done all the practice tests offered on the CSET website. I've got a B.A. in physics from UC Berkeley, so I think I'm trying not to stress too much about reviewing physics. Plus recently I took the GRE general test and the CBEST, so I'm pretty of acclimated to standardized testing. Maybe I'll be o.k., but if anyone has any input, or words of encouragement I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks!
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 7, 2009

    Each CSET exam is designed so that a well-prepared test taker should be able to pass all the subtests (in most cases, three) in one go. That BA in physics from Cal should stand you in good stead for your physics Subtest III and for a good portion of the general science subtests I and II; if you're also decently versed in biology, I think you're in pretty good shape.

    Do bear in mind that a passing score per subtest is 220 on a scale from 100 to 300: you've been in classes in which a score like that on a scale like that would have been an F, no?
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One more thing: constructed responses are not essays. Get to the point and strew technical terms hither and yon, but don't even think about doing the five-paragraph essay format.
     
  25. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Tell us how it went. I passed Subtests I and II. I am taking Chemistry III in April.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That would be in March or in May, most likely: April is a CBEST month.
     
  27. biobob56

    biobob56 New Member

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    Physics III or IV

    I'm assuming that I have to take both physics test but I've read where you only take III if you're taking I and II for general science. I currently have a life science credential (I teach biology) and a supplementary in physical science (teach only 9th grade level). I would like to add Physics to my credential. I've read here to avoid IV but can I? Would a general science be the way to go? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One takes subtest IV if one's goal is to teach physics and only physics. Yours isn't, from the sound of things: you should need just subtest III. I'm guessing, though, that your life science credential predates the CSET program, so it might be smart to put your questions to someone who works in credentialing - perhaps at your county office of education - to see what's required in your case.
     
  29. biobob56

    biobob56 New Member

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    You're right. My credential is a life time credential going back to 1982. Your advice sounds good. Thank you for the reply.
     
  30. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Apr 4, 2009

    There is no reason to avoid subtest 4. The reason that most are advised to do subtests 1 and 2 instead is because it gives them more options. Doing so allows them to teach general and integrated science as well as physics. It appears that you can already teach some of that with your existing credential. If all you want to do is add physics, then subtests 3 and 4 are the way to go. Subtest 4 is just physics questions culled from subtests 1 and 2 in domains not covered in subtest 3. I don't think you have the option of taking just subtest 3.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It depends, I suppose, on whether he's deemed to have satisfied the general science requirement already - and that's a question for a credential analyst (which, fortunately for my blood pressure, I am not).
     
  32. biobob56

    biobob56 New Member

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    Pretty confusing. I can and already do teach the following classes: biology, anatomy/phys., life science (using my Ryan Single Subject Life Sci cred.), earth science (using my physical sci supplementary cred.) Prior to NCLB I even taught Physics for one year. My degree is in biology. So really just adding Physics is the way to go as I would also continue to teach those other preps.

    I'm will bounce it off both the district analyst as well as the County analyst. Thank you both for your replies.
     
  33. GoGators

    GoGators Rookie

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    Take Physics CSET... yes or no???

    Hi All,

    I'm a career changer trying to get certified to teach math. I have a masters in engineering, passed all 3 CSET math tests and I'm intern eligible. I was thinking of taking the Physics CSET 3 and 4 (to just teach Physics, not general science). My preference is math, but I'm considering Physics also thinking it might make me more marketable since teaching jobs seem to be pretty scarce right now.

    Does that plan make any sense? Seems like there aren't that many Physics teaching jobs on EdJoin. Does anyone think passing the Physics CSET exams might help me to get hired, or should I just stick with the math?

    Also, I did see posts that recommended Shaum's Physics. Was that the "Schaum's Outline of College Physics"?

    Thanks...


    -Mike
     
  34. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Yes it was the Schaum guide to college physics. Give the Physics CSET a try. It cannot hurt.
     
  35. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    If you go to Dr. Norm Herr's website you will find some links for the Physics CSET. Just Google Dr. Norm Herr.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Adding science with a physics specialization to the math will probably serve you a bit better, job-wise, than adding physics alone.
     
  37. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Physics CSET

    Hello;
    I have passed the Science subtest I, II.

    1) What subject in science and what Grades am I allowed to teach? I live in California.

    2) If I I want to teach Physics in high school, I know I have to take the subtest III. Do I need to also take subtest III also, in order to teach Physics in high school? Sometimes back I was told that subtest III and IV are taken by people who only want to teach high school and never middle school. They do not take subtests I, and II. Instead they take III and IV.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  38. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Physics CSET

    Correction to my above post
    Hello;
    I have passed the Science subtest I, II.

    1) What subject in science and what Grades am I allowed to teach? I live in California.

    2) If I want to teach Physics in high school, I know I have to take the subtest III. Do I need to also take subtest IV also, in order to teach Physics in high school? Sometimes back I was told that subtest III and IV are taken by people who only want to teach high school and never middle school. They do not take subtests I, and II. Instead they take III and IV.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Passing Subtests I and II gives you the Foundational-level Science credential, which entitles you to teach general science classes for students taking the equivalent of middle-school science. (Note that there's not much to prevent a high school senior taking a general science class - though there's also not much to recommend it.)

    Taking Subtests III and IV in physics gives you the Science (Specialized) credential in physics, which entitles you to teach nothing but physics.

    If you were now to pass Subtest III in physics, you'd get the Science credential, which entitles you to teach physics in high school and to teach general science in middle school or high school. I think this credential will give you the most options for being hired. In any case, you've already passed the material that would have been on Subtest IV.

    Does this help?
     
  40. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Physics CSET

    Yes, your post helped understand that I only need to take subtest III. Thanks.

    It appears that there are not many jobs for Physics teacher in high school. At least, I don't see that many coming up on Edjoin.org in California. Is the demand for Physics lower among high school student? Do they find it difficult?
    Thank again.
     
  41. bdd

    bdd Rookie

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    Are the Science and/or Physics CSETs less time consuming than the math subtests? It took me 3-4 hours on each of the math subtests, and I'm looking into getting authorized to teach Physics as well. I will probably do the Science I & 2 + Physics CSETS, and I want to gage how many I should take on one test date.
     

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