CSET Science Subject Test

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by JDawg, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. LAeddie

    LAeddie Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2008

    Okay, I had majored in marketing, but switched to sociology because I didn't like accounting classes. At my school, Southeastern La. Univ., sociology was over 1/4 electives.

    I kinda' wish I had been a science major, but my math skills were weak and I didn't wanna' deal with the hardcore chemistry courses. In fact, in high school, since I had done so well in biology, I had planned to take advanced bio. However, once I peeked in the science office fridge and saw a bunch of plastic wrapped dead cats, ready for dissection, I opted not to take the course.

    At any rate, preparing for the CSET has taught me lots more science info than I've ever taught in my 7th and 8th grade classes.

     
  2. LAeddie

    LAeddie Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2008

    CSET Science Subtest II

    Well, I passed it. I got my unofficial score yesterday. I was so concerned that I'd have to take it again in November.

    I'm more relieved than happy.


     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 15, 2008

    Congratulations, LAeddie. Relief is a kind of happiness, sometimes.

    Getting the maximum benefit from CSET prep is probably not on your mind... but you still might want to take a little time to reflect on what you've learned in the course of taking CSET Science subtests that will help you teach - and it doesn't have to be science content, either.
     
  4. 22teacher

    22teacher New Member

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    Oct 25, 2008

    ****

    hello people. I am new to this forum. I've been a substitute teacher since late 2001 and never had any ambition to teach until I felt my job threated with layoffs so I began preparing last March and will enroll in a single subject program in January.

    I have been taking the science cset exams in the meantime. The first I took, # 118 in April which I passed. Then I took 119 in July. I was doing okay, but not great on the multiple choice questions when I came to the essay response questions and completely went blank. I didnt know how to answer them. These questions seemed to me something I had not expected.

    [edited for security]

    I wasnt expecting this deep level of understanding and went blank. I had to tell the proctor to disregard the test. She was trying to persuade me not to it but I figured there's no way I could answer the essay questions.

    Instead of trying to retake 119, I skipped over to test 3 which I felt I would do better-#121 and passed it just to get it out of the way.

    My concern is still those essay questions on 119. I've been studying for it the last month but I'm not sure how to prepare for the essay questions.

    Where I can find material that would best prepare me for these types of questions.

    Any advice on how to prepare for the essay questions for test #119? This is my last test that is needed. I will not attempt the second exam again until January at the earliest.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you-22Teacher
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2008
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 26, 2008

    Welcome to A to Z, 22Teacher.

    A point of order: We don't post actual specific test questions on this forum - see the WARNING at the top of the page? Test-making companies can and do take action against discussion boards that allow specific questions and against the people who post them, and I'd hate to see you lose your passing score on 118 that way.

    As to the rest, it's a shame you asked to have your attempt on 119 invalidated. For one thing, nobody cares if you have to take a subtest more than once. For another, each subtest is scored as a whole: it's possible to pass without doing well on each component.

    Perhaps the best advice I can give is this: The test tends to reward people who can reason successfully from what they know to what they don't. Try playing with the concepts - think about what they can explain.
     
  6. 22teacher

    22teacher New Member

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    Oct 26, 2008

    ****

    Thanks. I'll have to take more time to learn the material in depth. THeir questions caught me off guard.

    Thanks for the warning I should have known better. I appreciate the fact that it was quickly removed and won't happen again.

    Thanks
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Oct 26, 2008

    Invalidating your test was indeed a mistake. It is possible to pass it without a single point from the constructed response questions. The general science tests are weighted 80/20 multiple choice/constructed response. You need less than two thirds of the possible raw points to pass. It is entirely possible to do that just on the multiple choice section.

    The key to doing well on the constructed response section is knowing the material. For the second subtest, they come from two areas: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Cell and Organismal Biology. You can find the exact areas that are fair game in the Subtest Description. Write anything relevant to the question asked and you are likely to get at least one of the four points on each question.

    I am suprised you felt OK about Biology subtest 3 but had a problem with the biology constructed response questions on subtest 2. What was different between the two subtests for you that made you feel this way?

    The only useful study guide I found was the material from the Orange County Department of Education. I also used Usbourne's Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia. I did have to use some of the links to get enough detail to prepare for some topics.
     
  8. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Oct 26, 2008

    I am taking subtest 1 and 3 (earth science) this coming weekend and am concerned that I have not studied all the subjects throughly. I have printed out the study guide from the CSET website, made an outline of the subjects, investigated/studied concepts I am weak on, and made flash cards. However, I am still worried. I think the only area I have not studied much is California geology otherwise I have touched on all the subjects listed in the study guide. I plan on just reviewing my outline this week in addition to using my flash cards. Does anyone know what key concepts I should have a grip on for these tests?

    And thanks for the information Malcolm on the breakdown of the scoring in the previous post. The constructed response is one area I am very freaked out about!
     
  9. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Oct 26, 2008

    Be aware that the weighting for subtest 3 is 70/30 MC/CR. So it is a little more important to get some points on the CR portion. The key strategy is to never leave an answer blank. Write anything relevant to the question and try to get at least one of the four available points.

    The only useful resource I found for California was the book by Harden listed in the NES documentation. The good thing is that if you are up on geology and geological processes in general, you should do alright. You might get a question about the California geological zones though.

    Good luck!
     
  10. 22teacher

    22teacher New Member

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    Oct 26, 2008

    Thanks for the advice Malcom. I'll certainly look into that. Right now I am using biology for dummies. it is an excellent resource. I also use standard deviants Biology tape

    The proctor gave me the impression that I was making a big mistake but I was really down on myself for not knowing these questions. I felt very much unprepared but should know the material more in depth next time.

    I dont know when next time is but I'll try for January. If I dont feel comfortable by january I'll take a workshp thru the University and take the next one.

    To answer your question, I took the Chemistry exam. I thought subtest 3 Chemistry was 121. The reason i did this is because I know the material and felt I could pass it and would feel as if I was getting something done. and in addition I could learn the material for 119 a little more slowly and put things more in my favor. I find that test very challenging
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2008

    The next CSET date is January 10.
     
  12. dnez

    dnez New Member

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    Oct 27, 2008

    CSET this weekend

    I'm taking the Geoscience and Physics subtests. I already passed the first two.

    excited!!
     
  13. LAeddie

    LAeddie Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2008

    Yeah, I'm in a very similar situation. I've been a substitute teacher with LAUSD since '96. Much of the time, I've been in long term assignments and, since '01, most of that being middle school science.

    Due to budget problems, I think that it's time to start seeing about getting my credential. Since I had passed General Science 118 and 119, I had hope to be in a pre-intern position now. Sadly enough, LAUSD has implemented a hiring freeze for a number of positions.

    I was also hoping that the Foundations in General Science credential would be near implementation now, but I understand that it still has to be approved as part of the ed code.


     
  14. LAeddie

    LAeddie Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2008

    Yeah, I'm waiting to see when this credential will be implemented. With the science teacher shortage, that I keep hearing about, I can't see why they'd drag their feet on this matter

    I look forward to being part of LAUSD's District Intern program. As of now, they won't recognize Foundations in General Science until Sacramento fully does something.

    In the meantime, I might be able to get into a pre-intern position.


     
  15. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Nov 30, 2008

    The Ed Code does not need to be changed. CDE just needs to make the changes to Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. The changes do have to be reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law. But all that is required after that is for them to be filed with the Secretary of State. Of course, it really hasn't been very long in bureaucratic time yet.
     
  16. CouchOffender

    CouchOffender New Member

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    Dec 3, 2008

    I got bit in the bum by this.

    It works like a Language Arts CORE class. I did this for the first year of Middle School. You are allowed to teach both Math and Science as long as you teach both to the same kids. For some weird reason, this falls under the Multiple Subject Cred. because the state thinks you are teaching in a self contained classroom. So I taught six classes, but only has three groups of students. The next year I moved to just teaching Science and had to take the Science CSET to become compliant. Kind of dumb, but that is how it works.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2008

    Districts do also interpret the rules differently - and then some of THEM get bitten in the bum; it won't surprise me to find that the core-class thing gets rethought.
     
  18. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    What are the domains for the CSET Science II constructed response sections? I thought I saw them mentioned here before, but I don't have time to search all 38 pages of this thread.

    They are the same ones tested each time, right? The sample test has one question about DNA (Genetics & Evolution) and one about human body systems (Cell & Organismal Bio). Are these the same on the test?

    This is the third time I'm taking them, so you'd think I'd remember, but I don't.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 6, 2009

    Should be, yes. The definitive source on this is the CSET Science Test Guide general information document, which is the one doc on a given CSET's Test Guides page that nearly every test taker doesn't get around to reading. (Please don't bristle: that's not a slur on you, that's a general observation about behavior.)

    Oh, and it's good to hear from you again, Po.
     
  20. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jan 6, 2009

    Thanks!

    And yeah, I just sign up, study, show up, take the test, and go home to take a nap. I don't do much superfluous reading unless it's Harry Potter. ;)

    Luckily I'm still on Winter Break, so I can take this whole week to study for the test on saturday. Unfortunately the internet is really interesting and distracts me. (Bad internet!) I'm also using the internet to study (Wikipedia is my friend - who I mostly trust). Of course knowing my scrapbook table is in shambles and my kitties laying in the sun just begging to have their picture taken doesn't help.

    But I've printed out each of the domains and copied & pasted the relevent CA standards. This is a much better start than the last time I took the test and only studied the night before. :blush:
     
  21. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jan 6, 2009

    Ok, I have another question. For gen sci II ecology domain part d where it asks about photosynthesis and respiration in ecosystem, do they mean breathing (what I'm doing as I type) or cellular respiration?
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Which one makes more sense in connection with photosynthesis?
     
  23. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jan 9, 2009

    Yeah, that's what I thought. However, my husband, the bio major, is sure they're talking about breathing. Dork.

    Yeah, I know it's kinda last minute, but are there any good links for the following from Heat Transfer & Thermodynamics:

    B. Discuss how transfer of energy as heat is related to changes in temperature
    C. Diagram the direction of heat flow in a system
    E. Explain how chemical energy in fuel is transformed into heat
    F. Explain experiment to induce physical change such as freezing or melting

    I think my brain is melting. I wish I had one more day to study.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2009

    Start with this: http://www.answers.com/topic/heat. Work your way past the definitions and you'll find several highly insightful entries.

    Breathe, dear. Or respire, if you prefer.

    Recall that temperature is really nothing but a local measurement of the motion of atoms: it's like the difference between kids sitting more or less still on a bus on the way to the snow vs. kids let off the bus and exploding in all directions.

    As to the direction of heat flow, think Second Law, which the British comedy/music team Flanders & Swann once paraphrased in a couplet as

    You can't move heat from the cooler to the hotter
    You can try it if you like, but you're far better not to
     
  25. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jan 11, 2009

    So, this was try #3 for me and Gen Sci II. I was amazed at how many questions I remember from the first time I took the test. It makes me wonder how often the questions are cycled. There were very few new questions, as far as I can remember.

    The CR questions totally kicked my bottom. :( I did feel better about the multiple choice questions this time. Several I had issues with last time were easier this. A couple were easier because I had gone over with my husband the day before!
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 11, 2009

    Good questions are hard to write, and do bear in mind how many different CSET single subject areas there are.

    Sounds fairly promising, Po.
     
  27. suggestible

    suggestible Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2009

    Hi everyone! I am wondering what would be a good sample test to take? I tend to learn better once I have a framework from which to practice. With CBEST I relied almost entirely on the types of questions asked. But with CSET, I can find only one book with sample tests and the Amazon reviews are terrible!

    So far, I've ignored the sample test questions on the CTC web site because if that's all I have to work from, I don't want to spoil it!

    Any help out there? :)
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In your case, suggestible, try AP prep - the formats of the questions may be different, but they'll give you a good workouit as regards practicing the concepts.

    Focusing too much on questions that duplicate the test format is often a waste of time anyway.
     
  29. suggestible

    suggestible Rookie

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    Thanks -- that was my first instinct, especially with the 120 Bio test, but I wasn't sure it would be too much detail or not enough. I guess I am more interested in getting an idea of the depth of the questions rather than the breadth (which I got on the CSET web site's list of standards).

    For the general science 118/119, is there a good equivalent AP test?
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To the best of my knowledge, no - general science isn't an AP area. But if you roam the Web a bit, chances are pretty good that you can find one or more sets of college-level general science released questions (sorry I don't have any links handy).
     
  31. LAeddie

    LAeddie Rookie

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    Whew! I'm so glad to passed subtest 119 last October. I had knocked off 118 awhile back. Too bad there aren't more CSET science prep books around.

    Now, when some of this budget deficit stuff subsides, I can see about getting that Foundational Level General Science credential.


     
  32. nagain

    nagain New Member

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    I recently found out that I'm in a do-or-die situation, where I need to take and pass the entire I/II/III subtest series on the next test date in order to get into a program.

    I know my weakness will probably be the written portion, so I was super-relieved to discover that the CSET website had information on the breakdown of subtests I and II in their "Science General Examination Information" link, particularly since it had a chart that listed which topics had constructed response questions. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a similar breakdown for the various subtest III exams.

    With subtest III, are the exams similarly consistent with which broad topics are covered by the constructed-response questions? I know that the practice biology subtest III has constructed-response questions on Evolution, Physiology & Cell Biology, and Genetics, and the practice physics subtest III has constructed response questions on Motion & Forces, Conservation of Energy & Momentum, and Electromagnetism. So does it generally hold true that the blanket topics that have a constructed response question on the official CSET practice exams the same ones that will show up on the actual tests?

    Oh, and FYI to other test takers: there's constructed response questions on Forces & Motion and Dynamic Processes of the Earth on subtest I, while subtest II has constructed response questions on Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Cell & Organismal Biology.

    By the way, thank you to everyone who recommended the Pratt and Usborne books! Yikes. Just flipping through them gave me an idea on what I really needed to study. *fingers crossed*
     
  33. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    There is no information as to the domains that may show up on the CR section of subtest 3 because all domains are fair game.

    The questions on the practice test are not indicative of the content of the real test. They are just examples of the types of questions you may see. The content is described in the Subtest Description and the referenced California Content Standards.

    Be aware that there may be life after death in your "do or die" situation. Most things in life are negotiable. Some candidates manage to get into a program missing one or more of the CSET subtests. The usual requirement is that they pass them before student teaching,
     
  34. ddmansprty

    ddmansprty Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I'll second that. I was able to start my credential program without passing all of the science CSET's. Now, if I could only find an internship...
     
  35. nagain

    nagain New Member

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    La sigh. That was what I was afraid of. Time to go back to my mammoth-sized index card collection.

    Unfortunately, the program's competitive enough that *not* passing the CSET tests by the May test date definitely hurts your chances of getting in. But I guess you could still get on the callback list, if you pass the tests later, and they like you and someone drops out. Ah well, if it doesn't work, I'm using the time off to get a tutoring or substitute position so I can gain more experience anyway.

    Good luck with finding the internship, ddmansprty! If you're interested in working in urban areas, the east Bay Area (Richmond, Oakland, etc.) and Los Angeles usually have a need for capable science teachers mid-year, so just stay on the look out.
     
  36. math/sci6

    math/sci6 Rookie

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    Has anyone requested a review/re-scoring of their test results? I missed passing CSET 119 by ONE point and was curious if anyone has tried this... or if, in your opinion, it is even worth it! (It does cost $50, which is refunded IF they find an error in scoring.)

    I am scheduled to re-take the test in September.

    THANK YOU! :)
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    It hasn't worked for anyone that I know of, I'll put it that way.
     
  38. math/sci6

    math/sci6 Rookie

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    Thank you! Back to the grind it is! ;)
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You got the unofficial results yesterday, yes? Then the official score report should arrive by week's end or thereabouts. When it arrives, please don't throw it away in disgust. Instead, have a look at side 2 (which doesn't go to universities, districts, etc.) On it you'll find a chart of Performance Indicators that should shed some light on what happened. You'll see multiple choice indicators by domain, on a scale from + to ++++; if you got +++ or less in any domain, it would make sense to work on that domain. The performance indicators for constructed response are one or more of the letters p, k, or s (and d for extended answers), or checkmark if you satisfied the minimum requirements for Purpose, Knowledge, and Support (and Depth and breadth).
     
  40. math/sci6

    math/sci6 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Yes, I did receive the unofficial results yesterday and am looking forward to receiving the official results to see how I did in each section. Thank you so much for your help and guidance!!!!
     

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