CSET Science Subject Test

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

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There are sample questions on the CSET Web site, http://www.cset.nesinc.com: go to Test Guides, then scroll down to and click on Science. The screen that comes up displays links for pdf documents, including the overall Content Specifications and a pair of documents for each subtest; the "test items" document contains the sample questions and answers.
     
  2. ddmansprty

    ddmansprty Rookie

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    Hi Everyone,

    This site is priceless as far as advice for test preparation goes.

    One thing that I wanted to mention is that the test questions are more about understanding the concepts than about memorizing terms. I have taken 3 different subsets and can not recall any questions simply asking for terms. If you are spending time memorizing terms, you may find it more useful to concentrate your efforts learning processes and concepts. Hope this is useful.
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    This is true of CSETs in general, from Multiple Subjects on up: it's not just the terms you know, it's whether you can apply them in the course of solving a problem.

    Bear in mind the scoring rubrics - purpose, knowledge, support, and (for Single Subject exams) depth. Purpose generally is satisfied by identifying the big concept that the problem exemplifies. Knowledge generally is satisfied by naming the components. Support generally is satisfied by showing how your answer makes sense in terms of its logic and in terms of accepted principles and authorities in the field. Depth generally is satisfied by explanations of purpose, knowledge, and support that show greater sophistication in the field.
     
  4. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Where on the CSET web site does it give a list of books to study from?
     
  5. Chiquiti

    Chiquiti Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2006

    Here is a direct link to the CSET Science book list page:

    http://www.cset.nesinc.com/PDFs/CS_science_geninfo.pdf

    If that does not work, go to the main CSET page (www.cset.nesinc.com) - go to test guides (bottom of left column)- under the section "Specific information about each examination of the CSET", click on the "science" link. Then under "General Examination Information" click the "Science General Examination Information" link to open up the PDF guide. The book list appears on pages 3-5.

    Chiquita
     
  6. BASUDHA MUKHERJ

    BASUDHA MUKHERJ Rookie

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    Very specific and helpful. I appreciate that. It would be really beneficial for me as well, Chiquiti.

    Thank you again.--Basudha
     
  7. Chiquiti

    Chiquiti Rookie

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    You're welcome!!
     
  8. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    oh! I missed that one. Thanks, TeacherGroupie.

    I appreciate your advice ddmansprty. I will keep that in mind. IN fact, I will begin studying for subtest 1 and 2 this Sept in preparation of the November exam date. I'll surely ask any help I can get from this forum.
     
  9. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2006

    Wow, I didn't even notice that. Since I am getting my masters in science education, I think I'll hold off on studying for the science CSET and start studying for the math CSET. I just bought the first two books of the CSET math list. Thanks for the info Chiquiti.
     
  10. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I want to also mention that the Science Framework for California Public Schools is also a great supplement in studying for the CSET Science. It gives all the standards that you will need to teach for whatever grade you are working with. It's not as comprehensive as as a college-level text so use it in conjunction with appropriate texts. The CSET Science test outlines are based off of these standards. You can download the Science Framework here...
    http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fd/sci-frame-dwnld.asp
    I didn't purchase the Lab Safety book by CDE because it was out of print, but I didn't really need it anyway. There are very few questions regarding safety on these exams, at least that's what I noticed, and the ones I did come across were very common sense. I think you can download it from the CDE site... http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Among Barnes & Noble's nifty SparkCharts is Chemistry Lab Basics, ISBN 1411400569, which covers lab safety.
     
  12. Chiquiti

    Chiquiti Rookie

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    You're welcome, Terrence! You're going for both the science and math credentials - so which subject would you like to teach?
     
  13. tazspazz

    tazspazz Rookie

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    Is this Enough

    I just purchased the Campbell/Reece book and the Hewitt book from Bigwords.com for about $34 (includes Shipping), will this be enough information to study for the Science Subtest I & II and Bio III? I graduated college in 1995, so I haven't touched this stuff in ages and am a little rusty. Didn't pass the Bio III test the first time. I used that Xam Cset study guide, which didn't help at all. Any other suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 28, 2006

    Have you downloaded the Subject Matter Requirements from the CSET Web site (see above)?
     
  15. tazspazz

    tazspazz Rookie

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    This past weekend I went through the GS Subtest I test Guide and looked up all the information. I was planning on doing the same for GS Subtest 2. I printed it all out and am tryign to make up a study sheet from the materials. Is that what you are referring to? I also downloaded the Science Frameworks.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Even better. (The Subject Matter Requirements documents, which may be called Content Specifications for your test, compile the specs for all of the subtests in a given subject matter domain.)
     
  17. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    Hi! I am starting to prepare for CSET Subtests 1 & 2. As I perused through the outline taken from the CSET website, I have no idea how to study for the PART II : SUBJECT MATTER SKILLS AND ABILITIES APPLICABLE TO THE CONTENT DOMAINS IN SCIENCE. Can somebody help me how to go about this? HOw will this section be tackled in the actual exam? I really don't have any clue. I have Conceptual Physical Science book, and I can't seem to find it there. I appreciate your suggestions.
     
  18. luckytesttaker

    luckytesttaker Rookie

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    Hi CAnewbie,

    I can only talk from personal experience.

    (In the process of preparing for science CSETs) I read through the whole thing and discovered that it (part II) was very much common sense, so I did not even bother preparing for it.

    When I took the tests (118 and 119 plus the 2 subtests for physics, at different times) questions on this part showed up, but they were very much common sense, just as I had expected.

    So I recommend you to read through the whole thing slowly. You may also find out that no preparation is necessary.

    Good luck!
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Think in terms of these being metaskills: things that aren't EXPLICITLY part of the domain as such, but that have to be in one's mental and practical skill set in order for the domain to make much sense. Another way to look at it is that these are less about what you know than about what you can do with what you know - and both of those pieces need to be in place, right?
     
  20. Chiquiti

    Chiquiti Rookie

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    I agree with luckytesttaker and TeacherGroupie - there were several questions in which your prior knowledge of a given topic was assumed - these questions involved taking that knowledge, being able to apply it to various situations, and making inferences/conclusions specific to each situation.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I will add to Chiquiti's comments that this is what education is all about - and, yes, at all levels. And I don't think that can be emphasized too strongly.
     
  22. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    I heard bad things about Xam. You will be fine with the Campbell/Reece Biology for all of the bio you will ever see on any of the CSET Science. I have used it successfully for subtest II and am now using it to study for subtest III bio. Hewitt's book covers plenty of Subtest I and the chem portion of subtest II. Just use the internet to supplement it for the natural/alternative resources section of the subtest I test outline. I used www.answers.com
     
  23. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    Don't spend a lot of time on that section of the outline. Just read over it. I was worried about that and the safety and MSDS's and found there were hardly any questions relating to these. When there were, they were just common sense!
     
  24. HilaryP

    HilaryP Rookie

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    Hello,

    I found out recently that I have now passed all sections of the CSET for Biology, and I just wanted to share my study techniques. First, let me note that I was out of college for 12 years, did not major in biology (I'd taken human biology and botany, plus astronomy and theory of relativity, but I come from a family of scientists and have a strong interest and read a lot about science in general). I used Conceptual Physical science and Campbell biology to study, plus websites found here on this site in another thread (the one about resources for the CSET science that Malcolm or TeacherGroupie started) and of course the content standards.

    I did well on the multiple choice and just so-so on the Constructed responses. I actually thought I was going to have to take 120 all over again after I took it. During the test I was very upset and frustrated; I only had 2 months to study for 119 and 120 and that meant that certain things were skipped and of course, those were the very things that the CR questions were on! But I managed to come up with enough to get through it and pass.

    Anyway, what I did that was the most helpful was 1) download all relevant content standards refered to in the test guide and 2) print out the content domains, cut them up into little slips and paste each one on a piece of paper in a notebook, creating a study guide. I also had a copy of the slips in a box and had my 3-year old pick one at random for me to study and make sure I knew. The only problem with this is that the ones that were boring or seemed like they would take a lot of time I put to the side. Those were the areas previously mentioned that ended up being the CR questions.

    I took 118 in May and took 119 and 120 together in July. I had enough time, but not really enough energy, so if you have time, take them all seperate.

    I studied a lot for 118, even more for 120. I just glanced over 119, focusing on the bio areas that weren't covered in 120. The heat and thermodynamics was easy, as was the chemistry part, though I do recall I was a little overconfident going in and some of the questions were more in depth than I expected.

    One of the things that threw me off on the 120 level test was that even though one of the domains was pretty broad, a full 1/4 of the questions from that domain were on just one of the standards (in my stack of 'save for laters'!), so beware that the questions may not be well distributed throughout the domains. That was probably confusing, but I need to be careful not to give away what was on the test.

    That's my advice. Bye! Good luck! I start my internship this Wednesday!
     
  25. HilaryP

    HilaryP Rookie

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    Apology to Basuda

    I want to apologize for my post to you Basuda. Who am I to judge your readiness to be a teacher or your ability to communicate with students? You are correct, many teachers-to-be do have poor writing skills.

    I personally did not find it difficult to figure out which tests I needed to take or how to study. Because you did, I assumed that meant you would have difficulty with the entire process of getting certified which is long and full of red tape just as potentially confusing as the CSET if not more so. But it was a quick judgement, and it was not fair.

    However, I never really meant to judge your teaching skills. I know you have a master's degree in education as well as a degree in zoology.

    In fact, I admire anyone who is struggling to establish a career in a new country as well as students learning English on top of science and all the other subjects.

    So my apologies. I wish you the best,

    Hilary
     
  26. BASUDHA MUKHERJ

    BASUDHA MUKHERJ Rookie

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    That was a great help for me, tazspazz. I went through the page Bigwords.com, and got many books which I was looking for desperately.

    Thanks--Basudha
     
  27. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    thank you for all your responses =)
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hilary, I don't think I remembered to congratulate you for passing CSET Science! Have you celebrated properly?

    Thank you also for your apology to Basudha. It is the mark of a gentle(wo)man and a scholar to do what it takes to keep both the "learning" and the "community" in "learning community". I think your future students will be in good hands.
     
  29. HilaryP

    HilaryP Rookie

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    Thanks TeacherGroupie. Yes, I did properly celebrate; there were margaritas involved...

    Today was my first day of my internship. Is a great school and I like the principal. But I am completely overwhelmed (though still smiling). And I am teaching 8th grade physical science, so all that bio is for naught!
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    ... until next year, or until someone bails, or until the kids figure out there's a really good new explainer on board, or...
     
  31. Horizon75

    Horizon75 New Member

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    Looking for any suggested resources to study for the CSET single subject science I II
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Rummage around the threads here: there are lots of goodies mentioned in various places.
     
  33. leoinred

    leoinred New Member

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    does anyone know the format of the cset general science test? How many multiple choices and free-response questions? Thanks.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Subtests I and II (the general science subtests) each consist of 58 multiple choice questions and two short answers. Subtest III (in your area of specialization) is 50 multiple choice questions and three short answers.

    I do hope you're not taking CSET tomorrow.
     
  35. BASUDHA MUKHERJ

    BASUDHA MUKHERJ Rookie

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    I borrowed the XAM book and it is not helpful to get the ideas about the CSET questions. (Multiple and short answer type---)
    Can somebody give any link to get some idea about CSET (science) question other than what is on CSET web page related page please? I already went through it. I need some more to see if there is any. The book stores possess only the multiple subjects, no single subject book is there---it is frustrating indeed.
    I am aware of the links posted here in the threads, but would like to be more specific keeping the question type in front of me-- any suggestion please.

    Basudha
     
  36. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    My experience is there is nothing more specific than what you have already found. I think your time would be best spent being sure you have mastered the content listed in the Subtest Descriptions.
     
  37. BASUDHA MUKHERJ

    BASUDHA MUKHERJ Rookie

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    Where would I get the information about PartII- (Subject matter skills and abilities/application to the content domains in science) area please? How would I study this part?

    Thanks---Basudha
     
  38. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    There are 58 questions each for both Subtests 1 and 2. My question is how many items should you answer correctly for each subtest in order to pass it? Is CEST the same with CBEST in the manner that you can only get a pass or fail mark on your results?
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Answering that question, CAnewbie, is an inexact science: first, there are the constructed response questions to factor in; second, built into the algorithm that converts raw points to a scaled score are fudge factors to compensate for the difficulty of writing test questions and tests that are exactly equivalent in difficulty.

    You can get a workable approximation, however, by doing some math: bear in mind that the passing scaled score is 220 on a scale from 100 to 300, then figure out how many raw points must be on the board and work from there.
     
  40. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sep 19, 2006

    If I were to study Part II of the Subtest Description, I would make an outline from it in a word processor. Then I would will in the outline until I had my own study guide from whatever sources I had to use to get the information. It is basically the same process as for Part I, but the sources of information are much more spread out.

    There has been a lot of discussion in other threads about what you have to do to get that magical 220. It is very complex, but basically you have to get somewhere between roughly 60% to 70% of the raw points to pass depending on the test you are taking. I think if you use 67% for the science exams you won't go far wrong. Just take the percent of MC questions you think you got right, and the average score you think you got on the CR questions divided by the maximum possible score, multiply by weights and add. For example, assume you think you got 60% of the MC questions right and got 3 or of a possible 4 on each of the two CR questions on the first subtest. It is weighted 80/20, so ((.8 x .6) + (.2 x 3/4)) = .63 = 63%, probably not a passing score.
     

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