CSET Science Subject Test

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

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2008

    This is a quote from a while ago. It had to do with someone wondering if it was a good idea to take the earth science test (in section 3) rather than the bio test, which they were originally planning on taking.

    You replied that they could add earth science later. I was wondering the same thing. I also very much enjoy earth science and bio. So, could I take both tests and receive my credential in both areas?

    Thanks! :cool:
     
  2. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I apologize. I didn't read all of the posts in this thread. According to this post, it sounds like I could take more than one subtest.
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Strictly speaking, I think this would be adding authorizations, but yes. Malcolm's done math and at least two sciences and, I think, either business or industrial & technology education (or possibly both - one loses count after a while).
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Yes, you can take more than one Subtest 3. That is how you get additional science subject matter authorizations once you have the initial science authorization. My first science was physics. It just took one subtest each to add geoscience and biology. If you have a specialized science authorization, you have to pass Subtest 3 and Subtest 4 for the additional authorization.

    Those of you who are only interested in teaching middle school science may be interested in this. The CTC is considering adding a general science authorization that would require just the first two CSET Science subtests. It is not here yet, but might be in the near future.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One has heard the rumors for years...
     
  6. gqsam58

    gqsam58 New Member

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    May 16, 2008

    This might be a stupid question, but....

    Is Cset Subtest 120 (biology) harder than AP Biology Exam?
    I just took old AP biology exam as a pratice and didn't do so well.. =(
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 16, 2008

    So the AP exam tells you what you need to study up on, fast. Use Answers.com, which (where it has them) will give you answers and not just lists of Web sites.
     
  8. gponto18

    gponto18 Rookie

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    May 16, 2008

    Late Reply

    I am sorry for the very late reply;

    As to my study methods, I simply pulled the Content Standards for California School Teachers and referenced it against the CSET Test Guide (General Science I) to create a list of topics like so:

    ...

    5a. Solar System

    6b. Water Cycle

    ...

    And so on. Then I used many of the websites mentioned on this forum to look up and write a solid paragraph on each topic not simply regurgitating the material, but applying and even questioning it. When you write this way, it forces you to understand the concept, and once you have the concept, you have nothing to memorize. :up:
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2008

    Okay, I need to ask you, or anyone this.... You mentioned that I could take more than one subtest 3. But then you mentioned that I would also have to take the subtest 4. But, I thought subtest 4 only allowed the person to teach this area not gerneral science (something that I wouldn't mind teaching). "A Science (Specialized) credential authorization permits the holder to teach in the specific science area listed on the Single Subject Teaching Credential and does not authorize teaching general or integrated science" So, some clarification would be wonderful!!!! I want to be able to teach general science, bio, and earth/space. And THAT is my goal. :D
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 16, 2008

    Then you need to pass Subtests I and II, ONCE, and then you need to pass Subtest III in biology and earth/space science. And there's nothing to prevent you that I can recall from taking the bio and earth subtests on the same day (though that is biting off rather a lot).
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2008

    Perfect. That's what I needed to know. I just didn't want to take both earth and bio and have one of them be a waste.

    Okay, I feel like I'm being a pain-in-the-you-know-what, I have a quick question, then I'll slink away and stop being annoying. You can add an authorization onto any type of credential, correct?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 17, 2008

    I think so. But don't quote me; much better to check in with a credentialing authority.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2008

    Okay.... I was just wondering because in that leaflet you showed me, it says "I am the holder of a valid Clear, Professional Clear, or Life Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a
    Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential...." so, to me that sounds like I can since I have a valid clear MS credential. BUT, on this other page, about adding authorizations, it says, "Adding Authorizations to Existing Credentials-
    Holders of valid Ryan and Pre-Ryan basic teaching credentials may obtain an additional multiple or single subject instruction authorization without completing a full professional preparation program for that credential. Single subject authorizations are listed below:..."
    So, I just wanted to see what you guys think. I am in the process of emailing them and I'll call if I don't hear from them soon, but I just wanted to see if anyone can answer this.... I am kind of freaking out right now.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 20, 2008

    Talk to the people at your local CSU credential program.
     
  15. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2008

    Which subset III to take

    Hello Friends
    I have passed general science subtests I & II. Now I need to take subtest III in order to teach middle grade. I am confused about which subject should should I take the test in. Bio., chem., physics or Earth Science? Do I have a choice? or do I have to take subtest III in all these subjects? The last possibility is scary? Please help.
    Thank you all in advance.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 20, 2008

    You definitely have a choice, shikshak, rather than having to take all four.

    You could start with the one in which you're strongest - let's say it's... Earth Science (I'm joking with you a bit here). Then, once you've done your credential coursework and paperwork and all, you'd be certified to teach Earth Science at the high school level plus general science classes up to, I think, 10th grade level. Later, if you wanted to be able to teach - let's say - Biology at the high school level, you could take and pass just the Biology Subtest III and put in the paperwork for a Biology authorization.

    Does that sound better?
     
  17. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 20, 2008

    If you want to teach science at the middle school level, any subtest 3 will do. It will let you teach general, introductory physical and introductory life science, which is all you need. So, I would suggest taking the subtest that is easiest for you.

    FWIW the CTC has been considering adding a Foundational-Level Science authorization that would require only the first two subtests and still allow you to teach both physical and life science at the middle school level. Don't know if or when it will actually happen. The subject has come before the commission three times since December. Feedback from stakehlolders has been very positive. The last time, staff presented proposed changes to Title 5 to implement the authorization.
     
  18. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2008

    Thanks Teachergroupie and Malcolm for responding to my question. However, I am now a bit confused, Teachergroupie mentioned that with subtest I, II AND III I could teach upto 10th grade. I thought I needed to pass subtest IV to teach beyond 8th grade. Are there not a total of 4 subtest for Science? I may have got it wrong but I thought that with subtest I, II and III I would get a General science credential and teach upto 8 th grade, atleast thats the way in California. Did I get it wrong?
    Shikshak
     
  19. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jun 20, 2008

    I did not pass General Science II. :( I scored really poorly on Structure and Property of Matter and Heat Transfer & Thermodynamics. Which irritates me. I thought I understood heat transfer and mostly understood thermodynamics. I did really well on the rest of the test, though.

    I'm signed up for part II again and biology for July. I was hoping to take bio and earth science in July. Oh well!
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I'm sorry! :( I was just reviewing heat transfer and thought I had that down too! Now I'm getting worried. Good luck taking it again. What books are you using to review? I just bought that internet based usborne encyclopedia one that TG recommended.
     
  21. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2008

    Shikshak,

    There is no need to take all four science subtests. You either take 1, 2 and 3, or take 3 and 4.

    Subtests 1,2 and 3 will qualify you for a full science credential in whatever subject subtest 3 is on. Your credential will authorize you to teach general science, introductory physical and life science, and whatever subject subtest 3 was on in any departmentalized classroom. To add another subject, you just have to take the appropriate subtest 3.

    Subtests 3 and 4 will qualify you for a specialized science credential in whatever subject the subtest are on. Your credential will authorize you to teach only that subject. You will not be authorized to teach general or introductory science. To add another subject, you have to take the appropriate subtest 3 and 4.

    Both routes allow you to teach K12 and classes organized for adults in a departmentalized classroom. The difference is only what subject matter you are allowed to teach.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 21, 2008

    Let me add to what Malcolm has said. I suspect that the Science (Specialized) credential (the one for which one passes Subtests III and IV) might be intended for, say, someone who's retiring from the military or from industry, having worked in a specific area of science, and wants to teach that area and only that area at a fairly high level - say, AP level.

    What the general Science credential (the one for which one passes Subtests I and II and one's choice of Subtest III) is for is teaching general science plus introductory physical and life science plus, at a level of sophistication up to AP level, one of the four science areas. It seems plausible that the holder of the general Science credential would be likelier to be hired than the holder of the Science (Specialized) in most schools, simply because most schools aren't looking for someone to work exclusively in just one of the science areas.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That's not quite what I said, Shikshak, or at any rate it's not what I meant. What I said was that Subtests I through III get you teaching general science and intro science up through (I think) grade 10 AND whatever the Subtest III specialty area is up through grade 12. In other words, as Malcolm has already said, choose whichever Subtest III suits you - biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics) - and you'll be entirely covered for middle school plus being able to teach upper-level high school classes in that specialty area.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Peachy, have you been using the Web links from the Usborne Internet-linked Science Encyclopedia, in addition to the book itself? And just what are you seeing on side 2 of your score report? Could be your problem is less understanding than it is execution.
     
  25. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I haven't taken the test yet, that was exclamationpoint. I typed that post late last night.... I didn't mean the usborne book, I meant I bought the one that was made in England (can't remember the name). I already own the usborne one, but not the internet based one.


    exclamationpoint, what are you seeing on side 2 of your score report?
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    My bad. But you mean the Dictionary of Science, then? I don't recall how it explains heat transfer, but most of the explanations are pretty good. They're both Usborne books, by the way.

    Try The Cartoon Guide to Physics by Larry Gonick.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You may want to browse the other Usborne, too; it tends to be available in the kids' section of big bookstores. Malcolm, the CSET single subject hero, likes it for the single subject sciences but says one HAS to follow up on the Web links.
     
  28. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Hmmm... I was just reading someone's review on the book on Amazan, and according to this one reviewer, the book left out thermodynamics.
     
  29. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Uhm.... Peachy I haven't been using any books to study! For part I I used the links that are mentioned in this thread somewhere. I have the page saved as a favorite (which is how I get to A to Z from home). I think I also used that list of links to study for part II. I got some of the Sparks! stuff (notes and cards) for part I, but didn't get anything extra for part II. Honestly, I'm mostly going off my general knowledge of science!

    As to what I saw on the back of my letter... I got ++ or +++ for everything but Matter and Thermodynamics, those both got +. I got a check mark for essay #1 and a p for essay #2.

    So TeacherGroupie if I missed by 7 passing by points, how many questions do I need to improve by?
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That's a more complicated question than you might think, Exclaimation Po.

    In each CSET exam, each subtest is scored as a whole - you need 220 scaled points, but it matters not how you get them. If you brought your +++ and ++ up to ++++ and +++ without doing a thing to your +, you could very well still pass. And the constructed-response points are very much part of that mix - so there are multiple ways to get where you want to go.

    That p on your second constructed response (NOT "essay", please) suggests either that you didn't fully get the point of the question or that you didn't fully convince the scorers that you did. Dr. TeacherGroupie prescribes a regimen of studying up on the terminology and on the categories into which the terms fall - to take an example from another field, if a history question asks about events in France in the very late 18th century, the test taker identify the time frame as belonging to the French Revolution and its sequelae. Similarly, you need to now the terminology in heat transfer and thermodynamics well enough to be able to point to a phenomenon in the world and identify which of the various instantiations of thermodynamics it is.

    Try thinking about these in terms of daily life. What in your life this morning is part of thermodynamics, and how? Tell me a story, please...
     
  31. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jun 21, 2008

    :D
     
  32. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2008

    Thanks for clarifying I now understand
    Shikshak
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You're welcome, Shikshak; it's my pleasure to help.
     
  34. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this site and will be taking subtest I in Sept. I purchased all the materials from the California Department of Education in Costa Mesa. For subtest I on Physics, is there lots of calculations and formulas to remember or should I try to remember concepts and the general ideas? I put in 50 hours so far in one week and still feel scared. Am I on the right track? Thank you all for your replies in advance.
     
  35. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    I think you mean the Orange County Department of Education. Their material is as good as anything available on the market. There is a lot of boiler plate, but their subject matter outlines are pretty much on target.

    You will have to do some calculations, for the most part fairly trivial. You will need to know the appropriate formulas for the domains tested.

    What is your background?
     
  36. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    My background is in Business with an emphasis in Management. I am studying the physics classroom material along with the orange county department of education material. Both are really the same, but the physics classroom provides more examples. Would I need to know concepts as well, or should I focus more on calculations? Thank You for your quick response.
     
  37. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    You will need to know the concepts as well as do the calculations. The good news is that the depth of your knowledge need go no deeper than high school physics, and only the domains covered by the subtest you are taking.

    If you haven't already done so, you might want to take a look at the Subtest Description and the referenced California Content Standards. The former is on NES's CSET website, and it might be in the OCDE materials someplace. The latter can be downloaded from the California Department of Education. If the content isn't in, or include by referenced in, the Subtest Description, it won't be on the test. If it is, it is fair game.

    FWIW there seem to be quite a few folks with a business background going into teaching at the secondary level. My background is business and computers.
     
  38. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Thank you Malcolm. At first, the calculations on the sample CSET bothered me, but as I read through the material, they were really not that bad. Is the sample CSET subtest I a good indicator of what I can expect on the actual CSET exam? I'm pretty sure that some of the questions will be on a scale of easy to difficult.
     
  39. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    The practice test is indicative of the types of questions you will encounter on the real thing. It is not indicative of the range of content that you will encounter, nor the depth. What is hard or easy is very subjective. But figure that any calculations required for multiple choice questions won't be very complicated.

    Theoretically, anyone who is really up on the content can complete all three subtests in one five hour sitting. With a total of 158 MC questions and 7 CR questions spread across 3 subtests, any calculations in CR questions by necessity will be fairly simple.

    IMHO the first two science subtests are among the easiest of all the CSET subtests. IIRC they test seven subject areas, all at a very shallow level. Most of what is tested comes from elementary and middle school content standards with just enough high school science thrown in to cover introductory high course content. These same two subtests are being considered for a propsed General Science credential authorization, similar to the Foundational-level Math authorization, that allows the subject to be taught at the middle school level.

    If you want an indication of where to spend your time preparing for the physics portion of subtest 1, the single physics constructed response question comes from the Forces and Motion domain, as do half of all the physics multiple choice questions. Waves, and Electricity and Magnetism, each have about half as many multiple choice questions, and no constructed respone question.

    How do you feel about the non-physics domains?
     
  40. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I haven't started studying for them yet. I'm concentrating on Physics first, then will go into Earth Science. After taking the first subtest in Sept., I will start studying for subtest II. I did well in college intro to biology. Last time I took Chemistry is in high school, which is over 10 years ago. Don't remember it, but I did ok back then. Will have to really prepare for Chemistry and refresh on Biology.
     

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