CSET Science Subject Test

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

  1. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Given your schedule, you should have plenty of time to prepare. I am sure you will do well.
     
  2. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I hope so. I don't remember Chemistry much. In fact, don't remember any at all. Given seven weeks after the Sept. CSET subtest I, I will have 7 weeks to prepare for subtest II. I am taking two prerequisites for secondary education. I could just put off working on those courses until the last minute. I will devote about 35 hours a week to studying for subtest II from scratch. Hopefully seven weeks is enough to prepare. Thanks for the encouragement and advice Malcolm. I hope the time invested in studying will do me good.
     
  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2008

    If you put in that much time, you will easily put in twice what I did. BTW check out Usbourne's Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia. It covers all the sciences you will be tested on. It has lots of nice pictures and is very easy to understand. And if you need more information that it includes, you are provided links to additional information on the internet. This was my main resource for the two General Science subtests.

    What science are your going for an authorization in?
     
  4. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I'm mostly interested in Earth and Planetary science. About Physics in subtest I, I don't see potential energy, kinetic energy anywhere in the content domain. Is this correct, and can I skip this? The important thing I grasp is calculating circuits. About the book you're talking about, did you say it covers enough material for subtest I and II with the links? If so, I would consider ordering me a copy.
     
  5. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    If it doesn't show up in, and it cannot be inferred from, the Subtest Description, or the referenced Content Standards, it won't be on the test. IIRC kinetic and potential energy are not on subtest 1. They do show up on subtest 3 for physics in the Conservation of Energy and Momentum domain. That would make it a good bet that they don't show up on subtest 1 or 2.

    My experience is that the Usbourne encyclopedia does, with judicious use of the links, cover the material well enough to pass subtests 1 and 2. Between subtest 1 and subtest 2, you will probably read most of the pages in it. There might have been a hole or two, but I don't recall them. Because I started with the Subtest Description and referenced Content Standards and used Usbourne to fill in the detail, any holes would have been obvious at the time, and I would have researched them separately.

    The cover price on mine is only $19.95. Barnes & Noble is listing it for $13.99. If you go to your local book store, it may be in the children's section.
     
  6. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2008

    I found it on Amazon. I will check Barnes & Noble tomorrow. Thank you Malcolm.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 17, 2008

    $19.95 is the paperback edition; there are also hardcover and library-binding editions, and when I replace mine it might be with a library-binding edition.
     
  8. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2008

    Thank you both. I hope this book will give me what I need to pass subtest I & II like it helped you guys. Also, I have materials from OCDE. I could swear that the physics material from the OCDE was taken directly from the Physics Classroom with a few exceptions. Much gratitude to both of you.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The Usborne has the additional advantage of being beguiling and useful as a classroom resource - the illustrations are terrific.
     
  10. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2008

    Besides illustrations, the information is very general and easy to understand, even for children? This would be great
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 17, 2008

    That's correct.
     
  12. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2008

    Right now, I am studying Earth and Planetary Science for subtest I. In my study material from OCDE, they included a list of A-Z definitions for earth and planetary science. For subtest I on E&P science, is it necessary to know these definitions from a-z?
     
  13. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2008

    There is a lot of boiler plate in the OCDE materials...

    I don't recall ever being specifically asked to define a term on CSET.

    For the MC questions, IMHO it is enough just to be able to recognize the term, understand what it means, and pick out the correct definition from the list of answers.

    For the CR questions, I don't think you need to be able to parrot a textbook definition, but it is certainly possible that you may have to be able to define some terms adequately in your own words. For instance, if you were asked a question on plate tectonics, you might need to be able to define what a plate is, the different types of plate margins, the various operative features in plate tectonics, etc.

    The constructed response questions for Subtest 1 are on Dynamic Processes of the Earth, and Forces and Magnetism. That is where I would focus my energy on being able to define key terms in my own words. Look at the Subtest Description and it should be fairly obvious what kind of terms you may need to be able to define.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2008

    My sense with all the CSETs is that it's more important to be able to use a term correctly and draw correct inferences about it than it is to define it.
     
  15. G's Mommy

    G's Mommy Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!

    :2up:
    Conceptual Physical Science 2nd Ed. by Hewitt Suchocki Hewitt is the best book ever!!!

    I used it to study for Science Subset I and I was so excited during the test. At least 95%of the info, if not more, was covered in the book. It covers things on Subset II as well. I think you can use it for all the tests really.

    I'm not so stressed out about taking the next one now.
    :)
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Damping down the stress level is indeed huge, G's Mommy. Congratulations!
     
  17. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    G's Mommy, I just ordered that book yesterday for 4.98. I hope it'll help me as it helped you. Thank you all for your quick responses.
     
  18. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I was thinking of taking Physics subtest III. Does anyone know what the cr questions will be on? For subtest IV, will it be on the general Physics concepts or more in depth like subtest III?
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Fatalfury, are you planning to teach JUST physics? If so, take just subtests III and IV with my blessing (and the word on the street is that Subtest IV in each area consists of questions in that specialty extracted from the general science subtests I and II).

    If, however, you want to teach physics and general science - which will make you more marketable, I think - you don't need Subtest IV but you do need Subtests I and II.
     
  20. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2008

    The CR questions on any science subtest 3 can be from any domain. Look here for my experience with physics.

    And yes, the questions on subtest 4 are pulled from the physics portion of subtests 1 and 2.
     
  21. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I'm still deciding what concentration to take subtest III on. Don't know yet until I take subtest I and II.
     
  22. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Are you planning to select your subtest 3 based on your experience with subtests 1 and 2? Just be aware that in my experience, the questions on subtest 3 are considerably deeper than the ones on subtests 1 and 2 and cover a broader range of topics. If you do well on the questions for a particular science on subtests 1 and 2, there is no guarantee that you will do as well on subtest 3. OTOH if you totally bomb the questions for that science, there is a pretty good chance you need to do a lot more work before subtest 3.
     
  23. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

    If I fail, I will just take an SMPP. That is my backup.
     
  24. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 23, 2008

    OK, I'm game, what is an SMPP?
     
  25. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

    SMPP is a subject matter preparation program offered at universities in place of passing the CSET exams. For example, if you want to teach science, you would have to take a lot of science classes. By completing a certain number of units, you wouldn't have to take the CSET exams.
     
  26. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Oh, that is what you meant! I know what a subject matter preparation program is. The acronym just didn't register. Yes, it is basically the equivalent of a undergraduate major in the subject with an education related course or two thrown in. You would likely be looking at 30+ semester units if you were starting from scratch. Of course, that would be offset by whatever relevant courses you have already taken. Still, for most of us, that would be a lot of courses.

    Much better to do whatever it takes to pass CSET IMHO. And I would bet you will.
     
  27. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I'm enrolling in a couple of physics classes. They're intro to thermodynamics, waves, optics, motion, etc. I wonder if these classes will help me prepare for the CSET physics subtest III exam. On top of that, I plan on studying the book that Malcolm mention. Will Calculus be involved in subtest III? I'm planning on taking subtest III and IV first, try to pass them within three tries to try to get my foot into the credential program, and if successful, will consider taking subtest I and II along the way.
     
  28. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sounds like a plan to me...

    Yes, those classes will certainly help prepare you for both physics subtests.

    According to the Subtest Description, calculus-based problems are a possibility for the Electromagnetism domain. I didn't encounter any calculus when I took it.
     
  29. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Malcolm, have you taken Earth and Planetary Science for subtest III? This is where my interest lies after a whole day of jury duty. I started looking over an old astronomy book that I've taken a course with back in the early 2000s. Would a few geology classes and an astronomy class help me prepare for subtest III and IV?
     
  30. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Glad you could spend your jury duty time productively.

    Yes, I took and passed that subtest and taught earth science among other things last year. From a job prospects standpoint, it is a reasonable pick. Most high school students around here wind up taking earth science and biology to meet their science graduation requirements. There are a lot more opportunities for those two subjects than chemistry or physics.

    IMHO this is the easiest science subtest 3 by far. If you could take an introductory earth science class, similar to what is taught in high school, that would be ideal, and maybe a class on California geology. I notice that both of these classes are offered at my local community college. There is really nothing beyond that on the test.

    If you start with the Subtest Description as a guide, you ought to be able to do this one by studying on your own. A current California high school Earth Science text would do it. The one caveat I have is that the only resource I found that adequately covers the portion of the test having to do with California geology is California Geology by Harden. I found a copy at my local library. I didn't get the OCDE materials for this one, but I think it would be a good idea.
     
  31. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Well, I have to serve on jury duty for at least another 2-3 days. I've purchased the conceptual physical science 2nd edition thats recommended by the CTC and what G's Mommy used to take subtest I. It covers earth and planetary science. Is introductory to Earth science the same as intro to Geology? Don't know about California geology, but surely could go to the library to look if its not included. I'm currently enrolled in intro to Geology and am taking intro to Astronomy again. And for California Geology, I should take your advice and look at my JC. Thanks Malcolm.
     
  32. Fatalfury64

    Fatalfury64 Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2008

    For part II of Earth & Planetary Science, is it necessary to go over experimentation and investigation. Will they be asked on the exam? I don't know if I should go over these areas where the 5 domains are the most important parts of the exam.
     
  33. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2008

    It is entirely possible that you will be asked something from Part II. I don't remember which subtest it was on anymore, but I had a CR question that required me to design an experiment to demonstrate something. And there were MC questions on lab safety, etc. Part II wasn't a big part of any subtest I took, but it was there in some of them.
     
  34. bret5645

    bret5645 New Member

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Hi, I am applying for fall 2009 at CSU SF for Geo Sciences single subject and I need all my CSET scores finished by the application deadline. There are only 2 test dates left before then. Do people usually take all three tests on one test date? (Subtest I, II, and III) What do you recommend? I was thinking, if I didn't pass any of the three the first date, I have one more test date to retake them before my program application deadline. Or, is that too difficult to take all three at once?

    I was a BA in Environmental Studies at UCSB almost 4 years ago, but I completed a lot of science courses. Has anyone here ever been given a subject matter competency waiver? I also have been looking into that just in case, but the CSU advisor at SF state hasnt returned my emails yet. Im thinking its likely I wont get the waiver, but it would be nice to know what list of courses they consider for it at least before I sign up and pay for my CSET.

    Thanks, Bret
     
  35. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I have a waiver for social science. I have a degree in Social Science for teachers.

    You should check with the education department at CSU SF about the requirements. I went to CSU San Marcos and the credentialling department had this form that we could fill out using our transcripts that would tell us if we could get a credential or add a supplementary onto a multiple subject based on the courses we took. CSU SF should have something similar.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2008

    You could also check with the county office of education, which should also have credential analysts on staff.

    As to the matter of taking three subtests at once, it's rigorous, but in fact CSET is designed to be possible that way.
     
  37. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2008

    If you want to get an idea of whether you can get a waiver based on past course work, look at the required course work for the CTC approved subject matter program in geosciences at one of the CSUs. If you submit your transcripts for evaluation for a waiver, the school is essentially going to check to see if you have the equivalent.

    As TG has indicated, all the CSET tests are designed so that a well qualified candidate can complete all subtests in one sitting. IMHO geosciences is the science that one is most likely to be able to do this. I did subtests 1 and 2 in one sitting, and 3 in another, and I was not a science major. Looking back at it, if I had to, I think I could have done all three in one sitting, but less comfortably that in two sittings.
     
  38. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I'll second Malcolm. Do I and 2 in one sitting and do 3 on it's own.
     
  39. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2008

    In this case, because, you have two shots at the test before the application deadline, I would recommend signing up for all three subtests, making a point of passing the first two for sure, and using whatever time is left over for the third one. The extra cost is minimal, you get a look at a form of subtest 3 so you will know what to expect if you have to take it again, and who knows, you might actually pass it.

    FWIW credential program deadlines are often flexible even though they won't tell you. If everything else is in order, and you are missing some subtests, it is possible you may be admitted with the provision you complete them before some date (before student teaching for sure), or they might put your application on hold until they get the results then admit you.
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I too would recommend going for all three subtests in September, especially if you're a reasonably strong test taker.
     

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