CSET Single Subject, Social Science

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by Ken, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Helmenstine

    Helmenstine New Member

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    Jul 16, 2007

    These CSET questions are a different style from the ones in AP and other test prep books. The AP prep tests ask for rather minute details while the CSET questions are broad and often ask about cause and effect.

    Are there really no other practice CSET exams out there? I've got 5 days and can only practice so many times on the one given on the web site. Any tips would really be appreciated
     
  2. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Good luck. I will partake of it Saturday as well.
     
  3. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Survey says...?

    I took subtests II & III today. I would be completely shocked if I didn't pass subtest III, I was really happy with how sure I was of most of the answers. The only thing that threw me a bit was the constructed response on California, but I'm pretty sure my performance in the other areas will make up for a less than stellar response. I'm pretty sure I did fine on U.S. History but it's a blur right now. Overall I feel much more relaxed than I did after subtest I, although I'm sure I was more nervous then because it was the first time I'd taken a CSET.

    How do you all think you did?

    Let the waiting begin...
     
  4. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2007

    CSET July 21st

    Any opinions...?
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Judging from the relative silence, people must be fairly happy with how they did.
     
  6. Cal

    Cal Rookie

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    Yeah, I was pretty happy--took all three. I ripped through the multiple choices in an hour, and then did the constructed responses. I have never been fond of history constructed responses, but I think I got the job done.

    The CR questions were a little too obscure for my liking. I prefer the AP style, asking about a particular topic in an obvious manner. You know what you need to know, and deliver it.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ah, the questions about which one has to think: what's the big idea here, and what am I supposed to do with it?
     
  8. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    I probably can't say which topics, but there were a couple of topics in my CSET that were outside of my field of knowledge and study and thus quite problematic.
     
  9. Chief Chirpa

    Chief Chirpa New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007

    new here, any good suggestions for subtest I and II?
     
  10. Helmenstine

    Helmenstine New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Well done... in some respects

    Well, my reservations were confirmed about the constructed response questions being tough. Sections I and I I scored below par on them. Thankfully I got full marks on all the multiple choice and passed all three sections. Very relieved :) I still don't know how you can study for the constructed responses since the topics are all over the place and it's impossible to know everything about everything. I guess you have to wait for the CSET social studies books to come out in September... Good luck everyone.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Not that the prep books can possibly cover everything, either. If the scorers expected everyone to know everything, the passing score would be a good deal higher than 220 on a scale from 100 to 300. It's important not to get so sidetracked by what you don't know about a particular question that you forget to deploy what you do know.
     
  12. Cal

    Cal Rookie

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    TG--no, not at all. There *was* no big idea on the questions. That's what was kind of annoying about them.

    In the AP, you see the question, and think "Oh, this is the Jefferson/Hamilton question" or "Oh, this is the foreign policy during the Civil War question"--they're very clearly of a type.

    On the CSET, there's no such easy categorization. Even the Civil War question used extremely unusual quotes and didn't tip its hand at all.

    It wasn't terribly difficult, but it was certainly different. Given the relative lack of feedback you have afterwards. I find it a bad way to construct a test.


    For future generations: I found that reading the opening chapters of my son's AP European History textbook--can't remember the name right now--was very helpful for picking up the early world history. I only missed one of the essay questions; my speculation on the world geography question was correct but I didn't know the facts surrounding it. (had to do with birth rates in one part of the world.)I've worked with so many students in American and European history that I didn't need to study that. If you did want to prepare, though, the AP textbooks (American Pageants and the Euro one) would be perfectly good preparation. AP practice tests would be more difficult than the CSET multiple choice, and thus good for practice.
     
  13. Michaelson

    Michaelson New Member

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    Sep 7, 2007

    Im worried about the geography section. I figured it just would test on locations of places, and land formations ect. Now I see that its demographic information, charts, and nature of maps. I was a history and poli sci major, so I dont think Id have such a big problem with this section if I could find a quick review. Does anyone know where I could find such a thing?
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Tr4y Barnes & Noble's SparkCharts: there's one for geography, if memory serves.
     
  15. Desmond&Molly

    Desmond&Molly New Member

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    Nov 4, 2007

    CSET social science

    Don't stress about the geography section. It was fairly minimal. I used the XAM single subject social studies guide to study for it, and that was more than adequate. If you don't have that guide already, you probably need to buy it on Amazon because none of my bookstores carried it.

    I definitely recommend reviewing the other sections outside of that guide book, but for geography that was more than enough.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 4, 2007

    SparkCharts are just five bucks each, and the Geography one would make a fine classroom resource later on.
     
  17. plato500

    plato500 Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2008

    Take the CSET test YET ????

    I have printed out the topic-guide from the CSET website. My strategy is to take one subtest at a time--right now, I'm preparing for subtest I...WORLD HISTORY and WORLD GEOGRAPHY. I've purchased about 10 used books the CSET site recommends to study from. I feel SO overwhelmed by the amount of info there is to take in and somehow apply when I take the test. IF ANYONE HAS TAKEN THE TEST, and you passed it, please: tell me how you prepared for it! Thanks...-jim
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 26, 2008

    Paradise, CA? Where the heck is Paradise? If you don't mind my asking.
     
  19. plato500

    plato500 Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2008

    Have YOU passed the CSET, social-science test???

    PARADISE is in Northern California, about 2000 feet above Chico which is the nearest "city"--Chico is a college town. Basically,
    Paradise is a town in the mountains with a population of around 27,000 . It's about 2 hours north of sacramento, and 4-5 hours east, of Fort Bragg at the coast. This is a nice region to live within.
    If you type in, city data paradise, on goo gle, you'll get some good
    information.

    Do you have any help for me with the original question I posted? thanks.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2008

    Oho: western Sierras. That should serve you very nicely for the Subtest III questions on California history (see: Gold Rush).

    As to world history: CSET exams are less about regurgitating specific names and dates and battles and all than they are about understanding the webs of cause and consequence in which events are enmeshed.

    It's not necessary to study absolutely every book that the CSET study guide names. The resource list is less the Ten Commandments than it is a list of possibilities - and it's perfectly acceptable to use none of those possibilities, provided the resources you do use cover the ground you need. If several of the books you have agree in highlighting a given event, though, it probably makes sense to include it in your study.

    You could do worse than to get hold of a decent historical atlas.
     
  21. plato500

    plato500 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2008

    CSET Test ........

    Have you, Teachergroupie, taken/passed the CSET: Social Science?

    One MAJOR concern I have is the following: I finished in the fall with a BA in psychology. Now this spring I'm starting a three-semester teacher-credential program, which basically 'teaches you how to be a teacher.'

    Now, I'm obviously taking the CSET Social Science test, and will have a BA in psychology, and in three semesters I'll also have my teaching credential, from college. What I am VERY concerned about, is this: once I hit the pavement looking for work as a social science teacher, will it be difficult for me to find work--since I don't have an actual degree in history or geo. or econ, etc...? I'm just really nervous that once I look for work, I'll be looked over due to the absence of 'sound' credentials. However, I personally feel it can potentially help me to have the BA in psychology, both 'on paper,' and in practice. HELP ME! thanks...-jim
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2008

    No, I've not passed it; I've merely helped others do so.

    As to your marketability... if there's a glut of social science teachers in your area, then getting hired could be a challenge. That's reality. But the fact is that psychology is, for our purposes, a social science: if you have the credential and if you show signs of being able to teach, not getting hired is not likely to be a fact about your undergrad degree.

    Check the local market, then, and think as you study for CSET about how you could get kids excited about and conversant with the material. And if jobs are tight, you might want to consider adding an authorization in a higher-need area (for which you'd need to add the corresponding CSET and not much else - your credential program should be able to tell you what else). English might be a relatively painless choice.

    Best of luck, Plato.
     
  23. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Hi Plato, I took the Social Science subtests and passed each of them first try. It's different for everyone, but I studied with a used AP World History and US History book that I got online. I found them to be really useful. For the most part they just refreshed information that I already knew but had been buried in my head somewhere. I'm a history major, so it may be completely different for you. There are different versions of the test, you just have to do the best with what you get. Try to use any bit of knowledge you may have on a subject to figure out an answer, even if you aren't 100% certain. Remember that the geography sections aren't limited to just physical geography, I know of several people who have made that mistake. For subtest 3, I focussed my study on Economics, since I have a fair background in Political Science but hadn't taken Econ since high school. For this section I went through the subtest description on the CSET website and pulled out several of the terms mentioned and looked them up in combination with Sparknotes online, this was extremely helpful.

    As for finding work as a Social Science teacher, as TeacherGroupie said, it depends on your area. Personally after talking to several people in my area, I have decided to get my Multiple Subject credential first, so that I have a few more options. I know of three people in my area who went through the whole process, got their Social Science credential, couldn't find a job, then went back and got their Multiple Subject and were then able to find a position. Are there any other subjects you'd like to teach? You may look into the areas that the very wise TeacherGroupie mentioned.

    Good luck to you! :)
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2008

    greenbean6, you're going to make me blush.

    plato500, I don't know whether all the districts in your area participate, but you might want to have a look at EdJoin, http://www.edjoin.org, to get an overview of who's hiring in what. In addition, check in with the Butte County Office of Education, http://www.bcoe.org - there's bound to be someone there who can give you some idea what the market is like.

    As for passing CSET, greenbean6 has quite appropriately noted that the successful test taker brings to bear everything that he or she knows. Use your knowledge of psychology to help you make sense of history in terms of human needs and motivations. There's a sense, for example, in which history is rather like the family records of a very extended family with a knack for competitiveness, double-dealing, and power grabs. (A person with a warped sense of humor could read this as the dark side of Maslow's self-actualization, I suppose.)

    AP prep materials can be excellent choices.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, John Smith.

    What happened last time? Which subtest(s) did you take, and what are you seeing on side 2 of your score report?
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Have you taken any subtest of CSET Social Science yet, John Smith?
     
  27. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    I am an aspiring middle school history teacher & i will be taking the Social Science Cset in mid may. I am taking all three subtests (because i need to have all of them completed before i student teach this fall). I wanted to ask everyone if they knew if it was realistically possible to pass all three subtests in one saturday. If i know the material backwards and forwards... inside & out, do i have a chance to pass it? Just wondering. I appreciate everyone's advice. Thanks,
    -Gavin
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sure, it's possible. Quite a workout, yes... but possible. And there's something to be said for having all the domains prepped all at once: you're likelier to be sensitive to the connections between them and to be able to exploit those.

    Are you generally a fairly comfortable test taker?
     
  29. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    yeah... i'm a pretty good test taker.... especially when i've studied properly. I was wondering what test study booklet you'd recommend for me to buy. I've looked at "Wynne's Social Science 114, 115 XAM CSET", but i'm not sure that i should spend 60.00 for the book if i'm not sure that it has all the study information i need. What do you think?
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You can probably find a copy to examine at SDSU's Aztec Bookstore. I don't know whether any of the area Borderses or Barnes & Nobles has it, though they might. It's always a good idea to examine before buying.

    The bargain section at Borders seems to be carrying a history of America published by Oxford University Press - I didn't catch the exact title, but it looked pretty good. A good historical atlas would be a fine choice too.
     
  31. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Thanks TG... I've also heard that its good to read a high school (or even middle school) history textbook cover to cover because it is simplified. What is your take on that? I am currently watching and taking notes on the History Channel's "The Presidents" series which briefly chronicles the lives of each president.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Whatever gets you into the material at a level of sophistication that will help you is A Good Thing.

    Be aware that CSET exams as a class are less about enumerating facts than they are about drawing conclusions based on those facts: that is, it's less important that you know the exact year in which Brown v. Board of Ed was handed down than that you be able to account for why it happened when it did and the consequences that have flowed from it.
     
  33. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    I'm studying about an hour or two a day right now... Right now I'm studying US history with a book called 'Peterson AP US history'. Its really good for basic US history. I am also looking into joining a CSET study group/Seminar (which is in the San Diego Area.... I live in North San Diego county). I'm also learning about NAFTA & its implications in the US economy & foreign relations.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sounds very promising.
     
  35. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    I'm also trying to order (or borrow from a library) 'CliffsTestPrep CSET: Social Science' By Pate & Napoli' (2007). From what I've heard it is an awesome test prep book because it has a studyguide to everything that will be on the test: World Hist portion, U.S. History Portion, & one portion that includes Civics, Economics & California Hist.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I don't actually tend to recommend test prep books per se, 4capulina - though if you happen to come across one that's delightfully written and good at making the connections between the parts and events of history, I'd be thrilled to know about it.

    The gold standard for what's on the test is the Subject Matter Requirements document on the CSET History test guide page. Download it and work through it to figure out what you already know well, what you need to know more about, and what you're clueless about. (There are details you may not know well, but the fact is that this test covers material a good deal of which you had in high school. Be looking for the parallels and similarities.)
     
  37. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    I passed it and my school lost the results. :down:
     
  38. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    I've been reading middle school textbooks (world hist & US history)... and at this point i only have 8 more days until the test.... so i just keep reading the textbooks over and over & checking to make sure that what i've reviewed correlates with the CA standards.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That works, 4capulina.
     
  40. HENRY V

    HENRY V New Member

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    I just took the csset this weekend and I tried all 3. I do not recommend this tactic unless you are very confident. I felt good about qusetions that followed the timeline, however there wrere some questions that were very specific. In my opinion the cliff notes were useful as a study guide but don't rely on them alone. I had a useful textbook on world history but honestly I wish I would have found you guys earlier.

    good luck all
     

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