CSET Single Subject, Social Science

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

  1. donblack32

    donblack32 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2008

    Hello all,

    I am planning on taking the CSET Social Science soon. A portion of the test covers "Civics." Is there any difference between Civics and U.S. Government. If so, what?

    Also, I have purchased the CSET Social Science Cliff's Prep book, but it seems to be quite short in length...are there any other supplemental resources I can use?

    Thank you!
     
  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    May 23, 2008

    Subtest III has civics as its brief, along with economics and California history. Civics is indeed basically US Government, with supplemental bits from other systems. if you're well versed in that, you'll probably do just fine.

    Supplemental resources? There sure are. But their usefulness depends on the needs of the user. Which subject areas have you the most concerned, donblack32?
     
  3. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2008

    I just took 2 of the 3 subtests last saturday (the WORLD Hist & the CA Hist/Civics/Econ subtest). The Civics/CA HIST/Econ one is actually pretty easy because it doesn't ask specific questions... i had to guess on about 20 of the 40 multiple choice questions, but i still think i passed because i wrote good essays. The best advice that i would have for this section is to get a sparknotes studyguide about economics & to go over CA history pretty thoroughly. Here's a basic start: (http://www.classbrain.com/artstate/publish/timeline_california_history.shtml)
    Another great idea is to read a middle school or high school u.s. history text book.... 1)check out the sections about CA history, they are concise and easy to understand.
    2) also check out the sections about amendments to the US constitution & economics (alexander hamilton's name will appear quite often) Keynesian economics, Supply-side economics(Reagonomics), & other stuff like that will appear in the textbook.
    BUt THE BEST ADVICE IS:
    Listen to all advice that TeacherGroupie gives... for he gives pure wisdom.;)
     
  4. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2008

    by the way TG, thanks for your commitment & help. Your dedication to selflessly helping others is appreciated by more people than you could ever know.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    May 24, 2008

    "He"?
     
  6. sfsurf

    sfsurf Guest

    May 24, 2008

    Don, or any other new CSET taker

    I recently finished taking the CSET Social Science. Just so you have my background (not sure what "level" you are starting on), I got my BA in 94, Social Sciences at Berkeley. However, I have been in finance for 14 years and am going to get my credential and be a teacher. Between my fulltime job, and 2 daughters under 2, I took the 3 subtests all separately, Jan, Mar, May. Here's what I used to "relearn" everything.

    Basically I used the CSET study guides (Google CSET and you'll see "test guide" portion and click on Social Science)

    I printed them out and pasted each question to the top of a notebook and left one page to answer each question. It took at least a couple weeks to answer each test section, studying 2-3 hours a night. That doesnt include actually pre-reading any of the other books besides the World History one, which I read each from cover to cover first. I think it makes for a great study guide, you just have to give yourself the time to prepare.


    World History - Prentice Hall World History 2007 h.s. textbook. About 1000 pages (flip through it and read a lot as you answer the study questions)

    US History - US History for Dummies
    California History - California, A History by Kevin Starr
    Econ - Econ for Dummies
    Amer Govt (Ethics) - Complete Idiots Guide to Amer Government

    I took the Civics, Cal, and Econ first and Passed
    I took the World History second and Passed (thought it was the hardest of all 3 and surprised I passed)
    I just took US History last week....waiting for results

    Best of luck. Hope this helps
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    May 24, 2008

    I'll bet on you to have passed, sfsurf.
     
  8. donblack32

    donblack32 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 25, 2008

    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    Teacher Groupie, I have concern with most everything covered in the CSET Social Science. I am a current high school business teacher, so I'm not too worried about economics, but all other areas are where I will need brushing up.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    May 25, 2008

    I was reminded elsewhere earlier today of Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe and Cartoon History of the United States, both of which serve up their respective slices of the human story with wry humor.

    You might also consider a good historical atlas in conjunction with the Internet, to help you see where history was happening (and also to help you with the geography questions).

    How are you on civics?
     
  10. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    15

    May 26, 2008

    Can I join this thread now?

    My big mouth may have sentenced me to take the single subject social studies in July. I'm interviewing with a high school for a special ed position this week and they are only interested in me (I'm not fully credentialed) because I can be NCLB compliant in core subject areas.

    Where is the best place to start? I have a basic background from the multiple subject cset subtest last year. It looks like the Advanced Placement books may be the best option? I'm hoping to do one subtest at a time, but I may have to go for it all in July, depending on the interview.

    The resources offered here are what helped me on the multiple subjects and English tests, I'm already grateful for the links listed in this thread.

    Are any of the three subtests easier than the others? Or is that just a matter of content knowledge and it's subjective?

    Thanks!
    Kippers (Who wants this to be her last CSET ever!)
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    May 26, 2008

    If you studied up on literary history (world, British, American), use that to help you with history in general (world, US).

    AP resources can be a good choice, yes. I'll also repeat my recommendation to donblack: look for a good historical atlas, preferably the sort that helps you make connections. Dorling Kindersley has several that are quite good, and you might find something useful on the bargain shelves of your local B&N.
     
  12. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2008

    I got my CSET results back yesterday and i passed both subsets that i took!:2up: I studied for the Subset I (World History) for about two weeks & easily passed it.
    I only studied a couple of days for Subset III(Econ/CA Hist/Civics) but somehow i passed it too. I want to thank TeacherGroupie for helping me and everyone else on this site who has given me advice. I am now getting prepared for Subset II (US History) on July 21st. Thanks again everyone. :cool:
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 18, 2008

    Congratulations, 4capulina! Well done! Don't forget to celebrate your accomplishment - my advice might have helped, but it's your work that got you through.
     
  14. Inspir8tion

    Inspir8tion Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2008

    July 19, 2008 exam

    Hey! Just joined this today. I found you just searching online how to best prepare for the CSET: Social Science. It has really helped reading comments, opinions and others' questions about this exam. I have been studying for the July 19 test and I have CliffsTestPrep by Shana Pate plus other additional sources to cover the topics given by the CSET website. I know it is not realistic to know everything about everything, so if I were to go through all the practice exam questions and read up on particular topics I am not familiar with, would that help me do well on the exam? Or how would you suggest I can cover the necessary topics? Thanks in advance!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 24, 2008

    That probably would help, yes.
     
  16. Inspir8tion

    Inspir8tion Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2008

    Oh ok, thank you very much for you input!
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 25, 2008

    Whatever you do, though, don't expect that the questions on the subtests will be just like the practice questions, whatever the source. It's not so much that the subtests ask about things you never heard of as that they ask about things in unexpected and sometimes subtle ways. The test taker who's able to roll with the punches and work with what he or she does know, rather than obsessing about what he or she doesn't know, is the one who'll pass.
     
  18. Inspir8tion

    Inspir8tion Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    Okay, I will just continue to study as best I can and hope that I will indeed know enough to make sense of the questions. I am not the greatest test taker so all I am relying on right now is reviewing the major historical events (and as much of what the CSET site said to review) and hope the knowledge comes together when I take the exam. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 25, 2008

    Try imagining that you're walking someone else through the material. What would be key, and how could you make it make sense?
     
  20. ScoopDL

    ScoopDL Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2008

    Passed two of three Subtests!

    I took subtests 2 (US Hist) and 3 (Econ, Civ, CA Hist) in May, and I wasn't too confident about the US history exam, but I passed both with no less than three +'s in any section. I had to guess on about 10 of the 39 questions on subtest 2 and about 8 of the questions on subtest 3. Study the sample questions from the CSET site as one may show up on each subtest.

    To study I used:

    For US History:
    US Hist for dummies (read this first, provided a nice overview)
    Baron's AP US History prep book (I don't recommend as it is more about how to take tests rather than a review, although it does have a nice US history outline, but hardly worth the $40 + dollars)
    Xam CSET Social Science prep book (VERY poorly written, full of errors, but served as a nice vague study guide the day before the tests as it lists the standards followed by horrible short essays for each- used this for both subtests)

    For CA Hist/Econ/Civics:
    I'm an Econ major and had just finished a CA history course - sorry, no help here. I used the Xam guide, but I would say the civics and CA history would be the tougher portions - even with the CA history course fresh in my mind, there was one essay that threw me for a loop. Luckily the other two were easy.

    I'm now studying for subtest 1 (world history) for July using:
    World History for dummies (again, a nice overview)
    The Princeton Review - cracking the AP world history exam (EXCELLENT book - nice test taking tips that actually make me confident and a GREAT review of specific topics that will likely be tested - wish I would have used their US history guide)
    Xam (again, not to thrilled, but will thumb through the day before the exam).

    No questions are extremely specific; you're required to know more about general ideas and outcomes of events than specific information.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 27, 2008

    Welcome to A to Z, ScoopDL. And thanks for another set of suggestions.
     
  22. Inspir8tion

    Inspir8tion Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2008

    All this help has been amazing...I look forward to being able to provide a little input as well after I take the exams. Thank you! And good luck to all the CSET July test takers!!
     
  23. ScoopDL

    ScoopDL Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2008

    The REAL Challenge

    It seems to me that the Social Science CSET isn't what I should have been worried about. It's been several months, and I've been browsing job listing for SS teachers in the riverside/sanbernardino/eastern LA county area and I've only encountered three open positions. I think once I'm able to work as an intern (3 more classes at CSUSB - finishing in December) hardly any districts will be hiring - especially mid-year. Anyone in a similar situation? I may end up taking the math CSET just to improve my chances of finiding an open position.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 27, 2008

    Given the budget imbroglio, ScoopDL, it's still somewhat early in the hiring process. If you've got the math background, though, taking CSET Math would certainly make sense.
     
  25. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 28, 2008

    Taking the math CSET would be a great idea. Anything that sets you apart from other applicants is a BIG plus. I'm aiming for a SS position, but only in middle school. I realize that looking for a middle skool hist position is too narrow, so i'm looking into getting into coaching. I also have a serious background in spanish, so i might take that CSET sometime next year. But my best piece of advice is: listen to teacherGroupie.. he has the most WISDOM. Thanks for participating in the forum...:up:
     
  26. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 28, 2008

    Listen to TG, SHE has the most wisdom!

    I would encourage anyone who has the necessary background to tackle CSET in a second subject to do so, particularly if your prefered subject is one that has lots of competition. It could land you that important first job, and it could come in handy later on.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jun 28, 2008

    Thanks for the accolade, 4capulina. Thanks for looking out for me, Malcolm, in more senses than one: it's grand that you keep an eye on this forum, and I know you've helped a lot of people.

    People, another advantage of testing in a different area is that it shows you've got breadth as well as depth, which (we hope) translates into being able to make connections from one area to another and even to areas you haven't been tested in.
     
  28. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2008

    I ended up passing the World Hist portion (subset I) because i am pretty well-versed in world history. But the CA Hist/Econ/Civics (subset III) portion was more difficult for me. I only knew about 10 or 15 of the 40 multiple choice answers & i guessed on the rest. But i got lucky on the essay portion: they asked a question about the flexibility about the U.S. constitution & i wrote two pages about an episode of A&E's "American Justice" i viewed a few years back. My memory of the episode was so vivid that i was able to recount nearly every detail of the story... & it helped proved my case (i guess, since i received high marks on the essay portion). My advice for the portions i passed. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). I read a 7th grade world history book for Subset I. I don't have any good advice for subset III because i got lucky on that one.
    Now, i have to get back to reading my 8th grade US History in preparation for subset II (which i will take in a few weeks).
    ;)
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 3, 2008

    I rather think you're going to do fine, 4capulina.
     
  30. jwub25

    jwub25 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2008

    TG,

    I am taking the test on Saturday for subtests I & II. I passed III with flying colors last time around. However, I have been studying now for three weeks and haven't retianed a thing! I'm getting worried, its to late to pull out of at least one! what do I do, I hate failing at anything. I have no background in History and am worried that I will have to retake this test.

    Is there any study guide out there besides Pate, and the dummy books?
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 17, 2008

    Welcome to our playground, jwub25.

    Subtests I and II, eh? If you haven't got one, you might benefit from a good historical atlas - most of the big bookstores carry at least one, and sometimes you can even find a good one in the bargain section.

    Think about stories and connections...
     
  32. jwub25

    jwub25 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2008

    What about those little cheat sheets they offer. Reference guides? I actually got material based off the praxis series for us and world history content. I am not to worried about the geography nor writing portion because those many times are based off of common knowledge. I guess I will keep looking for resources.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 17, 2008

    Well, if you're into "cheat sheets", I cheerfully recommend SparkCharts... but the thing about the historical atlases is that they haven't much space to explain in, what with all the maps (which also help memory), so the explanations tend to be to the point. And a good historical atlas is a fine resource for a social studies classroom.
     
  34. jwub25

    jwub25 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2008

    Any information on helping me retain the info? I'm just stressed maybe and overwhelmed!
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 17, 2008

    Worry less.
     
  36. ScoopDL

    ScoopDL Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 18, 2008

    Not too Tough

    I too am taking subtest one on Saturday. I took 2 and 3 last time around and passed. 2 was what worried me, and believe me, I did MUCH better than I thought I did. I took two USA history courses about five years ago, and my last World History course was about nine years ago (which is why I'm taking subtest 1 by itself).

    I haven't used historical atlases, but I believe that's great advice. I just bought dummies books, AP prep books (Princetone review was MUCH more helpful than Baron's), and an XAM CSET book (very poorly written, but a nice quick overview of the standards.

    If you need some quick review, the the Princeton AP book has some GREAT sample questions (over 130) which are tougher than what's on the CSET. If you can answer those, you'll do fine.

    If you're that worried about both tests... why not focus on one, and take the other later? Better to pass one than fail two. But if you feel even somewhat confident, then relax and remember that you only have to score 210 out of 300 to pass, or about 70 %. You can basically miss about 11 of the 39 multiple choice and score a "C -" on the essays.

    I bet you'll do fine. Just remind yourself that you can always retake it if you have to. I always think of my first time taking these things as a practice run, and if I happen to pass, great.
     
  37. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 18, 2008

    Actually, you will only need about 60% of the raw points to achieve a passing scaled score of 210 for social science. This is another of those tests where it is entirely possible to pass without a single point from the CR section if you ace the MC section. And a good performance on the CR section can make up for a not so stellar performance on the MC section.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 18, 2008

    Note that the passing score of 220 isn't 220 out of 300: it's 220 on a scale from 100 to 300, and that's a rather different proposition.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,669
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Jul 18, 2008

    Let me add that in suggesting that a test taker worry less I am not being either callous or flippant. There's not much studying you can do at this late date.

    But what you can do for yourself now is anything that helps you be calmer. Instead of cramming frantically the night before the test, take the evening off and spend it with one or two people who help you feel good about yourself.

    Here's a hug, on spec.
     
  40. jwub25

    jwub25 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 18, 2008

    Okay so...I will spend my work day studying as much as I can. Hopefully memory serves me tomorrow based off of previous knowledge obtained. As for tonight maybe a nice history special by PBS and a dinner with the family.

    Anyone have any other advice for this poor soul? :help:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. miss-m,
  3. Backroads
Total: 288 (members: 5, guests: 260, robots: 23)
test