CSET test

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by Unregistered, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2006

    If science is an issue for you, let me recommend this: Make yourself a study list or a set of flashcards with principles of science, of which you'll find a list in the Subject Matter Requirements document for CSET-MS (or you can also check out the state content specifications for science, free for the downloading from the Web site of the California Department of Education). Take that list or set of flashcards and a good friend or study buddy - who can perfectly well be a kid - and go play during the winter break at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (http://www.exploratorium.edu) or at the Explorit Center in Davis (http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/GO/EXPLORIT) or some other hands-on museum, and as you play, make notes on your study list or flashcards of examples of the principles as you encounter them. Science really is learned best by doing, as actively as possible.
     
  2. mtngirl

    mtngirl Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2006

    TeacherGroupie,

    thank you again! I appreciate all of the time you have spent in answering my questions and offering great advise. I will check out Explorit Center in Davis. Thank you again.

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Mtngirl
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2006

    You're welcome.

    You should find your MFA in theatre helpful with Subtest I - the connection to reading/language/literature's fairly obvious, of course, but I'm guessing your degree included history of theatre, and the fact is that the arts of a given period of history depend on and reflect what's going on historically and economically at the time. As I've said elsewhere, making a point of looking for connections between what you know and what you need to know tends to make preparation for CSET a little less daunting.

    One important point: CSET-MS constructed responses are NOT essays. They're short answers. In other words, don't write more than you have to.

    Have you already passed Subtest III?
     
  4. mtngirl

    mtngirl Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2006

    Actually I have not taken any part of the test yet. I need to pass the first 2 sections first and then I can enroll in the teaching program at Stan State. I am very motivated however, as I look over the test specifications from the CSET website I am a bit overwhelmed. Just today I was looking over part I. I am blown away on the amount of detail mentioned as far as US History. "describe European exploration and settlement, and the struggle for control of N. America during the Colonia era, including cooperation and conflict among American Indians and new settlers." that is just one brief portion of section 2.1. I am really overwhelmed by just this first page and I am beginning to really worry about this. Frankly I don't know where to start. What would you suggest as far as prep work for just the US History portion. I haven't thought of any of this in years and I need a huge refresher. As I mentioned I have been using the E.D. Hirsh books but so far I don't feel the books are going to go into enough detail for test prep. I am really worried about how I am going to effectively prepare for this in order to be successful.

    I so appreciate all you have to offer.

    thank you,

    Mtngirl
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2006

    mtngirl, I will cheerfully bet a Trader Joe's Pound Plus chocolate bar that you know more about these points than you think you do.

    First, let me point out that history - world, US, and California - gets a total of 26 multiple choice questions and two constructed response questions and that most CSET questions are aimed at finding out how broadly you understand the flow and cause-and-consequence patterns of history rather than which names and dates you can regurgitate. What's more, constructed responses are not supposed to be very long, as indicated by the relatively petite space allotted on the sample constructed response sheets on the CSET Web site.

    Now let's start with California and work outward and backward.

    I bet you can tell me, in a sentence or two, which Europeans first settled California in significant numbers, and you can probably even tell me where they started out in California and name at least one institution that they founded in the process. Bonus points if you can tell me how that institution - and if you grew up in California, I know you know which institution - fit in and supported two other institutions that were founded in each place along with it, and whether its effect from the natives' point of view was positive or negative.

    If you need a hint, try http://www.californiahistory.net.
     
  6. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2006

    First of all, I want to thank everybody on this forum. The information that you share with each other is tremendous and priceless! I'm so happy I found this website! :thanks:

    I'm planning to take CSET:MS Subtest I on January 20th. I feel really overwhelmed with all the information in the CSET books. I don't feel confident about US history, because I never studied it before (I'm from Russia). So that part of the exam is completely new for me.

    If I understand correctly, I have to get about 74-75% of questions correctly (roughly), considering that the passing score is 220 out of 300. Am I right?

    So far, after taking all sorts of practice tests from different CSET books and CSET website, I don't get more than 67 % correctly (from the multiple choice questions, of course). I don't feel very happy about that. :-( But I have to tell you that I've improved since before I started studying for the CSET. At the very beginning I tried the practice test and I got about 36 % correctly. Now it's 67 % (the highest I got).

    But I'm going to take the test anyway, so I'll give it a shot and we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll get lucky and get the questions I'm familiar with. :D

    Anybody else here who is taking the CSET on January 20th?

    I'm in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley.
     
  7. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2006

    I forgot to ask a question. It's a 5 hour test. No food is allowed. How did you survive with no food? I remember when I was taking CBEST, it was for 4 hours, and I was starving half way through the exam.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 14, 2006

    Chokita, did you take and pass a test for US citizenship? If so, you've probably covered more US history than you think you have. Bear in mind, by the way, that each subtest is scored holistically: as long as you do well enough on world history and reading and literature and all, scoring low in US history isn't necessarily a problem.

    The 220 points you need to pass are scaled points, by the way, and the scale runs from 100 to 300.
     
  9. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2006

    TeacherGroupie, thanks for your reply. :)

    I'm not a citizen yet. I've been in the US only for 2 years.

    So I just have to study, study, and again study... :(

    A friend of mine, also from Russia, after being here only for a few years, took the CSET (one subtest at a time) and passed all subtests in one attempt! It makes me think that it is doable. But she says she had to study a lot.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 15, 2006

    Your written English is quite good, Chokita, so if you're worried about whether you can write well enough for the constructed response questions, please don't worry - those are short answers, not essays.

    As to US history, see if the children's section of your local Barnes & Noble or Borders has Dorling Kindersley's Children's Encyclopedia of American History. This is a co-production with the Smithsonian Institution, and quite good. It will also be useful as a resource in your future classroom.
     
  11. irish2teach

    irish2teach Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2006

    Hi Tchr Grpie,
    I have passed the CSET/MS parts 1 & 3 and have taken part 2 twice, missing a passing score by 11 and 8 points respectively. It's the short-response that is "doing me in"! I'm not strong in these areas (but I have been working on it), do you have any suggestions?? I'm registered for the Jan. 20th exam, I have compiled quite a math book library but haven't found any good science books.
    Thanks
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 23, 2006

    Roughly where are you located, irish?
     
  13. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Dec 23, 2006

    I visited the local science center yesterday with my son and I learned a bit alos. It is also the constructed response that does me in. I am not sure how to handle these to me they seem so foreign on MS II it seems as though in subtest one and three is you had an idea then you could write on something. If you have to draw a diagram or do a particular graph or formula you do not know what do you do then?

    Stephanie
     
  14. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    I like the what you need to know for science homework 4 to 6th grade. I am sure I need to know more then this information but it is an easy read and the pictures help me to understand as I am a visual and audio person. . .it helping me pick up some information and when I went to the science center it all sort of connected. . .

    Stephanie
     
  15. irish2teach

    irish2teach Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2006

    I am in Big Bear Lake, CA (Southern CA. Mtns).
     
  16. irish2teach

    irish2teach Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2006

    I forgot to mention that I do have the CliffsTestPrep CSET Book;it has all the recommended info we should know but...how in the world can you take it all in??! And at my age (53) there is the challenge of the retainment of the info!! HA!
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 23, 2006

    anewstart101, your second email this morning partly answers the question in your first. What do you do when you don't know what to say? You make connections: think about what you do know that has to do with the question, rather than dwelling on all that you don't know, and you say as much about that as you can.

    In your case, it might make sense to find someone to coach you with the constructed responses. That's the one big advantage that classes and tutoring, live or online, have over books and software packages: the focused feedback.

    irish, 53 isn't all that old by CSET-MS standards, believe me. Let me recommend, though, using kids' books and the Internet as study aids - the visuals can make a huge difference.
     
  18. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Dec 24, 2006

    I think a coach is a wonderful idea but unfortunately I am going to not be able to afford one if I have to pay for it I could barely making paying for a second test. . .what I had to do was change my thinking to I can learn this. . .I am going to continue reading my books and making connections to what I know and continue to gain knowledge. I always looked the other way when it comes to math and science and now that I am studying it I like it. I find it interesting. I'm going to set my sights on passing subtest II and if I don't pass the second time I'll search for assistance. I am determined and now that I know what I am getting into I am only some what scared. . . .Thank you so much. . . .

    My main question is I understand the purpose of this test but as someone studying to teach special education (moderate to servere) how is this going to make me highly qualified. I want to teach little ones. . .
    Stephanie

    Happy Holidays. . . .Merry Christmas and Happy New Years and Happy Day!
     
  19. hellokitty

    hellokitty Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2006

    Hi,
    I am a really new test taker. Just about to study but have no ideas what guide books to choose. Really appricate if any ideas will be sharing !
    thanks!
     
  20. hellokitty

    hellokitty Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2006

    Pls share !!!

    Could u kindly share what guide books you are studying ?
    Appreicate it !!




     
  21. TringtoTch

    TringtoTch Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2006

    Linguistics on Subtest 2?? Which CSET are we talking about here?
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2006

    That would pretty well have to be CSET English, or possibly one of the single subject exams in languages other than English.
     
  23. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Dec 29, 2006

    I am using Beating the CSET. Also I ordered the Usbourne Internet linked science book, and I have What you're 5th and 6th grader needs to know. I also snagged my kids Scholastic World Atlas, Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and their times, My World book and globe (good for Geography) and try and catch Jeopardy. I also just found my daughters algebra book, and put that in my stack. Another good resource is this AtoZ forum. There are alot of tips from people who have passed! I'm trying not to get so addicted that I stay on here instead of studying!
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Boosalis's book offers some good practical strategies. One edition had incorrect information about how subtests are scored: according to everything I've seen on the CSET and CTC Web sites, each subtest is scored holistically, which means you can pass a subtest without doing very well on one of its two or three domains.
     
  25. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I have the 06 edition. I know that all of the CSET prep books have some errors. I get the information on how the tests are scored from the CSET website. I forgot to say that there is a lot of downloadable information on the CSET website regarding what is required knowledge for the test. Also, a side note to Irishtoteach, you're never to old to learn. I will be 50 next year, but that doesnt stop me. I hope my age never will!
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The teacher who stops learning is dead in the water, no matter what the age.
     
  27. anewstart101

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    I remeber why I got into this teaching thing now. . .I feel old at my 30 somthing age as a single mom with a child who has special needs. . . .I have to say I have visited a few museums, science centers and sea world. One can learn a lot of information. . .having real people to ask questions. . . .I now have two memberships to museums. I have came across things I have been studying. . .I take my son along and it an education trip for all. I enjoyed the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum. . .I am feeling more confident in my science and math knowledge a little. It is not so foreign to me. . . .I think the CSET books are good. These field trips have been great. . . .Teacher groupie have you ever tutored people???? I have to work on my spelling next!

    anewstart101
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yeah, you could say I do some tutoring.
     
  29. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Dec 30, 2006

    History resources?

    Is the Usbourne World History a good choice? I realize that is where I will have to really concentrate my studies for this test. What are some other (books preferred) resources for the History section of this test? There is alot of info in the Boosalis book, but no pictures, etc. My daughter only has a US history book. Thanks anyone.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you mean the one I think you mean, it's one of Usborne's very few less-than-optimal offerings. For world history I like a historical atlas, because the maps help one see the history that the text is explaining (and the text isn't overwhelming). Dorling Kindersley publishes the very fine Atlas of World History, ISBN 07894-4609-X - it's $50, but very worthwhile and a good resource for your daughter as well. If you can't find it, your local Barnes & Noble may still have the Times Complete History of the World as a bargain/gift book for $20: that's a very good deal.
     
  31. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Thanks, I will check out Barnes and Noble.
     
  32. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Regarding The Times Complete History of the World, Barnes and Noble doesnt carry that ISBN item anymore and they said they will no longer order it. It is available at Amazon new and used for over 70$. I got one from a Barnes and Noble seller at their website after I searched under the tab "out of print items" for 36$ plus $3 shipping. "New" condition. Can't wait to get it. Hope this helps someone.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Those who need it would do well to check their local Barnes & Noble in person, then, and to look in the bargain section.
     
  34. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Maybe, but when I called mine, she stated that none of the barnes and nobles will have it. There was a posting on amazon about getting it in the bargain books, but it was from a year ago.
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, grump. A little over a week ago there were still copies in at least one of the B&Ns in my neck of the woods.
     
  36. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Lucky! But 36 bucks still isnt so bad. :) Do you think the books in the bargain bins are in their computer system. Inotherwords, if they look up the ISBN number and don't find it, does that necessarily mean that there is no chance? hmm...
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Let me put it this way: if you're not having to go far out of your way, it wouldn't hurt to look...
     
  38. Ignatius

    Ignatius Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2007


    I think being pro-Bush and being a teacher makes you a walking oxymoron.
    Sorry, but he's the natural enemy of education and well, intelligent thought.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (clearing throat ostentatiously, and attempting to circumvent an incipient hijack of topic that has potential to turn nasty)

    Hating the test, and hating testing in general, is probably counterproductive. As many ex-wives will tell you, "The best revenge is living well" - that is, beating the test at its own game, and in the process sharpening the mental tools with which you can help your future students beat the tests they will face.
     
  40. Kelster

    Kelster Comrade

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    Very good advise TG....as a former CSET test disliker and someone who had to take the test numerous times...I finally, with prodding from TG changed my thinking about the test and how I was approching it and put my energies into studying and telling myself I could beat it. And the November 06 test was the one...I passed the last section of it.

    I was able to finish my teaching credential program this semester and I graduated in May...However..I am now awaiting my RICA results...

    At anyrate...hang in there with the CSET I am living proof that it "CAN" be passed...
     

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