Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by TeacherGroupie, Jan 19, 2007.
Feb 12, 2008
Thank you for your advice, TeacherGroupie. Back to studying I go...
I rather think you're going to do just fine, pknnguyen.
I sure do hope so. Thanks for your encouragement...I'll let you know how things go!
Do that, please.
Oh Yeah Baby!
I passed tests 1, 2, and 4 with Elmers notes and three books:
Teach yourself linguistics, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, and NTC's Dictionary of Literary Terms. No problem, hedged on the side of "englishy" literary terms as a strategy.
First try on the essays, however, yielded a shocking "1" grade. What?! I am a essayist and published author, this made no sense. There had to be something I was missing. I went back to the example on the net' and deconstructed it meticulously. I discovered that it was not written in a standard linear style like I was used to where Subject 1 = A and Subject 2 = B text goes ABAB compare and contrast, no.
No the structure goes "ABBA" otherwise known as "ring structure" - look it up on wikapedia if you've never heard of it. It's the favored style of storytellers, the Bible, and Aristotle. I retook 3 with ABBA structure, paragraphs all about the same size, passed no problem.
Oh, and the critical analysis of the persuasion portion contained structural components I had missed in the examples also. I put those in as well.
Incidentally, I have a 7 year old degree in sculpture. Maybe these points are obvious for those literature folks out there, but not to us cross teaching people?
Thanks Elmer those notes were really good!
I think you're much likelier to have come to grief on the first go for the missing structural components than you are for the ABAB vs. ABBA structure per se. It's broadly the case that, while CBEST scoring places more emphasis on how one says what one says, CSET scoring across the exams is much more interested in what one actually knows and whether one can get one's point across.
Feb 15, 2008
I plan on taking the CSET on the March date and have to take all four tests and pass in order to begin an internship with LAUSD in July. I have heard this test is hard to pass on the first try, yet I don't have time to retake it for this opportunity. I have started reading Elmer's notes and they seem very helpful. I also wonder though if the test will ask me to identify quotes/passages from certain texts or periods of literature (as they do in Brit Lit or Amer Lit classes). Or do they want you to have knowledge of the different periods and cite authors, works, characteristics, etc.? If so, do you have any suggestions of study materials for this aspect of the test? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
I don't believe you're expected to identify quotes cold. A decent familiarity with movements and overall styles would be a very good idea, however. If you've still got your Norton Anthologies, they could be very helpful: look for what the critical commentary identifies as a given writer's Big Issues, and scan the works sampled to see what else strikes you. If you haven't still got your Nortons, might not hurt to look for copies used.
Feb 16, 2008
The very best study guide of them all was the sample tests on the CSET website ... that will let you know the type of questions you'll be seeing. I couldn't have passed all 4 subtests on the same day without it.
For some people, working straight from the sample tests (well, and the English-language arts and English language development content standards on which the samples and the subtests are based) is the best bet - and I think it makes for good learning to apply later in the classroom.
But that's not the only way.
Feb 20, 2008
Thank you....what a great help!!!
Welcome to A to Z, Cat Lady.
Mar 1, 2008
YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS!!!!
Elmer did very good work, yes.
And welcome to A to Z, glee15...
Hi...I can't get these to open for some reason...they download, but then won't open...would SOMEONE please send them to e-mail...I think I could get them to open from there! Thanks so much!
Hi...I'm new as well and am trying to get all I can to take the English CSET in two weeks...I can't seem to get Elmer's notes to open up...says there is a dialog box open and I need to close it first, but there isn't one open.
Would someone please send these to my personal e-mail as attachments so I can open them and use them? Thanks so much
Try opening them from within Acrobat Reader.
Thanks Teacher...my hubby helped me and we got them to open in a roundabout way...couldn't access from Adobe Reader either. I've got them now! Thanks again!
They don't open from within Reader?? That's weird.
Mar 7, 2008
Thank you for these guides, Elmer! I've been pouring over them for the last couple hours in preparation for the CSET next Saturday. I just found out 3 days ago that I have to have them finished before I can be accepted to my credential program (I thought I just had to finish them before I got the actual credential! STUPID!).
Anyway, I have a BA in Theatre, so I'm hoping I will still have my analytical skills ready come next weekend. Thanks TG for participating in this forum, reading your replies have been a big help!
edit: The CSET_Notes.doc attachment doesn't seem to work for me, it just takes me to a login screen. Is this happening for anyone else?
Huh. Let me check.
NoRehearsalTime, try looking for the file on your hard drive: it may have simply downloaded itself without telling you. (That's what just happened to me.)
And welcome to A to Z!
One other thing, NoRe: please go to User CP in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, choose Edit Options, and enable receipt of private messages, if you can.
Apparently I'm not cool enough yet to enable private messaging, or so says the FAQ. I have to build street cred in the forum.
Thanks for the heads up on the CSET_Notes.doc. It still doesn't work, but I'm also on a computer that isn't mine and doesn't have many user privileges. I've had to workaround a number of things just to get to the other documents. I'll try again when I get home.
edit: I got the CSET_Notes working. I still not sure what the problem was. I used Firefox to get it because it seemed all my problems were happening in Safari
That's weird, NoRe: it downloads fine for me in Safari.
Toss up a few more posts, and you should be able to enable private messaging.
Got any questions about CSET English?
The problems I was having are because I'm at a workstation that has just about every function you can imagine locked out. It's a visiting teacher account that just has some web access and no other programs!
I've passed subtest I already, so I've been through some of the test day stress. Now I just have to mentally prepare myself for writing the extended responses, which I have always had trouble with. Some links here have helped!
Breathe, and plan on taking at least one break. Where are you testing?
Mar 8, 2008
I'm in for the CSET English in May. I took the sample tests from the official site and passed the multiple choice subtests with medicre scores.
My big concern is my lack of literary knowledge. I can fight out the grammar on my own.
I'm going to need to take all four subtests in one blow to make myself employable. If I can survive this with passing scores, I'm headed for the social science CSET this summer.
It is becoming painfully clear that I haven't read anything of merit in years.
Do the practice tests from the testing site accurately reflect the actual test.
Thank you to Elmer, too, for those fantastic resources. The are already downloaded and will be printed tomorrow!
Mar 9, 2008
The questions on the Web site give you a feel for the size and shape of the questions on the test... but there are multiple versions of each subtest, and there will necessarily be questions on the actual test that aren't directly anticipated on the Web site. If your main concern is Subtest III, however - the one with the extended analytical tasks - I think what you'll see on the test day will be fairly comparable in scope to that.
Having a good practical grip on grammar, including the vocabulary, will stand you in very good stead on Subtests III and IV.
I'm actually glad I did the CSET multiple subjects so recently. That said, the time between my sitting through a lit. lecture and no has actually increased since my last test panic. I appreciated the scaffolds for the cset multiple subjects and wish there was a specific guide to follow for this test.
I do best sitting down with an actual book or text, instead of studying online. Would you recommend specific books? I have obviously watched way too much Law and Order reruns in recent years when I should have been reading great authors.
My initial scores on both the English and Social Science CSET practice tests from the testing web site were essentially identical- a mediocre passing before studying. This is actually far better than last year's absolute failure scores for the initial CSET when I started.
Here we go again!
I know this feeling quite well. I'm going through the same sort of crisis. Overwhelming myself with the guides and trying to bone up on all the things that should come easy to a college graduate.
Gently, there, NoRehearsalTime.
Choose from the material available to you just the guides that seem best to feed what you need right now. In your case, I'd suggest building on what you know about theatre and stagecraft and bridging back to what you need to know in literature. As you study the terminology, look for analogues and examples in theatre (especially the classics, which do also count as literature and quite often as poetry). "Stage" each term, if you like, in the theatre of your mind: try to hear it and see it, not just read it. In the course of acting, you'll have developed a feel for finding details of characterization that aren't spelled out in a script but that are consistent with the script: use that sensitivity when you're analyzing literary and non-literary prose.
Kippers, your task is to bring your journalistic sensibilities to bear in a similar way. You're trained to spot the telling detail in a situation from which you can build a story - and the detail left out that often provides even more important clues. So think about what an author reveals and chooses not to: what's the story behind the story? And you might find it helpful to sort the technical terms - which are the tools of analysis - according to how they help answer the classic five W's.
Both of you, please spend time noticing your successes and the mental connections you make, not just your shortcomings, hm?
Mar 13, 2008
I am taking the 4th section of the CSET English; lucky enough to pass the first two without your help and somehow passed Section 3 but do not with Section 4 so with your wonderful help I hope to pass this last part this Saturday. Thank you sooooooo much. I'll post to let you know how I do... you are super wonderful Elmer!! Sincerely, bettysbumpyride
oops I noticed that I meant to say "I did not pass" the 4th section...how embarrassing for a future English teacher. excuse my hurried response. bettysbumpyride
What are you seeing on side 2 of your score report, bettysbumpyride?
Mar 14, 2008
That is such encouraging advice. Thanks! 25 hours until test time!
Thanks Teachergroupie... good advice.
Apr 15, 2008
Okay Elmer, I took all for subtests in March and I passed I, II and III using your resources and advice. However, I did not pass subtest IV (I also did not really study for this one, I thought I could wing it!)
So please advise, what do I do to pass subtest IV, I already downloaded your drama terms.....
Great job passing three out of four; that's often a good sign for the last one, gloriala.
Separate names with a comma.