Elmer's English resources, revived

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by TeacherGroupie, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. pknnguyen

    pknnguyen Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Hi TeacherGroupie...

    I received my scores yesterday and am still feeling down. I passed Subtests I and II, but did not pass III or IV. *sigh* I received a 204 on III and 207 on IV. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again. :(
     
  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Let's see what side 2 of your score report says when it arrives, pknnguyen...
     
  3. pknnguyen

    pknnguyen Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Okay, I'll let you know when it arrives...
     
  4. interno

    interno Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2008

    passed half

    I got the same results...passed I and II, but failed III and IV. I had a feeling that I failed III, but thought I did really well on IV. I was surprised to see that I failed it (also got a 207). I studied for the multiple choice subtests more because I always did really well on written response tests in college. I tried to avoid writing a full essay and just addressed each question they asked, but some how I failed anyway. Any help or advice for next time would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Same suggestion for you, interno: when you get your printed score report, have a look at side 2.
     
  6. pknnguyen

    pknnguyen Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2008

    Okay, score report is in...here is what it says:

    Subtest III:
    Assignment 1: p,s
    Assignment 2: checkmark
    Overall: ++

    Subtest III: checkmarks on each assignment
    Overall: ++

    I don't know what I did wrong on the first part of Subtest III. I thought I was careful to make sure I addressed each bullet point, but I guess I didn't. I studied the sample test on the actual CSET website, plus the file from HSTeach. What should I do to prepare for the next test? Thanks, TeacherGroupie.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2008

    A leading cause of "s" on Subtest III is the fairly humble matter of neglecting to cite evidence from the passages to back up one's analysis. Insufficient evidence could also be a factor in the "p": one can get away with a theme that's a bit off the beaten track, but only if one can point to evidence to justify it.

    On Subtest IV, there evidently weren't any glaring shortcomings in purpose, knowledge, or support, but the answers may simply not have gone quite far enough. Make sure you know the technical terminology for journalism, speech, theatre, and creative writing, and make sure you use it.
     
  8. pknnguyen

    pknnguyen Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Thank you for the advice... :)
     
  9. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Multitudinous,

    Okay, I passed I,II, and III but not IV my official score report has one check in each box, indicating I met the minimum requirement for each short, constructed reponse item --- but there are no other diagnostic codes in the boxes, just the list of them beneath? How am I to know what I need to work on?

    grateful for any help,

    ggla

    thanks
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2008

    First, a quick administrative point: "Multitudinous" isn't my username, it's a designator for how much I post (blush); I answer to "TeacherGroupie", or "TG" for short.

    Your post above indicates that you blew off prep for Subtest IV. I'm not saying that as a criticism, but it's probable that your answers were all right but just not quite enough in depth to satisfy the scorers. Take a look at the sample answers on the CSET Web site for English Subtest IV and see if you can work out why the answers that got 3's got 3's, as opposed to the answers that didn't. Again, working on the terminology is a good bet - and making sure one shows off the terminology can be very useful.

    And you can certainly keep posting your questions and concerns here on A to Z. It makes a fine virtual study group.
     
  11. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Sorry, TG! Okay, so a check is a "3?" I think vocabulary review will help, and I'll read all those sample passing answers.

    thanks again
     
  12. interno

    interno Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Teacher Groupie,

    My report gave me a k,s in for the literary analysis and a p,s,d for the analysis of a non-literary text. I only got one + for the whole section. For subtest IV I also just received check marks for each one with no specific comments. I am feeling more discouraged now, and really need help with the literary analysis especially. Thank you.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2008

    gloriala, in fact a checkmark isn't necessarily a 3, no: it just means that you didn't come egregiously short on purpose, knowledge, or support: that is, each answer was adequate all around but the overall performance needed to be a bit stronger. How many plus marks did you get overall for Subtest IV?

    interno, did you quote from the literary or non-literary texts in your answers? And what have you been doing to prepare?
     
  14. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Dear Teacher Groupie,

    I earned a measly ++ on Subtest IV, but I'm beginning to get the picture. On the creative writing constructed response, I should have quoted the excerpt = evidence. I also believe on the Speech question, I simply did not have the vocabulary necessary to convince, I need to review that vocabulary. I believe I did okay on the media question, it's an area of interest of mine. And on the performance question, again, I believe it was vocabulary. I found that "Teach Yourself Linguistics" and "Linguistics 101" very helpful. I need a similar resource for drama/performance and speech. Also, I need to read as many of the sample top score responses, that way I can see exactly what they're looking for...

    I appreciate any additional advice/guidance. I just bumming because I was hoping to get in for an intern program eligiblity interview and I can't do it until I have passing scores on the CSET!

    thanks again for all your help,

    Gloriala
     
  15. interno

    interno Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    I did quote from the both literary pieces and the non-literary ones. I tried to answer each question they provided using examples from the texts. I used Cliffs Notes Prep: CSET English as a study guide and studied for a good month. I did focus more on the practice tests for the first two subtests because I usually do well with written responses. As for Subtest IV, what is a good study guide for the terminology they are looking for?

    I also REALLY need to pass the May test in order to begin an internship.
     
  16. pknnguyen

    pknnguyen Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Hi interno,

    I did the same thing as you regarding the quotes and examples. I thought I gave a lot of support, but I guess it wasn't enough.

    Good luck studying for May--I'll let you know if I come across any other useful resources.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2008

  18. malkav

    malkav Rookie

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    May 6, 2008

    Hello!

    Thank you very much for posting these study guides. I'm going to begin looking over them right away.

    I'm a bit of an odd case. I'm a returning college student that had many problems getting through when I was here before. I have battled severe bipolar disorder, family illness, many deaths of loved ones, economic hardship, and other tragedies too numerous and depressing. Since I returned to college two years ago, I have been maintaining a 3.6 GPA and actually raised my overall GPA from a 1.7 to a 3.1! It has been a lot of hard work as I struggle against medication side-effects that include concentration difficulties, sleepiness, and memory loss. Not to mention, the personal tragedies in my life have continued to accumulate, which makes it very hard to keep up with my studies. Just a month ago, my soon to be ex-wife was murdered. The grief, coupled with the responsibility of notifying friends and family and taking care of paperwork, took quite a toll on me, resulting in my need to take a reduced course-load.

    I am a Drama major, which leaves me with very little in terms of employment prospects (85% of actors are unemployed). When I returned to school, I wanted to change majors, but they told me that I had to finish what I started because I had used up so much of my financial aid with my previous attempts. I will have about 100 thousand in student loans to repay once I finish my undergraduate degree, and the thought of racking up more loans in graduate school makes my stomach churn. I have been reexamining my life and my goals as of late, and I have decided that dropping the pipe-dream of becoming a famous actor is what I need to do at this point. I have decided to go into teaching instead, and I am contemplating a specialization in Special Education. I want to help those like me that suffer from disabilities.

    Of course, one must pass a CSET test in one's area of expertise before one can qualify for entering any program. My area of expertise is Drama, which has no test, of course. Therefore, I am going to take the test for English, despite being woefully ill-prepared to pass. My writing and analysis skills should have been given a solid base through the Drama major, as I had to interpret and write about many plays, but I am very unfamiliar with poetry and the other literature that is on the test. I am willing to study hard in my spare time, though, and read what I need to learn in order to pass these exams. I plan on taking one at a time due to my disability (it often takes me longer to do testing) and because it will make it easier to study in chunks.

    Despite its supposed reputation as a great school, Stanford has woefully ill-prepared me for life and career and been terrible when it comes to my disability. I have gotten very little help from the career center, and as someone that is disabled, minority, very low-income, and the first in my family to ever attend college, I have been drowning in a sea of confusion when it comes to the process of pursuing a life after school. The paraprofessional to teacher program that the SFUSD offers looks very appealing and doable, but it also scares me because it makes you sign an agreement which stipulates that you must serve in the district for an amount of years equal to the amount they spend training you. I want to be able to move back to my old hometown in Southern California eventually, and I would not be able to for quite some time if I joined their program.

    I'm rambling, so I'll cut to the chase. What I want to know is if you think this new dream is doable. Without being an English major and with little knowledge of the literary periods and the mechanics of poetry and the like, can I get to the point where I can pass these tests within the next year? I'm not terribly worried about the CBEST; I've taken four practice tests and gotten either 100% or close to that on all of them. The CSET for English, on the other hand, scares the bejeezus out of me. Oh, if only there was a separate test for theater. :blush:
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 6, 2008

    If you've worked with any drama from the 17th and 18th centuries, you've done more with poetry than you think you have. (Does the phrase "blank verse" ring a bell?)

    Were you planning to take all four subtests in one go?
     
  20. malkav

    malkav Rookie

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    May 6, 2008

    No. First will be the CBEST, which I hope to take in June. Then, I will buckle down and study each section of the CSET, taking one section of the test per session to ensure that I do not overload myself.

    Another question that I have is about pre-professional experience. Most programs require that you have a certain amount of pre-professional experience before they will admit you. Do you have any good suggestions for resources that can point me in the right direction for obtaining work that will give me the pre-professional experience? I am most likely going to be a tutor over the summer, and while tutoring is great for building skills, it does not count as pre-professional teaching experience. The positions for teacher's aide that I saw on edjoin all seemed to require a full time commitment that I doubt I will have while I complete my degree here.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 6, 2008

    Given what you've reported so far, if you don't pass CBEST in June I will be very surprised. Plan to take a couple of breaks.

    Subtests I and III form something of a natural class; you might want to consider taking them together.

    You might do well to talk to the people at San Jose State's school of teacher education about the APLE loan program, which could give you a little relief on your student loans; if memory serves, it works for undergrad as well as grad.

    I'm the wrong person to ask about the pre-professional experience, and it's not entirely clear to me what the requirement consists of, but chances are pretty good that someone who does know will happen along and shed some light. But since the job market in Southern California is pretty competitive, you might think of SFUSD's obligation as four years in which to build up your resume and your chops so you'll be more attractive to the districts you really want to work in.
     
  22. malkav

    malkav Rookie

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    That APLE loan program does indeed look helpful. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    Have you heard much about any of the CSET preparation courses online, like ACE the CSET? Some look promising, but I want to know more about them before committing any money.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 7, 2008

    I'm going to answer your question a bit indirectly, malkav. You've complained above about Stanford not equipping you adequately for life and career... but how do you think Stanford has done at giving you a liberal arts education in the classic sense? To look at it a bit differently: whether Stanford gets the credit or no, how are you at reasoning and how confident are you in your ability to puzzle out answers you don't know cold?
     
  24. malkav

    malkav Rookie

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    Fairly decent, depending on the subject. I've been doing some self assessment exercises by taking practice tests, and I seem to do pretty adequately on things with which I'm not even very familiar, as long as they are not questions that require specific knowledge (if it is anything to do with formulas or facts, I am at a loss). For example: I took the 80 question practice test for the AEPA Special Education: Cross Category, and I got 70 of them right despite not having any education or training in that area. There's an odd logic to answering the questions that can be done through careful examination of the wording and elimination of the answers that do not correspond. Of course, writing the essays for a test like that would be nigh on impossible without intermediate to advanced knowledge and education in the area, simply because they ask you to go into specific terminology.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 7, 2008

    Good. Now did you ever take a survey course in English lit or American lit, or AP English?
     
  26. malkav

    malkav Rookie

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    No survey course, but I did take AP English in High School. Sadly, that was 13 years ago.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 7, 2008

    Very good. As you study, it'll come back to you.
     
  28. teachin'soon

    teachin'soon Rookie

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    May 10, 2008

    So, I posted something similar the other day, but I suppose I just need re-affirmation (yes, all over again).

    I passed the first three sections easily, and got a 107 on Section IV (seems to be a popular just-missed-it score on this forum). I'm studying hard this weekend and Friday for the test on Saturday, but any last minute words of wisdom? I know this test cannot be as hard as I'm trying to make it...
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you expect me to be surprised or shocked that you need reaffirmation all over again, teachin'soon, guess again...

    I seem to recall you mentioning that you sort of blew off Subtest IV last time. (I say this not by way of blame: passing the other three is a fine feat.) So this time you'll have five hours, if you choose, for just the four short-answer questions of Subtest IV. Don't make the mistake of thinking your answers should be huge because you've got all that time: the scorers have no way to know who'll have had just one subtest next Saturday and who'll have taken all four, and in any case there's a relatively small space in which to write.

    You need to be reasonably well versed in high school journalism and media, which includes helping kids learn how to read media critically and a little skeptically; speech communication, which includes helping kids learn how to survive oral presentations and all their hazards; theatre, which includes acting but also stagecraft; and creative writing, which includes cataloguing and tracking a student writer's mistakes and identifying the one biggest pattern of mistakes in a given passage.

    You might try looking up lesson plans in the four domains, or perhaps organizations of teachers of each.
     
  30. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    May 10, 2008

    Hey Everyone-

    I want to say I downloaded and printed all of Elmer's Resources and found them to be very useful. I'm a bit of a wreck again facing yet another CSET. I go from being highly confident to being certain I don't have a clue.

    I'm concerned about the essay questions and nitpicky grammar questions plus reading poetry for beat.

    The good news is a school district I'm vying for asked me to fax them my CSET registration confirmation- I want to teach special ed. as an inclusion teacher in language arts at the high/middle-school level. This adds a whole other level of pressure though. Now they're going to want to see my scores.

    Plus, the exam is on my birthday. plus my mother in law is throwing herself a birthday extravaganza on that day (her actual birthday is a couple days later) that starts during the exam- I've been asked to finish it up early so I won't miss the party- I'm taking all four parts in one blow.

    I just want to go home and eat (a whole) birthday cake and down it with a good microbrew or three.

    My last formal English course ended (gasp) more than two decades ago. I just seem to not be able to retain anything right now.

    Hang in there everyone. The Elmer notes were VERY helpful. They fill an entire notebook, though.
     
  31. teachin'soon

    teachin'soon Rookie

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    May 10, 2008

    TeacherGroupie, you're a posting maniac, and I'm very appreciative for it. Thanks so much for stroking my ego, as well as the very good advice. I'm using your tips to make an outline of exactly what it is the scorers want on this test.

    Kippers, I feel you on how hard it is to transition into teaching. I'm only three years out of school, and though I've yet to begin my actual teaching preparation program, I already can tell that the lure of microbrews will be a tough one for me to ignore, too.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 10, 2008

    For the grammar, Kippers, see if you can find Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, and for the verse look for John Hollander's Rhyme's Reason.

    Or maybe you can get teachin'soon to help...

    teachin'soon, you're welcome. Breathe, please. And teach this stuff, next Saturday.
     
  33. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    May 11, 2008

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the posts and advice you've given in this forum - they've been extrememly helpful. I am taking the CSET English (all four subtests) this upcoming Saturday, May 17. I had originally planned on becoming an elementary special education teacher and have successfully passed all three sections of the CSET Multiple Subjects. Now that I have changed gears and am interested in teaching high school special education English, I'm afraid I'm facing the big, bad CSET yet again.

    However, I've been studying very hard - I'm pretty good at linguistics and grammar, if I do say so myself, but I'm afraid I'm a bit "wet behind the ears" with all the literature stuff. I have been studying American Lit., its major genres, eras, authors, and works, as well as the same categories for British Lit. and World Lit. Am I on the right track? Any tips for what I should be focusing on specifically for subtests I and III? For the written responses in subtest III, should I be prepared to write a formal essay, including introduction, body, and conclusion?

    And as far as subtest IV, I've been researching speech (how to prepare, execute, etc.), theater and plays (including all areas of play production), and the different methods/areas of persuasion. Am I missing anything?
     
  34. teachin'soon

    teachin'soon Rookie

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    May 11, 2008

    ICandothis, can you recommend any good resources you've found for subtest IV?

    It sounds like you've been pretty on top of things as far as studying for the other sections goes. I took all four sections in March, and passed all of them, with the exception of section IV. I really overlooked it and ran out of gas. I know when you hear you have five hours to complete the test, you'll think you'll be done in more like three, but everyone I know who took all four at once said it took them close to that amount of time. I don't know what your plan of attack is for the test, but I just went straight through: Section I, II, III, and finally IV.

    As far as sections I and III went, I was an English major, but graduated in 2005. I know that's not that
    long ago, but I definitely was afraid I'd be a little rusty. Honestly, if you've looked at several CSET test prep books/sites, you should be alright, especially for section I.

    As far as section III, they certainly want to see that you can demonstrate a technically sound essay (e.g., you have an adequate intro, some body paragraphs, and some sort of conclusion). However, I think of greater importance in this section is your ability to really answer the question; that is, to really delve into literary analysis. Looking at Norton's anthologies, sample literary critiques, etc., should help in this vein if you're sort of lost.

    Hope that helps.
     
  35. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    May 12, 2008

    Thanks for the reply, teachin'soon.

    As far as subtest IV, I have been using the resources that I have found on this website, including links from Elmer's resources, as well as links provided in the "Websites for CSET English/History" part of the discussion.

    I've also found that you can look up "CSET English" on YouTube to find videos on different forms of plays, etc. Luckilly, I recently took a class in stage craft and stage production, so that knowledge has helped me as well.

    And it's comforting to know that you passed three out of the four sections on your first try. I figure if I can pass two out of four, I won't be terribly disappointed. But the goal is to pass all four. And I DO plan on taking the full five hours. I will need it.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 12, 2008

    Take at least one break, ICanDoThis, especially if the furniture is... shall we say, less than forgiving. But you sound reasonably well prepared.

    The one thing you might have overlooked for Subtest IV - which, by the way, is all SHORT answers - is the creative writing exercise, which involves picking apart what is presented as some luckless high-school student's flawed fiction passage. Essentially, you're grading the passage, and pointing out (after saying something nice, please) what the kid needs to fix. Usually there's one most eye-catching issue, and that's the one to focus on unless the specific question instructs you otherwise.
     
  37. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    May 12, 2008

    TeacherGroupie,

    Thanks for the advice. I will make sure and look over the process of creative writing and how to edit students' written work.
     
  38. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    May 13, 2008

    Can this nervous mess ask for some last minute advice?

    I'm sorry if this is a repeat of what has already been posted.

    I'm fairly confident on the multiple choice subtests. Now I realize that I have basically skipped prep on literary analysis and communications. Is there a basic decent site I can go to to find the basics on public speaking, drama, etc.? My first attempts in many many many years to analyze prose were dreadful, too.

    I've used the Cliffs and REA guides for prep so far, along with the Sparknotes, which I have somehow managed to lose in my hour of need....

    CSET English is this Saturday night.

    :)
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 13, 2008

    Awwww, Kippers. Huge hug.

    Try Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor, which should be in just about any Borders or Barnes & Noble. And use Answers.com (http://www.answers.com) to look up key terms in all areas.
     
  40. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    May 13, 2008

    Hello all,
    I am taking the CSET subtests I and III this coming Saturday. I have a B.A in History but I taught English(and history) in the adult high school level for 6 years. I taught the first ever literature class(did not exist before) and I created a Language Arts CAHSEE prep workshop for the adult program (69 % of my mostly ELL students passed!!). I taught myself some literary terms/devices, figures of speech, some elements of poetry, some elements of prose (limited on both) I learned enough to teach my students what they needed to know to pass the CAHSEE and to teach a decent Literature class. I have been studying for the past 3 weeks or so, additional terms, elements, etc... (using Cliffs and Elmer's notes) Also, I have been studying the sample 4 score written responses so that I could have a strong sense of what scorers are looking for. Here is my question... Unfortunately, I have not read many literary works. In my lit classes, I taught Of mice and Men, Lord of the flies, Night, Wuthering Heights, several short stories, and Romeo and Juliet. This is about the extent of my knowledge of lit works. Im so embarrassed to say that. I have been studying the various lit periods such as British lit Old English to Post modern but only the time periods and some example titles or authors. I am not even strong on memorizing the above! How much will my lack of knowledge in this area hurt me? With the limited experience I have in teaching Language arts and with the studying Ive managed to get in, I'm wondering if I even stand a chance at all. I'm not the best multiple choice tester(not the worst either). I do much better in written responses. Anyway, I am taking Wednesday and Friday off to "cram" in addition to studying every evening. Could anyone offer any last minute advice to my studying? I bought the Sparks 101 literature book last weekend but It seemed overwhelming to me. I think it is too late to study that?? Any help would be so appreciated. Good Luck to any one testing this weekend. : )
     

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