Elmer's English resources, revived

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

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 13, 2008

    myty1124, try to link the literary periods to periods in history, if European history and US history make sense to you - skim through SparkNotes Literature 101 to see what people were writing about, and think about what was going on socially, economically, and technologically.

    Take at least one break during testing time, please.
     
  2. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    May 13, 2008

    Great Ideas

    Thank you Teachergroupie. What a fantastic Idea to link the lit periods to historical periods. I think it will make more sense to me thinking about what was going on religiously, technologically, politically etc. in reference to lit. works. I can so see that clearly with the American Lit time periods. Im hoping that I will know just enough to pass. The Sparks lit 101 is just so huge and overwhelming to me. I have been looking through it but It is just so much info. I have a list from my district's AP English course that lists some of the common authors and works that are most often on the AP tests. I will try to use it as a guide to skim through the Sparks book. I am only taking two subtests (1 and 3) and plan to take 2 and 4 in July( If I pass 1 and 3) I will certainly take at least one to two breaks during test. Thank you for your great suggestions to me and to all here. You have been so helpful to so many.
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I rather think you'll do fine, myty1124, especially if you approach this test as a teaching exercise.

    You're welcome, and please pay it forward: encourage your students to leverage what they do know to figure out answers rather than giving up when they don't know the answer instantly.
     
  4. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    May 14, 2008

    Would this be a "Pass?"

    I took a subtest 1 practice test from the Cliffs CSET English prep book (2007 edition) and I missed 11 out of the 50 multiple choice questions. I do not know how many I will have to answer correctly on the actual test. Some of the literary time period questions I was able to figure out using my knowledge of History!! :) I now feel I have a better understanding of what areas I need to study more. I read on the CSET website about the scoring method and how a scaled score is based on the number of raw score points earned on each
    section... and the minimum passing scaled score is 220. I believe that each section of a single test is weighted differently. Anyway, I honestly do not understand it much and have no idea if I would have passed based on my practice score. I have 3 more practice tests that I will take in the next few days and I will continue to work on my weaker areas. Thanks again TeacherGroupie. Best wishes to anyone taking the test this weekend.
     
  5. teachin'soon

    teachin'soon Rookie

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    May 14, 2008

    Kippers, I'm looking for basic resources for Subtest IV, too, but have found a couple.

    For public speaking, watch this http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LVtWYe-rkxs. It's very cheesy, simple, and dorky, but still sort of helpful. Take notes of those steps they break down, and then ask things like, "Why is eye contact so important? What does that convey about the speaker?"

    This site also has some good things you might want to consider for the speech section:
    http://library.thinkquest.org/C001146/curriculum.php3?action=item_view&item_id=58.

    For the acting/drama part, I'm a little stuck, but I'm going to run to the library tomorrow and try to find an Intro to Young Adult Acting type of book and take some notes. It wouldn't hurt to do the same with speech, creative writing, and journalism.

    To anyone else who's taken and passed Section IV: did you ever encounter any questions that asked you to define the specifics of debate (e.g., Parliamentary vs. Lincoln-Douglas)? I realize what a particular question this is, but just curious.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 14, 2008

    220 scaled points is on a scale from 100 to 300, it should be noted; that is, there are 200 scaled points available, and the test passer needs 120 of them, or in the neighborhood of 2/3 of available points.

    In CSET subtests that combine the question types, multiple choice accounts for 60% to 80% of available points and constructed response for the rest. The English subtests work a little differently than all the others, however: the English subtests are the only ones that contain only multiple choice questions or constructed response questions but not both. Within a subtest, each question is weighted more or less equally: since there are 40 multiple choice questions in Subtest I in literary analysis and 10 in composition and rhetoric, it would be mathematically possible to pass Subtest I without getting any of the composition-and-rhetoric questions correct. That is, the object is to get 220 scaled points in each subtest, by whatever means.
     
  7. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    May 18, 2008

    Took English subtests 1 and 3 today

    I took both tests. I felt really confident with test III, the two written responses. Just studying the samples on the cset website and in my prep book really helped because I had a strong sense of what the scorer will be looking for. I felt I had identified the themes, figures of speech, comparisons contrasts, etc. accurately. I used plenty of quotes from the texts to support my answers.

    As for subtest I, there were several answers that I felt confident about but there were a quite a few that I had narrowed down to 2 answers and I took a 50 / 50 chance. I feel that I have a chance of passing but I'm not certain. Anyway, I just wanted to thank TeacherGroupie for her valuable advice and Elmer for the valuable notes. I wish the best of luck to all who took their tests today. I feel a sense of peace knowing that I studied hard and did my best today.
     
  8. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Congratulations!

    I took all subtests today and unless I skipped a bubble or had a total brain freeze, I feel confident I passed, not with great fanfare, but that there's a passing score out there.

    I want to thank everyone for these resources. TG- I read the "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have extra copies of Elmer's resources printed if anyone in the IE needs them. I couldn't believe I actually knew the play being analyzed on the test today- that's the only cast party I've ever been to in my life- 20 years ago mind you- but I had a wild crush on a cast member and was the play's photographer and shot through dress rehearsals- more times than I needed due to the crush. I can't even remember the cast member's name but by some luck I remembered the play.

    Thank you everyone. I had a minor heart attack when the answer sheet had 150 spaces, but thankfully only 50 questions.

    Your encouragement and resources are what pulled me through. My scores on literary analysis- I and III may be borderline, but the grammar and linguistics after Elmer's resources and working through test prep books wasn't bad at all. Same for Subtest IV.

    Thanks everyone!

    Kippers
     
  9. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    Kippers
    It sounds like you did just fine. I wish you the very best. Regardless of what happens with me, I am no longer fearful of this test. I will pass eventually. I feel so lucky to have come across these forums. Good luck to all.
     
  10. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Thank you. I'm losing confidence by the day right now about my score. I did want to say the Part 4 was pleasantly predictable. As long as you study the basics of public speaking, advertising, news reporting, etc. you should do fine. The answers were partially embedded in the questions. At least I hope so!

    Good luck to everyone! What really helped me with this test and also the multiple subjects was creating time to study and practicing the multiple choice tests with a realistic environment- in the library with an eye on the clock- with the cell phone off. I also made myself study incorrect answers and take time to think it through.

    Like I said, I'm losing confidence by the day about the overall score, but I do feel pretty good about 2 and 4 since those answers are concrete and not open to much interpretation.
     
  11. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    May 20, 2008

    English Subtest IV

    Dear Kippers/Novice,

    I'm replying to your post about the test. I took the test in March, and passed I, II and III but not IV -- I want to pick your brain a bit because you feel confident about that subtest, and I didn't, and I didn't pass. You said you felt that it was not open to interpretation, could you elaborate? I had trouble with it because it seemed as if the questions could come from so many areas, i.e. creative writing, journalism, drama, communications, etc. I gave general answers and did not pass, though I received minimum scores (one check) on each question.

    How did you study for subtest IV, and how did you approach the responses?

    any help would be appreciated

    glorialala
     
  12. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    I'm rushing off right now but I'd be glad to respond tonight. Please remember, I don't have my scores yet, so I could just be blowing smoke! But I'll be glad to respond.
     
  13. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    thanks so much for taking the time. I'd appreciate any help, and I look forward to hearing from you later.

    glorialala
     
  14. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    May 21, 2008

    Gloria-

    I don't know if this will help. Please let me know if it doesn't.

    The four question four subtests are very specific. You will likely encounter one on theatre, one on public speaking, one on news reporting/journalism and maybe one on film or another form of communication, including advertising.

    I think the answer to this subtest is making sure you are versed in the basics on each of these subjects. For public speaking/oral presentations: be sure you can briefly outline what might go into a quality presentation, how to connect with the audience (specific examples), pitfalls of public speaking, forms that a speech might take (spur of the moment, planned presentation) etc. The main idea in your answer, and to include in your answer is to make sure you connect with the audience, pass on critical information in an effective manner, etc. They are looking for specific examples to follow your generalizations. With film, be versed in genres, effects of lighting, music, location, camera movements and angles in terms of setting a scene, telling a story and creating suspense. With news reporting, you should be comfortable with briefly explaining the concept of objectivity, methods of presentation, bias, and serious v. sensational news reporting. Remember, the meat is in your message, you only get one page to pound this stuff out. It wouldn't hurt to site specific journalists in your piece- go for Pulitzer Prize winners or recent ethics scandals with a one-sentence description. Advertising may require explaining different methods of persuasion, again with specific examples- either well-known national campaigns that may have made headlines (nothing comes between me and my Calvins) or the type of techniques used to attract people to buy a product (bandwagon, status seeking, ad hominem electoral campaigns).

    You have a full five hours to pound out four REALLY good mini-essays the next time you take the test. If you could pass three on the first go, you are a shoe-in for the next test. I used the resources here and resources found on this website. I also practiced writing sample responses from the cset site.

    Remember, I may be blowing smoke since I don't have my scores yet. So please take me with a grain of salt. I bet you could get everything you need online, or if you want to study more, you'll get all the basics you need to write a one-page response in a "Dummies" or "Complete Idiot's" book (I'm not suggesting anything, I just like the immediacy of the formats in these books) :)

    I am certain that TG and ELmer and others can send you to outstanding sites. I'll be glad to send you every site I collected.

    One thing I needed to do for the other exams was create a testing-like situation when studying. I had to exit myself from home and disappear into a quiet group study room at a local university library (free resources, paid parking) and just give myself time and quiet to think- since my brain cells left a few years ago.

    :)

    Does this help at all?
     
  15. gloriala

    gloriala Rookie

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    May 22, 2008

    It absolutely does help. I'm extremely grateful to you for taking the time. Thanks so much. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    glorialala
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    According to the subtest description, the fourth subtest tests journalism and media, speech communication, theatre, and creative writing - the last task usually involves picking apart a passage that was supposedly written by a student.
     
  17. iwant2inspire

    iwant2inspire New Member

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    May 22, 2008

    Hello Everyone

    Hello everyone....I'm finally able to take the time and dedicate myself to becoming an English teacher....I took all subtests and I only passed subtest III.

    I decided that this time I would study harder and plan better. I was doing some web searching and I came across this site. The next time I take the test will be on July 19th so I hope that by preparing in advance I can pass the final 3 tests.

    I've downloaded the study guides and bookmarked all of the web resources. I will post if I have any questions.

    I just want to say that I think it's great that there is such a positive community of aspiring teachers helping each other.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, iwant2inspire.

    If you came close to passing the other subtests last time - and I'll guess that you did, since you passed Subtest III - I'd say your prospects are good. Don't forget to take at least one break during testing time.
     
  19. iwant2inspire

    iwant2inspire New Member

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    May 25, 2008

    Thanks!!
     
  20. Babydeucegi

    Babydeucegi Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2008

    Flordia

    does anyone know if these notes help wiuth the ftce english exam?
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There's no reason why they shouldn't help, Babydeucegi - there's bound to be at least some overlap.
     
  22. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    I just got my results from the May 17th test date. I took all four subtests, and I only passed three of them. I do consider this an accomplishment, but I am still disappointed. I can't figure out what went wrong. The subtest that I did not pass was subtest IV, which is the one I felt most confident about when leaving the test site. Weird. Anyway, any advice on what to study for subtest IV?

    How did everyone else do?
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Awwww, ICanDoThis. Go find yourself some chocolate, please, or whatever works for you the same way without causing problems. And have a hug.

    Passing three subtests IS an accomplishment. When your ego's recovered a bit, please pat yourself on the back. Better yet, find someone to pat you on the back. As literally as you like.

    How close did you come?

    When you get your official printed score report - it should arrive within the week - take a look at side 2: you'll see results for each subtest broken down by domain and question type. Each constructed response is scored individually, and the coding (letters p, k, s, or checkmark) give you an idea what needs work for next time.
     
  24. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2008

    Icandothis,
    Congrats on your major accomplishment!!! 3 out of 4 is super. Now in July you only need to worry about one test and I know you will do just fine. I took tests 1 and 3 only and I passed both so Im really happy. I will take 2 and 4 in July. I've already started preparing. again congrats on your success!
     
  25. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Jun 16, 2008

    Icandothis-

    That's really great. When you get your mailed scores, maybe we can strategize.

    Thank you everyone for your help and support. I just checked my scores and passed all four subtests- though I don't know the numbers.

    TG- you rock. thanks so much. I highly recommend the Sparknotes and the How to read literature like a professor texts. I practiced with the Cliffs study guide, too.

    I'm used to having to produce under pressure with writing, but I had to relearn all the rules of grammar.

    The next hurdle is actually landing that Spec. Ed. English job. I'm in the running at one campus where the vice principal and department head made it painfully clear that this would be the trenches- very inner city low SES. But trenches mean a paycheck! And the kids are great.

    Recreating the testing situation was very helpful to get me ready- if that helps anyone. I went to the university library and timed myself in a group study room with no distractions.

    I also used all the English resources provided here.

    Best best wishes to all-

    Kippers
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Way to go, Kippers!

    By the way, since you passed you'll never know your scores - but you can get an idea from side 2 of your printed score report (when it arrives) whether you squeaked through or waltzed through.

    You're welcome. Pay it forward, please.
     
  27. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2008

    Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I feel that passing three out of four subtests is bittersweet - sure, it would have been nice to pass all four, especially since the subtest I didn't pass was, what I felt, my "easiest" feat, but I'm glad I passed one thru three, which were where I felt most uneasy.

    So I'll really buckle down and study harder for subtest four. And when I get my official score report, I'll give you guys the breakdown. Perhaps we can brainstorm together on what I need to do.

    Thanks again for your kind words and your help!
     
  28. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2008

    Alright, I received my official score report and here's the breakdown of the subtest (IV) that I did not pass:

    Speech: check mark
    Media: check mark
    Dramatic Peformance: check mark
    Creative Writing: "k"

    And I received only two plus signs where it says "Overall Constructed-Repsonse Section."

    Please, all, shed a little light on this for me!
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2008

    p, k, and s on the form stand for purpose, knowledge, and support. A p is given to a response that doesn't show understanding (or not communicating understanding) of the purpose or point of the question - what it's about. A question that references the Battle of Vicksburg is about the Civil War, for example, and needs to name it. A k is given to a response that doesn't show knowledge, and it's generally assumed that a person who can sling around technical terminology more or less appropriately has knowledge. An s is given to a response that isn't well supported, and that usually means that the reasoning behind the response hasn't been made clear. A checkmark is given to a response that doesn't have obvious glaring shortfalls in purpose, knowledge, or support - which is by no means the same thing as acing the question.

    Subtest IV has the test taker diagnosing a kid's problems in creative writing. I'm guessing that you identified the biggest problem but that you may not have used the specific technical terminology for which the scorers were looking.
     
  30. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Jun 18, 2008

    TG knows so much more about all this than I do. I got my scores today, too.

    Without giving the question, I hope it's okay to state that our test on the media portion had us analyze a magazine article for the author's purpose. I think the most important piece there was placing the article in its historical context. For example, a piece written in 1948 (not the one on our exam) would place us in post World War II reconstruction of Europe, early Cold War and economic boom. A brief description of the context the piece is written in gives great insight to its meaning and the author's intent. I made brief notice to world and national events and events that would soon be coming that would be directly tied to the author's message.

    I can't remember what the creative writing analysis was, but I remember the error in the text being an obvious one. I remember reading examples that included verb tense errors, faulty factual errors in a creative writing piece, and other truly obvious errors that could be readily fixed.

    I spent the night before the CSET reading public speaking web sites. I think some came from here and others were just from the about.com and other sites. I remember the public speaking question was very straightforward and I culled my response directly from those sites. I wonder if Toastmasters has a good text?

    Does this help? I sure hope so. Part 4 was the easiest portion of the test for me. I was marked down for literary analysis in Part 3, though. :)

    I still have to take the RICA in August and feel much more confident now.

    Now to get a job..... I've interviewed for one where the high school juniors still can't read but have to use grade level curriculum. Help!

    You will ace part 4 for sure next time.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nifty examples and discussion, Kippers. For a question on multimedia in CSET English, the historical background you cite would be part of knowledge and support; the purpose requirement would probably hang on identifying both what the author of the content intended to do with it and whether one agrees as a reader that the author succeeded. One would also want to make a reasonably big issue of the medium in play (that is, one should think about whether the medium is the right one for the message, and one should also have in mind some principles of critical reading as they apply to media, including checking for bias and credibility).

    I specify CSET English because the same material could surface in a CSET History question, in which case the historical information isn't background and the media issues are.

    The moral: The smart test taker orients any answer to the domain that the question is supposed to cover.

    Anyway, Kippers, thanks so much for sharing!
     
  32. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Jun 19, 2008

    Thanks TG-

    Another note on the media- it is important to specify the audience intended in these critiques. IE a national news magazine aimed at a largely educated middle-income audience like Time, or if the mode is aimed at a specific economic or ethnic group, etc. I bet it might make sense to look at major trends in media delivery over the past few decades as well. Live coverage could not exist a few decades ago. I remember once interviewing a television reporter who said they used to run wet film when major events were happening. They'd shoot it, run it back to the lab in the studio, develop the film and run it, unedited, still wet.

    Sorry to ramble. I'm glad to help if I can. I'm just so relieved it's over.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's funny how often the asides make the information memorable. Thanks again!
     
  34. cndteach

    cndteach New Member

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    Thank you, thank you, Elmer and TeacherGroupie!!! I felt like a drowning swimmer until I found your notes--a life preserver!!! I appreciate your help so much!
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, cndteach. Taking CSET is indeed more than a little like swimming: you need to keep breathing, and you need to keep moving to stay afloat.
     
  36. tomhardy

    tomhardy Rookie

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    Thank you Elmer

    I am a special ed teacher with a BA in English Lit and an MA in Sped Ed. Not enough education apparently to consider me qualified :)

    I teach at the secondary level and was relieved to find out that I would only have to take the single subject exam to be considered highly qualified (vs. the multi). Thank you so much for the study materials.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A toZ, tomhardy!
     
  38. wanttoteachHS

    wanttoteachHS Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Which books to buy?

    I'm starting to study for parts II and IV, which I am taking in Sept. I am hoping to get most of my materials from the library. However, if I have to buy books, I want to limit my purchases to those that will be useful for teaching and long term use.

    Any specific recommendations? Also, are any of the test study guides useful in any way? I've read lots of reviews citing multiple errors but would love more practice tests to work with.

    Thanks as always! (This site was instrumental in helping me pass parts I and III.)
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sorry I didn't get to this sooner, wanttoteachHS. If you're in the market for one of the prep books, please examine them before you buy so you get the book that's right for YOU. Every prep book there is has both its champions and its detractors.

    What is it in Subtests II and IV that has you most concerned?
     
  40. myty1124

    myty1124 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    wanttoteach
    I just took subtest II and IV last Saturday. I cannot say for sure yet because I dont have my scores, but I used CLIFFS English CSET prep book to help me prep for all 4 tests. I felt that it was extremely helpful for tests I and III (which I did pass on the first try) and I felt like the practice tests for test II were very similar to the real test that I took on Saturday, So I felt that it covered test I, II, and III really, really well. As for Test IV, it was much more limited but it did have some good concepts as far as advertising (media) some drama terms, some oral communication terms, and some grammar (for the creative writing question) It is much more limited for test IV and the practice tests for test IV are not really like the real test.

    So, I highly recommend Cliffs English CSET Prep for the first 3 subtests. It really was so helpful. I made flash cards of most of the terms in it, and it really helped. But what helped the most was the practice tests. They are really good. Hope this helps.
     

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