Freaking out about the CSET Science Subtests I & II

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by JenW, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. JenW

    JenW Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Hello,

    I'm taking the CSET General Science Subtests I & II on 9/15/07. Before I registered for the exam, I lurked around this forum to find out what the best way to study was. The general consensus seemed to be that using the outlines provided on the CSET website as a "shopping list" was the way to go.

    So I bought the Conceptual Physical Science and Biology textbooks as well as some SparkCharts and bookmarked the recommended science websites. Today I sat down to start creating my own study guide and I realized that there is NO WAY I am going to have time to address all the subject areas on the outline before the exam. I have a background in biology but all the earth science, astronomy, etc. is brand new to me.

    Now I am freaking out. I don't need help with test strategy but I really would like to find something that consolidates all (or most) of the information required in one place. Is this a pipe dream? I just can't believe there isn't anyone out there who has done a decent job of putting a study guide together for these exams. I'm willing to pay for it. I just need to find it!

    I looked at A+ Teaching Solutions, CSETprep.org, the Teaching & Learning Interchange, UC Irvine, Mo Media, and the Wynne books. The flashcards from Mo Media (Tony Morrison) looked interesting but I was discouraged by what I read about him and his study guides in another forum on this website. Does anyone have experience with the flashcards in particular?

    I know the best strategy is probably to piece all the information together from a bunch of sources but I really don't have the time to do that. Any suggestions?

    Thank you
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2007

    For an all-in-one overview, try the Usborne Internet-linked Science Encyclopedia, and make sure you follow up with the Web links in it. Malcolm says that worked well for him. If you can't find the Usborne, then the DK Online Science Encyclopedia might do. You'll find either in the kids' section of most major bookstores; take a look and see if they'll work for you.

    The reason that the outlines on the CSET Web site are the shopping list of choice is that they specify definitively what can be tested.
     
  4. JenW

    JenW Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Usborne

    Thanks. I'll try that. My husband thinks I'm way too uptight about this exam but I'm the kind of person who likes to over-prepare for everything so the wide variety of subjects has got me feeling a little overwhelmed. Hopefully the Usborne book will help. The worst case scenario is that I take it a few times, right? Have a great night...
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Are you generally a confident test taker? I mean, once the testing actually begins?
     
  6. JenW

    JenW Rookie

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    Yes. Very much so. I just don't feel confident with this particular content. I'm considering backing off of taking 118 & 119 at the same time. What do you think? Is 1 month enough time to prepare if I'm starting from scratch and only have 2-3 hours per day to study at most. I have a BS in nutrition but it's been a while since I've taken any other kind of science course. Thanks.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ah: what other sciences did you take? Include high school, please. Were any of them honors or AP?
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dunno if you caught this post by Malcolm, by the way:

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?p=460226#post460226
     
  9. JenW

    JenW Rookie

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    I've taken intro bio & chem, microbiology, food micro, organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology, zoology. I've always struggled with chemistry and I don't remember much of the biology/physiology stuff (use it or lose it, right?). No AP science classes in high school.

    I was going through the 118 study guide this morning and am feeling a little better about it. The first half of the guide still concerns me but all the scientific method and science & society stuff seems easy. Maybe there is hope! I'm going to take a look at the 119 guide right now.

    Thanks. : )
     
  10. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I have taken these tests successfully and have also passed the Bio, Earth Science, and Chem subtests. Subtest I for me was pretty easy and I have no Science background. I used the Conceptual Physical Science book by Hewitt and it worked like a charm. Since you have a background in Bio, you should be okay for subtest II. For me that one was harder, so you should be fine if you use the remaining time wisely. I would suggest focusing on subtest I with the Hewitt book and brush up on subtest II a little before test day. Also, keep in mind that subtest II does have a little chemistry thrown in and the Hewitt book covers the information in that section of the test.

    I would take subtest I and II on the same day. Five hours is plenty of time to take both with care. Taking 3 science subtests can be pushing it.
     
  11. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    I agree, five hours is plenty for Science Subtests I and II. I would sign up for both, even if I didn't think I could pass both on the first try. At least that way you have an idea about what is coming.

    Whether you can adequately prepare for both subtests in 2 to 3 hours a day between now and the test date really depends on you. IMHO you can certainly be ready to ace at least one of the.

    My recommended approach is to build your own study document based on the Subtest Descriptions and referenced standards filled in with information from Usbourne or your books of choice and the internet as necessary.

    You might want to check here. They have made a good start for you.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    JenW, look for connections between what you know and what you need to know (and what you used to know).
     
  13. JenW

    JenW Rookie

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    Thanks, everyone. It sounds like I've been overestimating the difficulty of these two exams. I'll let you know how it goes. : )
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'll put it this way: I think you might be overestimating their difficulty for you.
     
  15. em7551

    em7551 Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I took three science tests on July 21st. The Physics exam was not that hard for me, but I ran out of time. I was going through it like a madman. I would take no more than two. What I did was review earth science, bio, chem and physics. If you type in Regents, you can find some great websites with SATs from NY State. Very helpful. Also, some meteorology helps. I would say the tests are fairly difficult because of the breath of information asked. Don't get too deep into each subject (except biology/ecology, which seemed to be emphasized.) If you can afford it, type in CSET in Amazon and some good study guides come up. Good luck.
     

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