Just took first CSET, subtest 1...ugh

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by Maggie1999, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2017

    I know I am one of thousands. I didn't spend weeks studying...I've set myself up to take the 2nd subtest on July 11, the 3rd and 4th after about two weeks apart. Math will be hardest....do not have college math, am a middle age woman.

    I'm bright, and think I will make an awesome special education teacher, but its been a long time since in school and I truly do not know if I can - ever - pass these CSET tests. First was told by a couple of schools to study the practice tests on test website. I practiced them and others...did not help one ounce. Literally.

    Deadline is coming up for spring admission. Only admits once a year. I feel parts of the test were too hard. With the practice tests I got most of the answers wrong...and I used to score very high with english and comprehension...but even there - zero. Occasional questions I get...but thats it. I felt like two answers were too close, or too possible, to make a solid choice. Often there would be truth in both of them. OK, so one had a tiny more truth that the test makers determine.

    I don't know. Are there any programs out there like Kaplan, or anything solid to really get help with this stuff? I realize I'm probably going to bomb each of these...I'm poor in math and science...subtest 1 should have been my easiest - took it yesterday and was just lost most of the time (did have the nice surprise of being able to write about 3 out of 4 constructive responses). Didn't go back to double check cause knew I just didn't know the answers. What do you folks do who pass? Especially those of you who pass the first time, AND are not just out of college? Are there any - not easy - but clear cut solutions here? I hear so much about many of the practice tests put out on the internet often have wrong answers...I just don't even see how the practice tests help - they didn't help me. Thanks for listening to my vent...
     
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  3. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Jun 29, 2017

    Honestly, I didn't spend a ton of time studying, but during the time I did spend on it, I used the CliffsNotes CSET book and watched Crash Course videos on the subject matter. You need a surface level understanding of a lot of topics, which is what these materials will give you. Best of luck!
     
  4. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2017

    Thanks for your fast reply!
    1. How long have you been out of school
    2. How did you study, how many hours...what format did you use
    3. I did use the cset cliff notes....the practice questions, and the practice test did not help me AT ALL with the real test. I thought about ditching it. And when I got stumped on a practice question, I would find that subject in the book and not even a good overview of the problem it had set out. How did you use the Cliffnotes to make it effective?

    I felt I needed in-depth understanding of so many historical issues....but your saying surface level which makes me question myself. Do you have examples of crash course videos? Like a lot of you tube videos?

    Sorry to be a pill, truly...I just found the cliff notes did not come up at all on subtest 1- although I know that book a popular go to.

    If your willing to answer my questions, thank you, and especially I'd love to hear your actual study format. Something tells me you've graduated fairly recently if this was relatively easy for you. Also, I did not get any US history in high school or college (believe it) I always got away focusing on world history....but that was not the huge obstacle....I like history a lot...I don't mind studying it...although I am shocked how many resolutions and changes happened constantly in the past hundreds of years - there is a LOT to remember. Still begging for any insights. Muchas gracias.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, Maggie1999. Subtest I covers some ground most of us don't see outside of a credential program: reading instruction methodology. You wouldn't be the first test taker whose brain, on encountering those questions early in the subtest, decided that both of you were in an unsafe situation.

    There is no such thing as the one right resource for prep. If Cliffs doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. Similarly, there's no one right format for study - in part because strengths and weaknesses are pretty individual.

    If you're noticing that two multiple choice answers are similar but not identical, you're on the right track. The slightly wrong answer in history, for example, will have some bits correct but miss the timeframe OR the culture OR the cause OR the consequence.

    "Crash Course" is the name of a channel (that is, a series of videos) on YouTube. I agree that you'll find them useful for brushing up on history; they're engaging, and they encourage a sense of the flow of history (which is useful in discerning misses in timeframe, culture, cause, consequence, and the like).

    For Subtest II, it isn't the case that college math is required. What is helpful is a grounding in math up to about tenth grade and the learnable knack of recognizing math you know in the question that, at first, looks unsolvable.
     
  6. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Jun 30, 2017

    [QUOTE="Maggie1999,
    Maggie, when I took the CSET MS, and failed Subtest 2, I found my way over to TeachersTestPrep.com and enrolled in their CSET Subtest 2 video-on-demand course, and it prepared me ROYALLY for the next try.
    They go over EXACTLY the kind of questions on the exam; and the next time you sit down to test, you know EXACTLY how to figure out the answer. HIGHLY recommendable.
     
  7. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2017

    Thanks for your response. For some level the Cliffnotes was unhelpful to me, which bothers me as its a popular/main study tool for the CSET. I don't like it as it is too dry...I cannot assimilate 2 pages of it. For me to learn, I need a story, a theme...to get involved somehow in the topic. I do very well in classes/lectures. (not dry ones!). I did study the practice tests in the cliff notes and they honestly did not help me at all for subtest 1. Now the math might be a different story as math is dry...but I've temporarily canceled all other subtests as a housing crisis came into my life and I've lost the necessary time to be studying at the moment. But I will start with the Crash course videos for sure.
     
  8. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2017

    T
     
  9. Sab

    Sab Companion

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    Jul 17, 2017

    I didn't study much for any of the CSETS and passed them all the first time despite feeling like I'd failed after each. On one I left a constructed response question completely blank and still passed. I think having good test-taking strategies is really the main thing...read the questions carefully, try to eliminate any obviously wrong answers, and then use your best logic to select one of the remaining options. I did skim through the cliff notes CSET book beforehand and that is kind of helpful in that it explains some of the reasoning behind answering a question a certain way...so don't just try to learn the answers, try to become a better test-taker. And you might've done better than you think!
     
  10. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Thank you so much, this was very informative and helpful...I think the crash courses will be my way to go...I need the engaging piece, actually love history....so this is something will work at.

    as I posted in above response...I've cancelled my other subtests for now....I'd actually like to start a new post but not real sure where to post it. I found CalTeach and got all excited - until I learned that it does not credential for special ed. They will admit students without the CSET and spend one term helping them with these tests. Also, they are darned cheap, and portable...if I end up having to move (why I cancelled the other subtests...houseing crisis came up), that program is very portable.

    I admit to feeling frustrated, as I am sure many others have, at not being able to just study and get this done. I'm very eager to see how I did on subtest 1. (And you are spot on...the reading instruction methodology...I am pretty intuitive and think I'd make a good call as a teacher...but couldn't help thinking..."could you test me on this stuff AFTER I've completed your program?!" it was like reading science fiction).

    I'd like to start a new thread partly as to are there good online schools - fully accredited of course) for special education teaching? I'm starting to think, much as I truly do love the classroom, that may be the most practical route for me with my uncertain housing. Of course I still got to pass these CSET tests.

    Thanks for listening and helping.
     
  11. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2017

    PS...One last complication perhaps for a new thread...is how to get credentialed in special education early childhood? Sacto state offers that....not sure I want to move there. I talked with Humbolt State (not sure I want to move there either) and their resource person suggested "just get your credential and take some online classes to specialize in early childhood). Special education early childhood is quite different, and I would imagine take a few years to really get some expertise. Its the really young children therefore in some instances its going into peoples homes and working with a family, not just the child alone.

    If you happen to have any insights into any of this, or a good idea where to post....I'm all ears. Thank you!!!
     
  12. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Thank you for your insight. I am a poor test taker generally, outside of essays....oddly (though its true don't know how I did yet), I was able to answer fairly well 3 out of 4 constructive essays. I'm also in my 50's, and somehow managed to side step US history as well as any science in high school, much less college, which now seems abhorrent. Learning US history is mind-blowing....a lot happened I do not know about - its rather shocking how much intense fighting, property wars, political activity was going on in the US. I took a fair amount of world history.

    Yes, I am a very poor test taker. I also have test taking anxiety as a result. I did very poorly on SAT's way back when...another feeling of defeat is I did spend time with practice tests in book and online test center....would be stuck with which of two answers might be right....and pretty much every time picked the wrong one. I have learned some about how to take these tests from doing the practice test and studying the books suggestions. I just don't have the knowledge.
     
  13. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Back 25 years ago I wanted to get a masters at UCD in education - a community development program....I did enroll in a Kaplan GRE class...but was not focused enough to complete so did not come close to applying. I deeply wish there were Kaplan - or some other outfit (locally or even online) that I could enroll in to rigorously focus on CSET skills. But I guess I'l do the grunt work, do those crash videos, study books, do a lot of flash cards...etc....same as everyone else. I'm not gonna give up.
     
  14. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Jul 21, 2017

    [QUOTE="Maggie1999, post: 2036715,.[/QUOTE]
    I'm also middle-aged; went back to school after my children grew-up a bit. When I first began, I felt very insecure too, but my oldest daughter said something that proved to be true. She said, "Mom, you've learned A LOT over the years." And she was right. I could not compare myself to the person I was when I graduated from high school. I had learned A LOT since then. By the time I was 40, I wanted to learn, EVERYTHING was interesting to me,which was not the case when younger. I ate history for lunch! It's still my FAVORITE subject.

    What I did struggle with, was math, and even so, I STILL LOVE IT. The best mental exercise I can think of is doing a few complex algebra equations for breakfast!

    Thank God for America, that believes in second chances. I've never had so much FUN until I began teaching.

    You stick with it, you have no idea how far you may go.
    Good luck
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 21, 2017

    My apologies: I think I'd drafted most of a reply to one or another of your posts, and then a computer glitch ate it.

    First, your case:

    There are two major routes to ECSE, according to page 2 of the document at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default...re-files/ece-cred-types.pdf?sfvrsn=4f4fed04_0:

    - to go through a specific ECSE credential program, of which there are fourteen that are state-approved,
    OR
    - to go through a regular special-ed credential program and pick up the Early Childhood endorsement later

    Second, where to post your questions that aren't about the test:

    If you launch the thread in a forum in which it doesn't quite belong, the worst that happens is that a moderator will come across it and move it. I don't recall a good place at the moment, but I know there's a Special Education subforum and I know that there's a forum along the lines of Pre-service and Student Teachers, and either would be appropriate. In the meantime, the chances are pretty good that a non-moderator will come across it and give you some answers. Let me add that A to Z veterans don't tend to search for new threads forum by forum; instead, they use one of the two Latest Posts links at the top of this page to bring up a list of what's been posted since the last time one checked. (I prefer the Recent Posts lists, which retains posts I've already looked at.) What this means is that even if a thread is launched in an obscure-looking forum, it will be seen by those who do more or less as I do.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Wait: a better doc on the Early Childhood Special Education preliminary credential is https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl808ca.pdf?sfvrsn=acab8f79_0. I'm surprised to see you may not need RICA if you can get into one of the programs. You can search for programs at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/reports/data/app-edu-prep-prog - but your best bet may be to make an appointment at the local county office of education to find out what's available and what kind of help you can get.

    ETA: Ouch. Apparently CSU Fresno has the only active program, as of June 2017. Let me repeat: go chat up the nice people at the local county office of education.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  17. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2017

    I wish I had paid attention to your advice earlier....after I first posted here did not pay close attention after first couple of posts (disorganized/too busy...will be my biggest challenge prob as a teacher)....even though I'm new studying I NEED this for math and biology. I've taken the others already...passed the first one after all!!! but not a clue on subtest 3, and the writing test.

    Do you have advice if this a good website for subtest 3? I am guessing I may have failed that...

    And thank you for posting this...it finally caught my eye and I signed up immediately for two week course...exactly how much time I have!!!
     

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