MS CSET Math Subset

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by asharrison, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. asharrison

    asharrison New Member

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    Mar 30, 2006

    My husband is preparing for the multiple subject CSET. From what I can tell, the required algebra knowledge level is intermediate (Math 095). Does anyone out there know otherwise? He's planning to take a refresher course this summer, and we want to be sure...
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The algebra itself is pretty basic: if there's more than one variable, either you're solving for one variable without necessarily coming up with a numerical answer, or there's a way to restate in terms of just one of the variables, or you simply need to be able not to get into a blind panic when the world is full of variables.

    Where it gets, um, interesting is in what one is expected to DO with algebra, or geometry. Your husband should be able to lay out the steps to an answer and explain why his answer makes sense. An intermediate-algebra refresher course should go far in preparing him.
     
  4. asharrison

    asharrison New Member

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    Mar 30, 2006

    Thanks for your response. It is helpful!
     
  5. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2006

    Asharrison,

    I would highly recommend a CSET study guide for this portion of the Multiple Subjects test. I took this twice and passed it on the THIRD try. This is a very hard test and i'm really good at science, but they want you to know almost EVERYTHING about 6th-8th grade level science material as well. Be prepared to write a short answer about a basic math computation, intermediate algebra computation, and geometry computation as well. There are also two different science knowledge questions as well. One of them deals with an experiment situation. They all vary and you'll never know which one you will get stuck with. If you email me, i'll give more information if you would like.

    Troy in Los Angeles, Ca
    AspieTeacher
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Plan on doing some problem-solving and application, both in math and in science. I wouldn't call the algebra "intermediate", though.
     
  7. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2006

    Please email me with more information directly.

    Thank you
     
  8. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2006

    Two days ago, when I registered for Subtest I, I reread the terms of agreement. It specifically warns against discussing actual test questions, not just on a forum, but with anyone who plans on taking the test. AspieTeacher, it's great that you are willing to help others via private email, but if you plan on disclosing specific test questions, please reconsider. Is the risk of getting caught worth it?
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Thanks for noting this, jazzminjoy.

    People, one of the best ways to study for a test like CSET, or to help someone else study, is to make up questions and share them here. The questions should tap into the same issues one finds on the test without being the same question.

    There are two advantages to this approach, as opposed to the approach of sharing specific actual test questions.

    First, it's safer in exactly the way jazzminjoy suggests - you're not risking the wrath of NES (and, since someone who's taken the test had to have signed the agreement to which jazzminjoy refers, NES does in fact legally have the right to nullify your passing score if you share actual test questions).

    Much more to the point, it's more effective. Remember this old saying? "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for life." The same thing applies here.

    The test taker who goes in on May 20 prepared to regurgitate the answer to a particular constructed response question will quite likely choke if that question doesn't appear on the test that day. (Remember, there are multiple versions of the subtests.) The test taker who has cooked up related questions, however, and digested related questions that others have supplied, will have worked with principles and knowledge that can apply to a variety of questions and will have thought about why it makes sense to apply those principles and that knowledge - and there you have purpose, knowledge, and support.

    Much more important, the future teacher who knows how to fish (or cook) in this sense is better equipped to model the processes involved to his or her future students, which makes it likelier that they too will learn how to fish (or cook) for themselves. And it seems to me that that will lead to the best outcomes in the classroom.
     
  10. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    The penalty for getting caught sharing test questions is much worse than a null score. You subject yourself to legal damages and fees. I think that could have an adverse affect on obtaining (or keeping) a credential. Here is the actual text from the NES agreement:

    12. Nondisclosure of Test Materials: Because of the great cost expended to develop the Test Materials, because of the obvious necessity that they be kept confidential and secure from disclosure in order to fairly and effectively perform the test functions for which they were designed, and because any disclosure of part or all of the contents of the Test Materials to anyone might render them unusable for future test administrations, I promise and agree that I will not disclose the Test Materials or any part of them (including the form, subject matter, substance, and wording of any test question or any answer thereto) to anyone for a period of ten years from the date of the test administration to which such Test Materials pertain. I understand and agree that if I should violate this agreement of nondisclosure, I may be liable in damages for costs (including redevelopment costs) incurred as a result of any breach of this agreement, and I may also be subject to other legal and equitable remedies (including injunctive relief) for any such breach.
     
  11. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    Apr 24, 2006

    By the way, TeacherGroupie, you very elegantly (as usual) stated the optimum method for studying for the CSET and the best reasons to avoid sharing actual NES test questions.

    I have admiration for the people who created the test questions. They designed the problems so that one really needs to know how to apply knowledge--how to think things through, in order to answer correctly.

    For instance, you may know how to multiply and divide fractions, but you must know when to do what. You may know how to determine the area of a circle and a rectangle, but can you apply that knowledge to calculate the surface area of a smaller cylinder on top of a larger one, given just the radii and height of the two cylinders?

    It helps to know your way backwards and forwards in a process. For instance, draw a diagonal line on an x-y co-ordinate plane. Can you write the equation for the line? What about the slope? Now go the other way: given just two points in (x,y) format, can you graph the line? If there is a point on the line and you know just the x co-ordinate, can you figure out the y value?

    Take a formula and know how to solve it no matter which one piece is missing. As an example, could you solve a Force equals Mass times Acceleration equation if you are given any two of the three parameters?

    It does no good to memorize the photosynthesis reaction if you don't understand the more basic concept of how to balance a chemical equation. However, if you do have the core knowledge of balancing the number of elements on each side, then you'll be able to answer questions on just about any chemical reaction equation.

    Have confidence, enjoy reviewing, and use this forum to post your thoughts, tips, insights, questions, comments, concerns, summary notes, speculations, etc. It's a wonderful tool, and there's a whole community here for support. (Actually, only TeacherGroupie is here. She assumes different user names. Most of the time, she talks to herself as two different contributors. Kidding, of course. But you never know for sure... Smiles.)
     
  12. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 24, 2006

    I'm not giving out actual questions, just advice on what to study!
     
  13. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2006


    I appreciate your input.
    Thank you
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Teacherpam, I was about to lean on Aspie to share, and then I realized that he was responding to your post. It really and truly does work very well to share your questions here in public - you'll benefit, and so will others taking CSET. (Which, I might add, is NOT a competitive exam.)
     
  15. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2006

    I agree that sharing questions in public works well and has really helped me. I will be taking the test hopefully in July. Any advice for missing section III by one point twice?
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That depends on what side 2 of your score report says. Is your performance pretty even across the three domains? What are you seeing in constructed response results?
     
  17. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    My responses were even across the domains. I received 2 and 3 +'s. I do not have the exact results as I was a little frustrated and shredded them.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm sorry to hear that: the diagnostic information for the constructed response questions can be helpful.

    Where are you located?
     
  19. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2006

    I am in Oakland, CA. I should not have destroyed them, but it was a time when my principal asked me to mentor the new teachers because I have the experience but not the final clear. It is hard to see some of these teachers come in (with the I know everything attitude and you can't tell me nothing because I passed all the tests) and know they are making more than me, but I have to help them anyway. I am also in a masters program for reading and literacy now. Right now I am re-evaluating if I really want to teach. Everything is about politics and money. Not helping children be well rounded. We only teach reading and math at our school. I just wanted to help children - our future be successful when I left corporate 13 years ago. Thanks for letting me vent and this post is a great help. Keep up the wonderful work.
    PJ
     
  20. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Hmmm....

    Sounds like nothing has changed in Oakland, it was all about politics and money when I lived and worked in the area 20 years ago.

    I think you can get an additional score report form for $15 from NES.

    FWIW if you missed by 1 point twice, you are on the verge of passing. It is just a matter of time. Just stick with it.
     
  21. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2006

    On the positive side, you, more than most teachers, will have a deep empathy with children who get very frustrated and with students who hate being tested.

    How very sad that art, science, social studies, technology, and music aren't taught in a CA public school. Is that even legal?

    Could you be just a remedial reading instructor? You'd work with small groups of kids throughout the day and thus avoid peer teaching and politics. I'd be nice to have your own little corner (and world) in the school.
     
  22. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    You can be a reading specialist. There is a Reading Certificate you can get on top of your regular credential. My mother was a reading specialist.

    Not all California public schools have eliminated art, science, social studies, technology and music.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's unspeakably stupid to eliminate them: eliminating them does nothing in the final analysis for the critical thinking skills that ultimately make for good test scores. Wish I could get this through the thick heads of the mucky-mucks, but in the meantime we can try to get good things going teacher by teacher, eh?

    Teacherpam, what have you been doing to prepare? Slogging through Cliff's and the like, or what?
     
  24. jazzminjoy

    jazzminjoy Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2006

    Malcolm,
    Teacherpam stated, "We only teach reading and math at our school." Of course I know "Not all California public schools have eliminated art, science, social studies, technology and music." I have two daughters in CA public schools. Most everyone on this subforum is in CA, as CSET is so far only given in CA (I think). Maybe if other states adopt it, they'll change the C in the acronym to mean Comprehensive (or Cruel) instead of CA.

    Reading Specialist sounds like a great choice.

    All,
    It's discouraging that so many teachers leave the profession. I wonder what the main reasons are? Maybe politics is the #1 cause.

    How's everyone doing with their studying? Did you spot the gerund in the previous sentence? Hint: It's a verb made into a noun by adding ing.

    I found a wonderful book for reviewing US History. It's fun to read, engaging, and goes into comparisons and motivations. It is called SAT II US History for Dummies by Scott Hatch and Lisa Zimmer Hatch. They are both test prep specialists.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    SAT II doesn't include a written component, but other than that I would expect it to cover the relevant material at rather more than the depth you need. If it's engaging and helps the reader connect the dots in US history rather than just floundering through piles of names and dates, bravo!
     

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