question regarding "ace the CSET exam"

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by urbancoastoffrd, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. urbancoastoffrd

    urbancoastoffrd Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2006

    I have been "researching" many different CSET preparation books, and there are a few that claim to perform rather extensive miracles. I was wondering if anyone had previous experience with some of those books in order to validate or invalidate the claims. I am already hesitant to proceed because they seem rather "iffy," and it would not be completely accessible on my computer (because it is a Mac). However, if there is valuable information/tactics/exercises etc within those programs I would find a way to secure a windows OS to work with it.
    Branching off that question... and possibly dragging on many other posts from previous individuals it seems there is no consensus as to what book(s) could have the most potential to aiding the student during studying. I know it is a matter of preference, combined with previous knowledge and so forth, however, I am just wondering if any book is structured in a better way than another. I took the GRE's using the Barron's book, and while I wasn't disappointed with the book, I compared it to my roommate's version of Kaplan's and they were structured far different and our scores were 200 points different (mine being higher, and I studied less than a month and had been fighting a month of illness). So I am curious to know if the same is true for the CSET.
    I have also read that many people are finding that the information in the study guides, or on the practice tests are not found in the guides and they are then directed to look elsewhere (such as museums, children's encyclopedias, or guide's to what they are learning at specific grade levels). Is this a better way to approach it? Or perhaps another front to attach from, in addition to the standard preparation books? I find history, english, science, and basically all subjects fascinating, but I don't have cable therefore I do not have access to PBS, the History Channel or other informative networks. I vaguely remember my elementary education but I do not recall learning about barbed wire (reference to a previous post) and its importance or practical application. Know that I've gone beyond those simple days of basic mathematics and spelling, the only things my brain is concerned with are the multi-dimensional approaches to psychoses/neuroses/etc and the themes/genres/tones of literature throughout the entire existence of man, and I do not believe we learned that in elementary school. If we did, I wish I had taken better notes instead of worrying about recess.
    Sorry about the tangent... But I do appreciate any help you can offer.
    I am taking the multiple subject test. I am (most likely) taking part of it in January of next year, in order to know my scores and still have time for a second round of testing before grad school applications are due.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2006

    I infer, urbancoastoffrd, that you majored in English: your implicit hypothesis about why you scored 200 points more on GRE than your friend has some holes in it - it could be that Barron's was a better book for you, but it could also be that some other book would have worked better for you or for your friend, or you could be generally a better test taker, or any number of other possibilities. The scientific method and appropriate hypothesis formation ARE live issues for CSET tests - and for teaching.

    The short answer to your question is that there's no one right way to study for CSET-MS - or any other test, for that matter. Having said that, however, I think it makes sense to view passing the CSET not as an end in itself but as a means to a much more interesting end, which is kindling one's enthusiasm for the material one will be teaching (or, at the least, reducing one's anxiety about it). Kid-friendly resources serve that end well, in my view, and will also continue to be useful in one's future classroom.
     
  4. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2006

    Urbancoastoffrd,
    I have not passed the CSET yet, but I will tell you how I decided which CSET book to use. I went online to Amazon.com and read all the reviews of the CSET study guides. Then I went to Barnes and Noble and checked out all the CSET study guides. (the ones at our library were too old) I settled on Beating the CSET, 2006 edition.
    It's pretty thorough. You might want to study from two or three study guides. A friend gave me "what your 5th grader needs to know", an excellent book. I will probably check out "what your 6th grader needs to know" as well. Like other posters, I also like the Usborne books, and they will be a great asset to your future classroom as TeacherGroupie stated. Good luck!
     
  5. Tina

    Tina Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2007

    I am also taking the Math section in January, having been passed the 1st and the 3rd sections. Math seems to be the hardest for me, especialy the essays on math and science, you never know what they are going to ask you to write about, I get easily confused on essays on these areas.
    Does anyone know what has been the common essay questions recently on math ans science, or the multiple choice questions?
    For the test prep, trust me, I have veen buying all the latest additions and more or less they are all helpful.
    Have you heard of these on-line cset help questions which is "100% guaranteed"??
    Good luck to all of us!
    Tina
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 5, 2007

    Actual test questions from CSET don't get posted here on A to Z, or if posted they are removed quite promptly. This is because of the rules of CSET test participation, which specify that test takers will not divulge actual questions. Believe me when I tell you that it is best to follow the rules.

    As to 100% guarantees, well... the best test preparation method in the world can't compensate for someone taking the test during a bout of flu or after being up all night with a colicky baby (to say nothing of those test takers who expect the method to do all the work for them). There are certainly preparation courses that allow a free retake to someone who doesn't pass; I don't know of live classes that refund fees, however.

    People who go into a subtest expecting that the questions will be totally random generally find what they expect. It may work better for you to ask yourself what you DO know that the question could be about. For example, a question about why it is that ice floats in water is in part a question about density: ice is the solid form of water, but unlike most solids when compared to the related liquids, ice is less dense than water.
     
  7. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Jan 6, 2007

    Teacher groupie can you come into the test with me and give me these reminders--
    can you pass a subtest and do well on mc but poor on constructed response
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 6, 2007

    Tell you what, anewstart101: pepper me with questions about the content between now and the test; and then during the test, if you come across a question that makes your palms start sweating, ask yourself what TeacherGroupie (or, better, the kindest-and-smartest person you know) would suggest that you think about.

    And don't think you're the first person in the world for whom this sort of approach works.

    As to your other question, let me invite you to do some mathematical thinking. (Yes, you. Breathe first, though, please - a deep breath, mind you.) Now then:

    In CSET-MS subtests, multiple choice questions are worth 70% overall and constructed response questions are worth 30%. Now most test-preparation authorities are agreed that you can pass a CSET-MS subtest with an overall score that amounts to 67% of available points. Bear in mind that each subtest is scored holistically: you pass or don't pass by amassing enough points overall. So you tell me: is it possible to pass a subtest without any points from constructed response?
     
  9. teach 4th

    teach 4th Rookie

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    Jan 7, 2007

    It isn't necessarily a matter of passing without ANY points from the essay part. There was an essay question when I took the CSET that I had no idea about. I was completely flustered. I actually got lucky in that one, because there was a multiple choice that touched on the subject. I was able to figure out the multiple choice, and then I wrote based on that. It was something that I had no knowledge of, but I was able to get some points just from trying. Not the best writing I have ever done, but I got enough points to pass the test.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 7, 2007

    teach 4th, my dear, that's not luck: that's test taking smarts. Kindly give yourself credit where credit is clearly due, hm? And please teach your future students to do likewise.
     

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