Science Tests I, II, III

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by JWW, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. JWW

    JWW New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 17, 2005

    Hello all,
    Can anyone explain to me the number of test I need to have passed to receive my credential. I thought you only have to pass the first three tests and if you want to specialize in one area you take the fourth. I posed this question to my counselor and he is unsure. My co-workers argue over the number of tests. Do I have to pass tests I, II, III or I, II, III,IV? Please help :confused:
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Sep 18, 2005

    There are two kinds of science single subject credential:

    - The general credential authorizes you to teach science in middle school and high school; you're authorized to teach general science courses (and Subtests I and II test across the science curriculum) plus most courses in your specialty area (the areas are biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics, and that's what Subtest III tests: you choose one of those areas).

    - The specialized credential authorizes you to teach in ONE of the four science areas; you may teach basic and more advanced courses in that area (and that's what Subtests III and IV test), but you don't take Subtests I and II and you may not teach science courses outside your specialty area.

    I suppose that someone who passes four subtests - assuming that both Subtests III and IV are in the same specialty area - could teach general science plus the advanced specialty areas.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. JWW

    JWW New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 18, 2005

    Teacher groupie, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Sep 19, 2005

    You're welcome, JWW. Let me strongly suggest that you find the county office of education for your area and rummage up the credential analyst etc. to doublecheck that you're doing what you need to be doing for your credential.
     
  6. ddmansprty

    ddmansprty Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2005

    Hi All,

    I plan on taking the Earth Science, subset 3 and 4, tests this January. I was wondering how detailed the test questions are. Would a broad, general knowledge of the material be enough to pass these exams? Thanks in advance for your input!

    Mike

    e-mail: ddmansprty@yahoo.com
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Oct 13, 2005

    I assume you have read the subtest descriptions and sample questions on the CSET web site. I haven't taken the science tests, but the math tests, both multiple choice and constructed response, were similar in scope to the ones there. You might also want to check out the content standards for science referenced in the subtest descriptions on the California Department of Education's web site. Assume you may be accountable for anything listed there, perhaps at a bit higher level than you have to teach it.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Oct 14, 2005

    Let me echo and maybe amplify what Malcolm says: check the materials on the CSET Web site, http://www.cset.nesinc.com, click on the Test Guides button, then on Science. You'll want the Subtest III description and sample questions for Earth Science; there aren't specific description and sample materials for Subtest IV, but you can find some information at http://www.cset.nesinc.com/CS_testguide_SciSubIV.asp.

    Make sure you download the Subject Matter Requirements document for Earth and Planetary Science, too: it's not specific as to grade level at which material is covered as the state content standards are, but you could say it's the content standards material distilled for the test taker.

    Candidates' reports of how representative the sample questions are of a given CSET subtest seem to depend to some extent on the candidates' prior preparation and willingness/ability to extrapolate answers (that, is, to make guesses in some detail based on principles of the field).
     
  9. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Oct 14, 2005

    My guess is that if you could pass any of the Science subtests with just a broad general knowledge, Earth Science would be the one. I don't think it would work for Chemistry or Physics. But then, I haven't taken any of these yet. Are you willing to take the risk? My feeling is that a concentrated review of the relevant material would be in order. That is what I would do if how soon I passed was a concern. If not, I might just sit for the exams and see what comes.
     
  10. LauraR

    LauraR Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 26, 2005

    Science Subtests and employment

    I have taken and passed the CSET multiple subjects exam.
    However, I have not entered a credential program yet. I
    was thinking about taking the science CSET so that I can
    possibly have a better chance of getting an internship so
    that I can get paid while doing my student teaching. My
    questions are as follows:

    1. What are the qualifications of the average middle
    school science teacher? Do most of them have degrees in
    their subject area?

    2. How difficult are the Sci subtests? I probably feel the most comfortable with subtest III in Bio.

    3. I understand that there is a shortage of science
    teachers. Many districts are willing to hire intern sci
    teachers. How likely is it for me to find a position like
    this if I am a liberal studies major but have passed the
    Science CSET?
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Nov 4, 2005

    Ask the district(s) you're interested in - you could set up an informational interview with someone who's highly placed in the internship-overseeing office, whatever that's called locally, or with someone who hires. I suspect the answer may vary depending on the local availability of teachers - you'd be a tougher sell in mid-San Diego County, which generates a staggering number of teachers, than in the northern Central Valley or south Riverside County.
     
  12. Mr. L

    Mr. L New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 20, 2007

    I need help with science subtest II and biology. If I pay for anymore I will be owning stock. I work so much I rarely have time to study. I am on xmas break and my next exam is Jan. 12 2008. Can you give me some advice. 175 for a tutoring class ia brutal right now.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Dec 20, 2007

    Mr. L, what are you seeing on side 2 of your score reports?
     
  14. Mr. L

    Mr. L New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 20, 2007

    The problem is that I work two jobs seven days a week so when it comes to the test, the back side is different each time. I think I have taken the exam so many times, I am second guessing my answers. I rarely get time to study.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Dec 21, 2007

    Let me ask again - and there is method to my madness: what are you seeing on side 2 of your score reports, in the performance indicators, if you've still got 'em?

    If you've chucked them in disgust, of course, you'd by no means be the first test taker ever to do that.
     
  16. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 21, 2007

    Well, you haven't given us much to go on yet...

    In my experience, poor performance on CSET usually boils down to poor test taking strategy or inadequate content knowledge. And sometimes inadequate English language skills play a part, particularly if the test taker is not a native English speaker. The test authors seem to like to phrase things in ways that are obtuse enough to confuse even fluent English speakers sometimes.

    If content knowledge is the problem and you don't have time to study, then I hold little hope for you. IMHO there is no free lunch here. I spent about 2 months, 2, 3 or more hours a day, preparing for most of the CSET subtests I have passed. Some folks can do it in less time, some take more. But unless you have a recent degree in the subject or have been working in it, it takes some preparation.

    Subtest II is really basic. There isn't much depth. And it can be passed on the MC questions alone. You don't need a point from the CR questions. 80% of the raw points are from the MC section and you only need about 2/3 of the total raw points to get the magic 220 scaled passing score. However, for Subtest III, although it is still possible to pass on the MC section alone, you will probably need some points from the CR questions because only 70% of the raw points come from the MC section.

    The way I always prepare for these tests, and suggest others prepare, is to copy the numbered/lettered points for each domain into a word document, expand that with the referenced points from the relevant California content standards, and then fill in the outline sufficiently to explain to yourself each of the points from relevant books or web sites. You will be much more likely to remember the information on test day if you do this instead of just reading someone else's materials. For the science subtests, you will also want to be familiar with lab procedures and safety as outlined in the second part of the Subtest Description, and be able to design an experiment to demonstrate a given concept.

    One thing about CR questions is to never leave one blank. Write anything relevant and you will probably get at least 1 of the 3 or 4 points available for the question. Write nothing and you get 0. That said, I have passed at least two CSET subtests while leaving one of the CR questions blank.

    Never leave a MC question blank. There is no penalty for guessing wrong.

    I try to take only one subtest in a sitting if possible, never more than two, although officially it is possible to pass all subtests for one subject in one sitting. If I am doing two subtests, I pick one I plan on passing without fail and devote as much time as required to it. The other gets the remaining time. If you have to pass two subtests in one sitting, then it will require managing time carefully and may mean leaving one test less than complete to move on to the second one.

    My basic test taking strategy is to make a quick pass through the MC questions to read each one and answer the ones I am sure about. I make a second pass to answer the remaining ones. They seem easier the second time around, I think in part due to my mind working on them in the background while I am doing other things. After the MC questions, I outline the CR questions in the answer book, then write my answer on the answer sheet. I hate outlining, but this ensures that I don't wind up erasing large amounts of text on the answer sheet if I make a mistake or change my mind. Last thing is a final pass through everything to check for dumb mistakes.

    I am taking the Biology subtest III in January, too. The most relevant prep materials I have found for it, short of rolling my own as described above, are from the Orange County Department of Education. The book is $40 plus tax and shipping. I got it within days of mailing in my order. Don't know how responsive they will be during the holidays. It is a combination of the kind of outline I suggested (of course you don't get the benefit of doing the work yourself), plus practice tests and other materials lifted from a variety of places. It also covers the biology portion of subtest II. A current high school biology text and wikipedia should be sufficient to fill in the outline. That just leaves the physics domains for subtest II. Same strategy applies to those.

    I would be glad to share experiences with you after the test on January 12.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Dec 21, 2007

    The Authority Has Spoken.

    Seriously, Malcolm's the guru here.
     
  18. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 21, 2007

    I think the line is "The Great Oz has spoken!"
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Dec 22, 2007

    With the difference that Oz had to resort to smoke and mirrors.
     
  20. Alex2007

    Alex2007 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2008

    Guys, what's the policy on reusing or redistributing information and tips posted here? In my view, Malcolm's ideas decribed here should be seen by everyone who is taking a subject test for a teaching license.

    For example, would it be OK to copy, print, etc. and give it to fellow candidates? Of course I don't have absolutely any kind of commercial purpose in mind!

    The only tactical advice I would hesitate to follow myself is doing two passes on the MC part. I am not sure if it messed up my timing or not; good pacing requires a lot of discipline, which I may lack. I also tend to get scared if I see questions that I find very difficult during the first pass; I could easily develop a "mental block." For me, it's one question at a time. Then again, it's just me, the two-pass method should work well for many!
     
  21. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 16, 2008

    Please feel free to us anything I have posted in any way you like.

    It certainly may be beneficial for some to take a different path than I have. If making two passes through the MC section is likely to be less than beneficial for an individual, by all means, they should do it in one.
     
  22. Alex2007

    Alex2007 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 16, 2008

    Thank you! I shall steal your ideas :) I know there are individual differences, but these are really good tips, I wish I had come up with them.
     
  23. SECRETCOVERGRL

    SECRETCOVERGRL New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 22, 2008

    SO CONFUSED-HELP PLEASE

    I want to be a psych teacher. Im graduating this semester with my Bachelors in psych. and a minor in anthro/sociology .what am i required to take to become a teacher? IM SUPER LOST!
    Thank You

    P.S. ive started studying for the FTCE social sciences 6-12 exam is this the correct thing to do or is there something else i should be studying apart or in addition? I want to teach in Florida.

    HELP!!!:unsure:
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Jan 22, 2008

    This is a thread on science tests, SECRETCOVERGRL. I see you've also posted in several other places in which your question fits better, so let's see if we can get you some answers there rather than here. (Forum policy, which I didn't make, discourages multiple posts on one topic.)
     
  25. gponto18

    gponto18 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 11, 2008

    Science CSET

    Career changer here who recently took the CBEST (awaiting results) now setting his sights on the CSET. I hold in my heart a deep love of all things science, particularly Earth and Chemistry yet my degree, a B.S., lies in a somewhat unrelated field.

    More than anything I would like to teach general science courses, covering a broad spectrum and, from what I've read, it looks like the Science CSET series I-III are for me.

    Question - If I take and pass the Scence CSET series I-III will I have demonstrated sufficient subject matter competency to obtain a teaching credential (upon completion of a teacher prep program)?

    If so, will I teach in all areas K-12? 7-12? 9-12?

    In addition, if I am willing to work in any school district (I live in San Bernardino, CA) would I have a problem finding a teaching job considering my degree lies in Computer Information Systems, a non-traditional science at best?
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 11, 2008

    Science is a high-need area, gponto: I don't see a computer degree being an obstacle. Yes, it's the case that if you pass the CSET science subtests, you'll have demonstrated subject-matter competence under the definition of the No Child Left Behind Act.

    Note, by the way, that you choose a specialization in Subtest III: physics OR chemistry OR earth science OR biology - but it still qualifies you to teach general science in a departmentalized classroom, which for practical purposes means grades 6-12.
     
  27. gponto18

    gponto18 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 11, 2008

    Thank you TeacherGroupie, as usual you have more than answered my question. If I ever make it through this process I am going to donate my first teacher paycheck to Malcom and your favorite charities.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 11, 2008

    Glad to have helped, gponto. And your good karma will carry you far.
     
  29. gponto18

    gponto18 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2008

    After looking into this, and beginning my study, I am curious, is this path considered a Multi-Subject or Single-Subject path? Specifically, must I also take and pass the RICA if I go this route?
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Feb 13, 2008

    RICA is strictly and solely for multiple subject teaching in a self-contained classroom in which you're also teaching everything else, or nearly everything else. In practice, that's K-6, or in many districts K-5. My impression is that you're headed for single subject teaching in a departmentalized setting in which you teach science and more science; that would be middle school and up, and though you'll certainly need to work with your students on subject-area reading skills*, you're not considered a reading teacher in the usual sense.

    *(A helpful book: How to Teach Reading when You're Not a Reading Teacher, by Sharon H. Faber.)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. blazer
Total: 181 (members: 2, guests: 149, robots: 30)
test