Useful Web sites for single subject English/history

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by TeacherGroupie, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    People have commented that useful Web sites for tests get posted, but then the threads get buried under the press of day-to-day posts.
    Now here's a thread that should be unburiable.

    Go ahead and give useful Web sites in your regular posts, but if you've found a site that's helpful for single subject history or English exams in the CSET, Praxis II, MTEL, PLACE, GACE, FTCE, AEPA, ICTS, MTTC, NMTA, NYSTCE, CEOE, ORELA, WEST-E, TExES, or any other series, please take a moment to tuck it in a post in this thread, too.

    If your post is about English or history as it is taught in departmentalized classrooms (typically middle school/junior high through high school), it's in the right place here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
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  3. foozer

    foozer Rookie

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  4. zach h

    zach h New Member

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    any sites with practice tests for the history CSET test?
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    None that I know of, zach h. You might find useful questions in Advanced Placement prep guides that correspond to the domains (economics, government, US history, world history).

    Where in California are you located?
     
  6. Lucky11

    Lucky11 New Member

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    Econ help

    For the SS CSET III exam, I borrowed Economics for Dummies from the library and found it to be the most help as it did not contain any math problems and formulas (which AREN'T on the test), but was an excellent, fast read that gave me what I needed it pass that portion of the test. I also made flash cards to study from. The AP book was too complicated for anyone unfamiliar with Economics.
     
  7. saucykitty

    saucykitty Rookie

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  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    llama has asked me to post this:

    I'd guess this link could be tweaked for history as well.
     
  9. Cricket22

    Cricket22 Rookie

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    hmm...I'm not sure how to post...

    well, I'm taking the CSET on sat. and I'm begining to think I'm in over my head. I signed up for all four, with the intention of really focusing on subsets I and III, since I just got my English Lit. degree. I'm now most worried about the essay, I barely passed the CBEST writing...I think (41) I did ok on the reading (80). Am I out of luck for preparing? I'd be grateful for any suggestions...I have to pass the test by the Jan. date...The website is just so vague, I'm not sure what to focus on....in short, HELP!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Cricket22, that 80 in reading comprehension is just a little bit better than "OK": you aced that section. Chances are you're a proficient writer who simply misread the task on CBEST, which is to show ability to crank out a couple of very pedestrian, very structured five-paragraph essays in which what you say is less important than how you say it.

    CSET English will play out differently for you, I think: the constructed responses in Subtest III are indeed long and should be organized more like formal essays than should the constructed responses for any other CSET exam... but it remains the case that what you argue for, and the evidence from the texts that you can marshal to back up what you're arguing for, is much more important than how you say it.

    So please spend a little less energy on what hasn't worked well for you so far and a little more energy working from your strengths - including that brand-new BA in English lit, which should be just the thing for Subtests I and III.

    As for Subtest II, if you've had a linguistics course and gotten anything out of it, you should be in fine shape, but if you haven't, see if your local library or bookstore carries Aitchison's Teach Yourself Linguistics (there are better choices, but not better choices for someone facing the exam in two and a half days).
     
  11. loribassett76

    loribassett76 New Member

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    I'm looking for all English subset study quides, can anyone help?
     
  12. msmanda

    msmanda New Member

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    I would tell you to look at www dot studentsfriend dot com (for some reason, I cannot post a link since I am new) for a quick review of World History. It helped me greatly, and with it, I passed the World History subtest.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    msmanda, what's your connection with the Web site you mention?
     
  14. msmanda

    msmanda New Member

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    No connection at all. I'm a high school history teacher in the Central Valley. A colleague of mine introduced it to me when he knew that I was going to be taking the test. Since I had struggled with passing it before, and since I passed it this time, I thought I'd share. In case you're wondering, as it sounds by your question, I'm not pumping press for somebody's product, or one of my own. I just know how frustrated I was with coming so close to passing, but not doing it. Now that I've passed two of the three sections, I wanted to share with others what helped me.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sounds cool, and like a good resource to share.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  17. Penguin

    Penguin Rookie

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    Bummer, I tried to post a whole bunch of good links but it says I can't post them until I've been a member for a while.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Here's quite a lengthy and detailed contribution from new member Penguin:

     
  19. sunflowereye

    sunflowereye New Member

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    Looking for useful U.S. History links

    Hello,

    I found this forum while looking for study guides for the GACE subject tests for World & U.S. History as I am taking both tests in mid-March. The link to the World History guide by Student's Friend is excellent. Many thanks. Any links to U.S. History guides?
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    This isn't exactly on line, but try getting hold of the SparkCharts on US history from Barnes & Noble - they don't explain much, but they list lots and lots of Big Events, and then you can look up those events on the Web and try to get a sense of why one would care about them.
     
  21. sunflowereye

    sunflowereye New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  23. Big Al

    Big Al New Member

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    Need input on FTCE English 6-12 exam

    As a career changer (new teacher) I am teaching HS english in FL and am teaching out of field. As such, I must take and pass FTCE English 6-12 before next school year to be rehired. The posts I have read about this test are wide and varied in their opinions. Any and all input and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I take this on June 9, so there's ample time to prepare...if I knew what to prepare for! Thanks in advance.
    Big Al
     
  24. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Here is a link to the list of courses offered through Annenburg Media's Professional Develop Workshops and Courses. You must register to view the video courses, but it is free. There are courses in Education, Language Arts, Social Sciences, etc. There are hundreds of hours of video on demand for your edification and viewing pleasure.

    http://www.learner.org/resources/browse.html
     
  25. Kammi

    Kammi Rookie

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    Hi, I am a newby...actually I joined today. Anyways, I haven't been able to read ALL posts but I have a question.
    I am from Michigan and have to take the MTTC test for Elementary certification and was wondering if any one knows of a web site or two that can help me prepare?
    I took the test once and really don't understand why they have the questions they have. How can I prepare and PASS?
    Also, I keep reading about the Praxis tests... does anyone know if it is different that the MTTC test?
    Just wondering, Kammi
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    MTTC is, if the Web site is to be believed, Michigan's set of examinations for teachers; like the tests for California, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, and a couple of other states I can't remember right now, they are produced by NES, Inc., and NES tailors each exam to a state's requirements.

    Praxis is a unit of ETS, as in the people who produce the SAT. There exist Praxis exams that are tailored to the states - California used to have some - but you'll have noticed that test 0014, for example, figures in posts by a number of people.

    I can't speak definitively for tests outside California, but my impression of California's exams is that questions are less likely to ask what you know than they are to ask you to apply what you know to solve a problem or explain a phenomenon. And the score report, on side 2, gives feedback that can help the test taker do better on the next round.

    Does your score report give any clues as to where you came to grief?
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    By the way, Kammi, you'll probably find more help in the Multiple Subject Tests subforum: that's where tests for elementary teachers are discussed.
     
  28. Kammi

    Kammi Rookie

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    Teachergroupie...about the MTTC test...you're right, it's not to see how well you remember things. To me it's a totally different kind of test. Right after the test, I remembered some questions and wish I wrote them down b/c I can't remember them now. The only one I remember is a question about [edited]...I guessed on that one. I do have the MTTC study guide book but all it does is show you the way questions could be asked on the test. It didn't help me, obviously.
    The copy of my score does tell me that my best was in health, PE and all other subjects were the same. It was like I got a "B" in health and a "C" in the other areas. I just wish it would tell me if I was 1,3,5, etc. questions away from getting a passing grade.
    I scored a 209 and to pass I had to score at least a 220.
    I have been so upset about not passing this test! I am really scared about taking it again in July. This is my last try before student teaching in the fall. Besides, I don't want to fail!!! My goodness, I am getting honor society papers and congrats in the mail for my high GPA. My thinking is WHY CAN'T I PASS THIS TEST!!
    Anyways, I do appreciate so much everyones help:)
    Thanks, Kammi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2007
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's best not to post specific test questions - and this means both "best for you" and "best for the forum".

    Does one get the 220 on the test overall, or does one pass domains within the test?

    Are there constructed response (written) questions as well as multiple choice? Are you generally better at multiple choice or at constructed response?
     
  30. skyedent

    skyedent New Member

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    Books

    Does anyone know why there are no training books for subtest IV (108) of the CSET English test? I took the other three sections a few years ago when I was in the LA Fellows program and taking teacher training at CSUN. But, when Leave Every Child Behind hit, we were all dumped unceremoniously. It's taken me several years to get the heart again to teach. So, I'm scheduled to take CSET Single Subject English IV in July. But, it doesn't seem like there are any books to help one prepare.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Why no books? From the big teacher-test-prep publishers? Because it's a fairly small niche, from a publisher's point of view, and a rather odd one - lumping together media literacy/journalism AND drama AND speech AND creative writing is pretty unusual.

    Are you still in the Northridge area, or what?
     
  32. SD Teacher

    SD Teacher Rookie

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    Books

    I also tried to find a test prep book to help me on the English CSET; it seems that one will be out in September 2007, and another will be out in December 2007. Unfortunately, this does not help any of us that need to pass the July exam! On Amazon.com I found that there is currently only one book out for the English CSET exam and it got pretty pathetic reviews by everyone that reviewed it (average rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 possible!). People said things like, "Not worth your time or money," and "Poorly written, but the only game in town."

    But, please don't let the horrible hoops that we future teachers have to jump through (that just keep getting added on by politicians, who, by the way, know next to nothing about education!) keep you out of the profession! Because, in my opinion, if you can handle teaching in an LA fellows program, YOU ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED IN OUR SCHOOLS!
     
  33. Ms. V

    Ms. V New Member

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    hello there! :) I am new and I have found the forum very helpful. I am taking test I and II in two weeks, I can use all the help I can get, since English was not my major. anything will be great.

    Thank you


    MS. V:p
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome aboard, Ms. V. Whereabouts in the state are you located? Have you started looking through the other threads here?
     
  35. kimberly121

    kimberly121 Rookie

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    Hi. I'm new to the forums. :) I'm earning my credential right now and am going the internship route. One school has called with interest in hiring me on (once I pass the CSET - 8th grade language arts) and am wondering if all 4 parts of the English CSET a) have to be passed and b) can be taken on the same test date before starting my internship. :)

    Thanks! Kim
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    By state law, you must demonstrate subject matter competence before you may teach (and, strictly speaking, student teach, though one keeps hearing of odd exceptions). So, yes, you should have passed CSET English before starting your internship.

    CSET English, like the other CSET exams, is designed so that it's possible to pass all four subtests in one go; but it's rather a challenge for most test takers, and many opt to take the subtests in pairs.
     
  37. firemaple

    firemaple Companion

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    Hey Big Al,

    I'm taking the same test Sept. 8. I know this is a late message, but how did you do on your June test? I'm in Florida too.
     
  38. donnaw

    donnaw Rookie

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    Annenburg Media produces wonderful programs that are very informative. I have been on the learner.org website before, and have seen the videos for sale, but the cost was too prohibitive for me. I had no idea there was an option for video on demand with free registration.

    Thank you for the information!
     
  39. worksalot2

    worksalot2 Rookie

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    RECOMMENDATION FOR CSET TEST PREP GUIDES

    I took all four CSET English sub-tests at one sitting in July of this year and -- leading up to that -- probably spent more time trying to identify and then locate the best resources that I could find to prepare for these exams than I did actually preparing for them. I finally found a really good single source for this material: the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), which will ship you a guide -- even if you are outside its "jursidiction" -- for one sub-test or all of them for a fee of from $30 to $55 each. I am from Northern California (well outside of the Orange County area) and I got all four and, although it wasn't cheap, it was well worth the cost. Although I read a lot of non-fiction literature and I am a competent writer, I took only those English classes in college that were absolutely required to graduate, so I had very little background in this subject area to fall back on going into these exams, yet -- after using this material to prepare -- I was able to pass three of the four sub-tests with no problem whatsoever. The only reason that I didn't pass the fourth exam (sub-test III) on the first try was that I simply ran out of time to complete the essays (but that was probably more a consequence of the fact that, under normal conditions, I compose text very slowly and deliberately and I have done it that way for so long that I could not overcome those old habits during the test session, plus taking all four sub-tests in one sitting is a pretty tough nut to crack, time-wise, as well, but I had no choice). However, I re-took just that single exam during the next session offered without doing any significant additional prep work and -- with the ability to therefore allocate vastly more time to this task -- walked out of the test session confident that I had done what I needed to do to pass that remaining exam. I am too new a participant to this site to include the URL in this post, but you can access the mail-in order form by "googling" the phrase "Orange County Department of Education". Once you access its home page, you will find a section titled "Featured Links". Click on the link: "Teacher Support & Credentialing", which will take you to a page titled "Instructional Services" and sub-titled "Institute for Teaching Excellence". Midway down that page, you will see a link labeled "CSET Test Preparation". Click that link, which will take you to a page titled "Instructional Services" and sub-titled "CSET Test Preparation". From there, click on the link near the top of that page labeled: "Click here for Study Guide Order Form" (a mail-in form that you must use to order this material). It is worth mentioning that they also offer prep guides for other subject areas as well, although I can't comment on the quality of the material they have to offer for the other subject areas. But I can highly recommend the material they have available for all four of the required CSET English sub-tests. I only wish that I had stumbled upon this resource myself before I wasted so much time trying to pull together my own little CSET prep library and -- in the process -- spent a small fortune buying a bunch of books that were much less helpful to this task and -- ultimately -- a lot more expensive on the whole than this collection of study guides proved to be for me. Hope this is of help to those of you still trying to clear this hurdle and best of luck to you!
     
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  40. donnaw

    donnaw Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2007

    I really appreciate all your detailed information. I will definitely check it out!

    Donna
     
  41. worksalot2

    worksalot2 Rookie

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    Good luck!

    Hope you find it helpful. Good luck to you!
     

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