CSET English Subtest 1 - Last minute help!

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by onemonthtogo, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. onemonthtogo

    onemonthtogo New Member

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    Jan 22, 2018

    Hi everyone, I'm taking CSET English Subtest 1 for the second time THIS FRIDAY!
    The first time I took the test, I underestimated it greatly and didn't study much for it, but this time I feel better prepared. I know all the significant periods, history, and literary traditions from American and British literature. I'm still working on memorizing ancient literature information, and still struggling to remember all poetry related literary devices. I'm also a little confused about the informational text portion of this subtest. Otherwise, I feel decently confident!

    I know that the way that the CSET is scored is hard to gauge (in terms of a passing percentage), but does anyone have more insight in that?

    Also, is there anything else I should look out for in Subtest 1? Or does anyone have advice about how to study for the informational text portion? Thank you so much in advance for your help!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 22, 2018

    How close did you come to passing on your previous attempt?
     
  4. onemonthtogo

    onemonthtogo New Member

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    Jan 23, 2018

    I scored 211 and received "++" on both 'Reading Lit and Info Texts,' and 'Comp and Rhetoric.' I should also note that I took all of my tests around 6 months ago with overconfidence in my abilities and did not really research what would be on the CSET. For some reason (probably dumb luck), I passed all other sections except this one.

    I'm just wondering if there is anything else I should study in particular for subtest 1 aside from literary traditions from specific periods and literary devices, specifically related to informational texts or anything else I may be missing :)
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2018

    Looking through the English/language arts framework, which fleshes out the California content standards to which CSET English is aligned, would be a good idea. You can download it for free at www.cde.ca.gov; look for the Curriculum and Instruction tab or for direct links to the frameworks.
     
  6. onemonthtogo

    onemonthtogo New Member

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    Jan 24, 2018

    I’ve looked over the informational texts and research portion and I guess that kind of helps with my understanding of what to expect. Thank you for that.

    Do you, or anyone else, know how the scoring works for these tests? I’ve heard and read that we only technically need to score at 60% or higher to pass, but I’ve also heard through the grapevine that we need an average of at least 60% on all four subtests to pass. Meaning, if I hypothetically scored average to low on subtests 2, 3, and 4 then I’d need to do exceptionally well on subtest 1. That doesn’t sound right to me but I’ve heard it more than once so I’d appreciate any insight about scoring of the sub tests!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 24, 2018

    The grapevine is wrong. It doesn't matter by how much one passes a CSET subtest as long as one passes (and that's one reason why passing scores aren't reported as numbers), and as long as one passes all the subtests (including barely scraping by), one passes the whole crock of kimchi. I suspect someone might be extrapolating wrongly from subtest IV, on which it is possible to get four diagnostic checkmarks and still not pass - but that's a rather different story.

    As for the scoring... You know that the passing score on a CSET subtest is 220. It's important to note that that's 220 on a scale from 100 to 300 - that is, on this scale, the equivalent of no points isn't 0, it's 100, and this means that (a) for each subtest there are 200 scaled points on the board, and (b) the test taker needs 120 of them. 120/200 is indeed 60%. With that said, however, don't cling too tightly to that 60%: there isn't a straightforward mapping to 200 scaled points from the 50 questions of Subtests I and II. In the first place, some questions on Subtests I and II aren't counted: they're being field-tested for inclusion in future versions of tests. (The good news is that these questions are likelier to be the ones that look... hinky.) In the second place, it's darned near impossible to write two test questions (of any kind, multiple choice or constructed response) that are exactly equivalent in difficulty, let alone 50 questions. And I'm sure you'll agree that it would be unfair were a test taker not to pass with 32 questions right on an unusually difficult version of Subtest I while a test taker who scored 34 right on an unusually easy version did pass. So the algorithm that converts raw scores to scaled scores contains what we can informally call fudge factors to compensate for these differences.

    With all of that said, wise test takers don't hang their hopes on getting the bottom-of-the-barrel score. Study up on informational text and research, because an English teacher can depend on teaching composition even in classes that aren't labeled "Composition"; if you weren't satisfied with the discussion in the state framework, supplement from Wikipedia or by searching the Web.
     

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