CSET SCIENCE 215

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by nickb99, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. nickb99

    nickb99 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2018

    Hello All,

    I am currently stressed reading through these. I have a BS in Criminal Justice, however I am working towards becoming a Foundational Level Science teacher in CA. With the new NGSS Standards, I will be taking Subtest 215 (1).

    Simply, is there any one textbook to study for General Science? I went through the forums and found people talking about CK-12, Dorling Kindersley, Usborne (Quicklinks), Quizlet flash cards, Eric Weissteins (website), Cell Alive (website), Physics Classroom (website) ABCs of Nuclear Sci (website), Gene Smith Astronomy Tutorial (website) and CA Geological Survey.

    Knowing all this is stressful. I haven't dug into each website yet, however I am nervous of spending too much time on the wrong stuff, as well as focusing on my normal life as a BIS and going crazy as to which site/text to use. I have also found courses on Teachers First Prep and Study website.

    Simply, I have bad test anxiety if I feel I am ill prepared and I just need the best help that I can get towards studying and completing SCIENCE CSET 215. Anything helps. Thanks.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 16, 2018

    Is there one best resource for any teacher test? No. No one book can hope to fill in every test taker's knowledge gaps: a book that deals encyclopedically with all comers' needs would have to be, um, encyclopedic. Usborne's Science Encyclopedia, to which the Quicklinks are keyed, double-page spread by double-page spread, comes about as close as anything, though the treatment of geology could be better. I recommend books like that, and DK's larger science offerings, in part because they don't turn into doorstops once the test is over.

    The gold standard for what can or can't be on the test is the 215 subtest description, which is based pretty directly on California's version of the NGSS. Use that as a checklist as you work your way through the resources that come to hand. You might also find the state science framework handy; for both the framework and the content standards, go to www.cde.ca.gov and look under the Curriculum and Instruction tab.

    The single biggest differences between the coverage of the previous Subtests I and II and the current 215, aside from simply updating the science, are these:

    A. More conscious attention to impacts on and by humans
    B. More emphasis on science literacy: expecting kids to learn not just vocabulary but the academic language and text structures of science
     
  4. BrilliantBubba

    BrilliantBubba Rookie

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    Feb 4, 2018

    Hi Nickb99,

    I am someone who just got certified in Foundational and went through the ropes of testing just last year. So, I know your pain. You can do this! And even if you don't feel prepared, you can always move the test (provided that you move it before 24 hours of test date). I've moved mine a few times last year, then got sick of moving it. :)

    If you haven't reviewed the official CSET 215 Test Guide yet, it is very important that you do. Here is the link: https://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/content/docs/CSET_Prep/CS_215subtestdescription.pdf

    I highly recommend going through EACH and EVERY bullet point in the test guide / subtest description.
    I got a notebook and dedicated at least a page to answer each bullet point. I don't know about you, but I had to write out the information so it can stick! Reading or typing it out doesn't help at all for me.

    Pull from any sources that will help you. Online sources - Bozeman and Crash Course videos on youtube as well as http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/ (use the CSET 118 & CSET 119) to help start you off.

    **The key is to study the right material (thus the subtest guide above) and to be thoroughly familiar with the material.** I personally didn't like how the test-makers worded their questions, so you really gotta know your stuff to know exactly what they are asking you.

    Flashcards and reviewing them often are mighty helpful to understanding key processes.
    I borrowed all the AP Biology manuals from the local library to fill in the missing pieces. Help Your Kids With Science book was wonderful, as the key stuff was greatly visualized (it didn't have everything to answer all subtest points in the guide).

    Good luck and happy studying!
     
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  5. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2018

    Thanks for this information! I'm studying for 215 too and have just started writing each point in a spiral notepad. My local library had zero study guides for any single subject CSET so I found this to be great advice. Thanks again!
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Given what you've revealed about yourself elsewhere, Genevieve, I think you're best off rolling your own, so to speak, rather than looking for something with "CSET Science 215" on the cover.
     
  7. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2018

    Hey Brilliant Bubba, any suggestions for 2 & 3 statements? I've googled and I've only found info from a paid site. I knew I chose right - no problem getting the info and understanding it for chem and life sciences. But so far those two are mostly blank!
     
  8. Tiffany1234

    Tiffany1234 New Member

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    Apr 10, 2018

    I took the test yesterday and I'm telling you, it was terrible. The questions were very wordy and so were the answers! It was a beast of a test and the CTC does not allow for any breaks during the exam. Well, you can take a break but the clock won't stop and it takes so dang long to read through the questions that you really do need every minute available! This is simply ridiculous and the folks at Pearson said even the MCAT and LSAT allow for breaks. It's disgraceful that the state requires potential teachers to test like this. Is this how they expect us test our students? I was baffled. I took and passed 118 but never got around to the others so my score was voided. This test is much worse. It's as if the question writers have never set foot in a science class themselves!

    Anyway, my 2 cents. Terrible test and I sure hope I don't have to take it again!
     
  9. BrilliantBubba

    BrilliantBubba Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2018

    Hi Tiffany1234, yes the tests are horrible. I firmly believe you have to really know the science content to comprehend all the science jargon that gets thrown at you in these tests. You are absolutely being tested for mastery of the subject.

    I came out of that testing room after taking my last test (CSET 217) although relieved that I knew the content well enough to have finished and had time to go back to double check answers, I STILL was not confident if I passed the exam or not. Only found out 2 months later that I passed my last exam, halleluyah! The studying for that one though was the hardest studying I've done out of the 4 exams I took to certify for Life Science (118, 119, 120 - did not pass CSET 120, short 17 points - and thus had to take the CSET 217, as they were not offering the 120 anymore).
    I will say that I used multiple study sources. As TeacherGroupie pointed out, there is no one source that is comprehensive enough to hit all the points in the Subtest guide. Really, there is not one book that you can buy from Amazon. The one book that claims it is a CSET Science Study guide is a real joke and a waste of time (my local library had a copy and I balked at what was inside when I flipped through the book).
    I heavily relied on my handwritten notes of answered questions from the subtest guide and went over vocabulary flashcards over and over (I loved Barron's AP Biology Flash Cards, better than the Sparks biology ones)
    Digital/Internet sources that I used to study included material from http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/, uci open course have some great slides you can read and interact with (http://ocw.uci.edu/collections/cali...tion_for_teachers__preparation_resources.html), some youtube science gurus that I would watch before sleep during that time (hey, it helps! ) included - bozeman science, some khan academy vids, amoeba sisters, Armando H., among others.

    I still can't believe I'm on the other side now and am now certified for Single Subject Science - Foundational AND Life Science in California. It is indeed possible to pass these tests, as intimidating as they are.

    Good luck to everyone studying for these exams!
     
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  10. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2018

    Just curious which resoure did you find most helpful to study to pass cset 217? My district is looking to eliminate the Earth Science class so I need to add a few more credentials on.
     
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Which science(s) is/are you thinking about teaching? You seem like you might go the bio/chem route, or, would you rather just teach biology?
     
  12. BrilliantBubba

    BrilliantBubba Rookie

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    I can't boil it down to just one resource. The resources I found most helpful included:

    - AP Biology manuals I checked out from the library
    - This Biology textbook (Loose Leaf, so you can study specific sections at a time) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1305251318/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    ...while the AP Bio manuals were great for general big picture overview, I needed to get good, specific details and found that only through this textbook.*
    - Barron's AP Biology flash cards*
    - Barron's SAT Subject test Biology E/M (Goldberg & Deborah, 5th ed.)*
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/143800575X/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    - Help Your Kids with Science book * - I LOVED all the visuals in this little book
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756692687/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    - and when I felt too overwhelmed to look for answers, I could always start off with peachyness's site here: http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/ ... http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/cell-biology-and-physiology.html - her answers are based on the old cset science tests, which is not that much different than the new cset science tests.

    * = sources I actually bought and relied on

    Hope this helps! And good luck!
     
  13. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 2, 2018

    Bio and chem. I don' love bio but the climate change standards and human activity ones which I do feel passionate about will be moved to bio so I plan to take that test first then chem later in the year. I think I have a year to add my credentials on before the Earth Science is eliminated.
     
  14. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 2, 2018

    Thanks! So far I have been using Khan academy and barrons books but it' taking weeks to get through a few bullet points...i am having trouble figuring out how much detail I need to know.
     
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  15. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Wow! Peachyness's study uide[ is amazing and just what I was looking for. Thanks ! UOTE="BrilliantBubba, post: 2067620, member: 106594"]I can't boil it down to just one resource. The resources I found most helpful included:

    - AP Biology manuals I checked out from the library
    - This Biology textbook (Loose Leaf, so you can study specific sections at a time) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1305251318/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    ...while the AP Bio manuals were great for general big picture overview, I needed to get good, specific details and found that only through this textbook.*
    - Barron's AP Biology flash cards*
    - Barron's SAT Subject test Biology E/M (Goldberg & Deborah, 5th ed.)*
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/143800575X/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    - Help Your Kids with Science book * - I LOVED all the visuals in this little book
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756692687/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    - and when I felt too overwhelmed to look for answers, I could always start off with peachyness's site here: http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/ ... http://sciencecsetprep.weebly.com/cell-biology-and-physiology.html - her answers are based on the old cset science tests, which is not that much different than the new cset science tests.

    * = sources I actually bought and relied on

    Hope this helps! And good luck![/QUOTE]
     
    BrilliantBubba likes this.
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 2, 2018

    I’m still so angry that you have to get yet another credential. Your situation really resonates with me and I don’t think it’s fair that you have to get a secondary credential or risk not having a job. It’s bullcrap.
     
  17. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    May 3, 2018

    I agree it makes me mad also, but I guess at least I have year to take the tests and pass them. If most of California decides to follow this trend I would have to do it anyway to have a job anywhere. It does annoy me that I could go get a job in another state like Colorado and be considered highly qualified to teach all sciences with just my degree, but at the same time I am paid enough that I do not need to take on a second job like our comrades in Oklahoma,Arizona, and etc, so in comparison jumping through a few more hoops and taking the tests is not so bad.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Right, but a teacher shouldn’t go from highly qualified to not qualified just because a new policy is enacted or the state standards change very slightly.
     
  19. BrilliantBubba

    BrilliantBubba Rookie

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    May 4, 2018

    [/QUOTE]

    Glad to hear!

    I like starting off with what she has and then supplement. Happy studying!
     
  20. BrilliantBubba

    BrilliantBubba Rookie

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    May 6, 2018

    Hi... not sure what 2 & 3 statements are? My study materials are in a dark corner somewhere. I would need more specifics, please. :)
     

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