CSET Science: Which tests to take

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by Genevieve, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    I'm interested in teaching high school science. I thought that was the CSET I needed to take (Subtests 1 and 2 - was thinking of starting with Life Sciences and eventually getting Chem too) though it has been about 15+ years since I took any science classes. I have a month to study and pass to join a credential program.

    Here's my question: I also see "Foundation-Level" science. Can someone tell me the difference in what that teacher does vs the other credential? I'm looking for the best bet in getting hired, so if I'm more likely to find a job with one vs the other and add later, I can do that. Insight into the differences and demand (if you know it!) would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Foundation-level Science allows the bearer to teach general science at what amounts to the middle-school level: that is, courses that are labeled as or serve for general physical science (as opposed to chemistry per se or physics per se) or general life science (as opposed to biology). The full science credential in biology entitles the bearer to teach general science plus courses that specialize in biology; in chemistry, general science plus courses that specialize in chemistry; in earth/space science, general science plus geology, astronomy, and so on; in physics, general science plus physics.

    You can get in the door of the credential program with the new Subtest 1 only, though you might want to check to see whether the subject-specific pedagogy course is oriented to science generally on the one hand or whether it separates out into biology OR chem OR earth science OR physics. But your prospects for employment are probably better with the full credential.

    Bear in mind also that in California's version of Next Generation Science Standards, the preferred option for instruction is an integrated-science model, in which, instead of one year per specialized science, each of the sciences will be featured in each year. The choice to go integrated or to stay traditional is apparently on the district level, not the school level, so the impact on credentialing and employment will be wider than it might otherwise be. If you plan to teach in the area in which you're being credentialed, the good people in the student-services office for your credential program can give you guidance as to what to do and what sells in your area.
     
  4. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    Thank you. My credential program requires that I take and pass Subtests I and II for Science, I believe. I will double-verify that (I was looking at either math or science and when asked, I verified I would have needed all 3 in math). When I look at employment for the district my children are in (and thus I prefer to teach in), they are looking for "biology" or "chemistry" teachers at the high school level, so I'm going to go on a limb and guess they are looking for specific subject credentials. I'd prefer to teach high school over middle school, though I think when I finish I'll take a job and let the rest settle as it may ;) Thank you for the insight, I do appreciate the response. Now to get my butt in gear to pass these two tests!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In many areas, math is a hotter ticket than biology. (Biology as a teaching field attracts former aspiring doctors, veterinarians, and nurses. You'd be surprised how many of those there are.) It is more than slightly surprising to hear that your program requires all three math tests, since the first two are enough for the Foundational-level Math credential - but if what you want is to teach high school, yes, you definitely want all three subtests in math, and Subtest 1 plus the area-of-specialization subtest in science.

    The shift to integrated science is in process, so job postings right now may or may not reflect how things will shake out in your area by the time you're job-ready.
     
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  6. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    I have been out of college over 15 years and after looking at math, I honestly don't think I can pass all three subtests with 1 month of studying. So even if math is better than science for job prospects, I won't be able to get it done(plus, I enjoy science more anyway!). I am double checking on whether I can come in as Foundation-level Science and then after I'm accepted I could add the Biology and go from there. My two local school districts both said biology is something they need (though who can anticipate the demand two years from now when I'll be starting). If I can do it with just the Subtest I to start, I will. It gives me 1 month for just 1 subtest and I can review subtest 2 and take that test before the credential program starts (but after I'm accepted). Let's see what my advisor says! It will be a lot less stressful if I can do it this way!
     
  7. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    As for why they require all three, I'm not sure. Maybe because I indicated that I wanted to credential in Math? The advisor is new and maybe doesn't know about the Foundation-Level credentials? I can't speak to that, except that she told me I needed all 3. She could be mistaken. If she replies that I need subtests 1 and 2 to start, I'll reach out to the chair at my school before I take that at 100%. Especially since they are both test 215.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The math is a challenge, yea verily. If you once knew calculus, however, it would be a fine thing to add a math authorization later (you'd also need a math pedagogy class, but I think just the one).

    Subtest 215, also called Subtest 1 (that's an Arabic numeral) replaces the old Subtests 118 and 119, also called Subtests I and II (those are Roman numerals: it's not my fault) for general science and the Foundational-level Science credential. Subtests 217 is the new Subtest 2 in biology to replace Subtest 120, the former Subtest III in biology, and so on through chemistry (218 instead of 121), earth/space science (219 instead of 122), and physics (220 instead of 123). And for your purposes the Science (Specialized) credential doesn't even exist, so Subtests 124 through 127 are just not your problem.
     
  9. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    I did take Calculus (both AP though I had pneumonia and skipped the test, boo for having to take the CBEST lol) and in college without much trouble (though I've never been a trig fan) so I probably would end up adding math to my repertoire but I did get a confirmation back from my local Cal State school (the only college in my area that offers credentialing unless I go for an online route) that they don't offer Foundational Science credential so I have to pass both subtests. Cue the hyperventilating lol. Except I did take AP bio and got a 4, albeit 20ish years ago. I know I can do this. I just have to refresh myself for 4 weeks. So I guess I'm on to 215 and 217 for now, with the intention to add Chemistry and maybe math later as well. Let's get through these first!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Genevieve, I rather expect that you'll do fine.
     
  11. Genevieve

    Genevieve Rookie

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    Thank you! You're certainly more confident than I am. Having two kids, brain shrinkage is a real thing (and scientifically proven lmao). I will be sure to let you all know what happens. It feels like a LOT but I'm just taking bite-sized steps each day.
     

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