Questions about Scoring English Subtests 3 and 4

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by Harrell McDowell, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Harrell McDowell

    Harrell McDowell Rookie

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Hello, my questions are regarding the scoring of CSET English Subtests 3 and 4.

    First, I wanted to clarify that all of the CSET English Subtests have a minimum passing score of 220 from a scoring scale of 100-300. ("A scaled score is based on the number of raw score points earned on each section (multiple-choice section and/or constructed-response section) and the weighting of each section. Raw scores are converted to a scale of 100 to 300, with the scaled score of 220 representing the minimum passing score.")

    Secondly, I was doing some math in my head and a weighted scale of 100 - 300 consists of 200 points (100 to 200 = 100; 200 to 300 = 100; Range of 200), from that I determined that a score of 220 within a scale of 100 - 300 is actually 120 (100 to 220 = 120) out of the 200 point range. Then I divided 120 into 200 and that came out to be 0.6
    If understanding my math, my question is can one lightly assume that the minimum passing scaled score can be deciphered as around 60%?

    My next question is specifically regarding English CSET Subtest 4, where a test taker can either get a score of 1,2, or 3 (Unlike Subtest 3, where you either get scores of 1,2,3, or 4) - Does this mean that a test taker MUST score a 3 in all of the questions in Subtest 4 to pass? OR can a mixture of 3's and 2's possibly suffice? - Also, does the group of readers who score the writing versions of the CBEST also score the CSET writing sections (AKA English teachers)?

    As I was reading how the writing tests were scored under the "Constructed-Response Assignment Performance Information" section; I came across this quote: "A check mark indicates that the response received at least the score that reflects 'a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills' for that field." as well as: "For some subtests (for example, English Subtest 4), the approved passing score has been set such that you must exceed the 'general command' level to pass."

    Can anyone offer some clarity to this in terms of: 1.) Does a general command level mean attaining the 220 passing mark or a 60%? 2.) does this mean you MUST score all 3's on each question to pass on English subtest 4? Or can having a score mixture of some 3's and 2's on subtest 4 count as exceeding general knowledge? 3.) Are the different questions or writing prompts for CSET subtest 4 weighted differently? and if so, which ones (speech, media, drama, narrative revision) do you think holds the most weight?

    ALSO: does this mean for subtest 3, if you reach a "general command level", you have a chance of passing? unlike Subtest 4, where it explicitly stated that you must "exceed" the general command level?

    I know I covered a lot on this post, but I am confused and need clarity as I anxiously await my scores for these tests.
    Thank you for any insight
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 9, 2017

    First: every CSET subtest can be passed by scoring 220 scaled points. Yes, the scale runs from 100 to 300.

    Second: yes, if the scale runs from 100 to 300 that means there are 200 scaled points available and passing means garnering at least 120 of them. Whether that amounts to 60% is a more vexed question: subtest questions and subtest versions inevitably differ among themselves in difficulty, and scaling the scores serves in part to compensate for those variations. Some questions may be relatively basic, in the sense of involving matter that any beginning English teacher can reasonably be expected to know (for instance, explicating a scene from Romeo and Juliet); other questions may be more abstruse (for instance, discussing differences between African and South American colonial literature).

    Subtest IV's four responses are short or focused responses; a scorer assigns a raw score from 0 to 3 based on the extent to which the response satisfies the metrics Purpose (p), Knowledge (k), and Support (s). Subtest IV's two constructed responses, sometimes called "extended responses", are scored on a scale from 0 to 4 and add the metric d, for Depth and Breadth. The second page of your score report will show, for each constructed response, either some combination of p, k, and s (and d for Subtest IV) or a checkmark; the checkmark indicates not that the test taker aced the question but that the response wasn't substandard in terms of p, k, and s (and d for Subtest IV). I've certainly seen and heard of Subtest IV score reports with four checkmarks but a score a bit under 220. But bear in mind that those checkmarks could have represented scores of 2 across the board.

    I think you're assuming that the maximum raw score for Subtest III is 8 (4 points possible • 2 questions) and the maximum raw score for Subtest IV is 12 (3 points possible • 4 questions). Neither is true, however: each response is scored by two scorers (or sometimes three, though only two scores count), and the raw score overall is the sum of those scores: so for Subtest III, it's 16 (4 • 2 • 2 scorers) and for Subtest IV it's 24 (3 • 4 • 2 scorers). And, yes, it's perfectly possible that one scorer will grant 3 points to a response when the other scorer awards 2.

    In short, matters are more complicated than they look.

    On what basis do you think that scores take over four months to come back? For CSET English, the year is divided into consecutive test windows each of which is 28 days long, and the score report is released on a Friday just under three weeks after the window closes. For instance, Friday, Dec. 15 is the score report release date for the test window that opened on Oct. 30 and closed on Nov. 26. From Oct. 30 to Dec. 15 is nowhere near four months plus. Have a look at the CSET English dropdown window on http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_GetResults.html.

    Breathe, please, okay?
     
  4. Harrell McDowell

    Harrell McDowell Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2017

    Sorry, If I said 4 months, I meant to say 4+ weeks. I really appreciate your response. I keep replaying the questions for subtest 4 over and over in my head and I keep thinking of ways I could have answered them better.

    Thank you !
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Let us know how you do, Harrell. In the meantime, hugs, and please treat yourself as kindly for the next few weeks as you'd treat people you care about who've just taken tests like this and whose brains are doing to them what your brain is doing to you. (Brains are lovely things to have, but, golly, can they get stuck in ruts - !)
     
  6. EyeBeeJaiPea

    EyeBeeJaiPea New Member

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    Jun 28, 2018

    TeacherGroupie PLEASE tell me you’re still out there?! I know this thread is old but I’m glad I found it.
    Today I took English subtest 3. I’ve passed the others. This is the last beast. I don’t have an English background but I’ve been told that I’m a decent writer and I remember info from passing subtest 1. I studied hard and used pneumonic devices to help with remembering what they were looking for on sub 3. I had a plan and was fully prepared!
    And then it happened... After writing what I feel was a really good response to the 1st prompt, when beginning the conclusion paragraph I looked up to see that I had 28 minutes left Needless to say I panicked. I abruptly ended that response (680 words), only to go to the 2nd prompt, skim it, and try to regurgitate tid bits of what I knew they were looking for (maybe 400 words). It was such a blur I can’t even really remember what the article was about. I’m certain that I was all over the place but still managed to address the authors tone, audience, main points of the article and I tried to even throw in my opinion of if he did a good job persuading his readers.
    So! My question..... I have been reading these older posts about scoring and I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with the least amount of points I’d have to get on each response to still pass. I feel I did good to great 3-4 on one but ok to good on the next. I’m definitely in the 2-3 range on the ball of confusion that is the 2nd response. There’s no way it’s a 1.

    A little background if anyone needs it: last year I was pink slipped by my district. They cut my CTE class and offered to pay for my coursework that led to a credential in an area of need which was special ed. They gave me a year to enroll and become qualified to complete the intern portion. FFW... I am in a masters program and coming up on the intern portion of the program, I need to pass this last subtest in order to complete the requirements not only for my credential program but for employment as well. There’s a ton riding on this set of scores! By the time I receive them it may be too late to try to retake before the school year if the scorers did not agree with my brilliance

    PLEASE LEND YOUR WISDOM!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 28, 2018

    Hugs, EyeBeeJaiPea.

    What matters isn't the word count. What matters is fulfilling the charge of the question while exhibiting ability to write fluent formal English; the word count ranges are rough guides, not absolutes.

    From your description, I can't definitively rule out that you have passed but I can't definitively rule out that you haven't. Not all questions are created equal: if the boffins at Pearson think that (a) you did a very good job on either task and (b) that task was more difficult than average, you could certainly pick up more scaled points than the raw score might seem to indicate.

    Did you support your assertions with quotations from the texts?

    (Oh, and I dearly hope that the phrase "pneumonic devices" in your post was the result of autocorrect. Pneumonic devices would help one breathe, which is certainly necessary for remembering but by no means sufficient: the word should have been "mnemonic".)
     
  8. EyeBeeJaiPea

    EyeBeeJaiPea New Member

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    Ha! Noooo accident lol I messed up.. But thanks for the correction. Mnemonic Devices is what I used :) I guess it’s hard to prove my “decent writer” claim now, ha! I need to use pneumonic devices now. I haven’t been able to relax since the test.

    Anyway.. Thanks so much for responding.

    I don’t think the tasks were difficult at all. I actually couldn’t have asked for better selections. I think I was super prepared. I just didn’t factor my time properly. I got caught up with the organization of my first response and lost track. I DID incorporate a ton of evidence into my 1st piece and tried to mash some into my 2nd. I was very aware that if nothing else I needed to show evidence of supportive claims and knowledge. I feel that I provided everything I was supposed to into both pieces, the 1st more than the 2nd. The 1st response was clearly more organized and the 2nd I believe one could tell it was a rush job. I just threw a bunch of informational support into a few unorganized paragraphs.

    Thanks again for responding. I guess I’ll just have to wait with my fingers crossed.




     
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  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 28, 2018

    In the meantime, um... breathe, please. :p
     
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  10. Kristi62

    Kristi62 New Member

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    Jul 25, 2018

    Eyeb,
    Sorry for the shortened name, I was wondering what you used to prepare for sub 3? I have taken it 4 times now and gotten, in order, 193,207,207,193. I have bought, read, every prep book I could find. I am now working with a tutor. I am an English major, by chance, most of my work was in writing. (Hard to tell here, I know). I do not remember literary analysis at all and have been learning what I can. I have the resources from the first post somewhere here, including the one by Karen, which is the most recommended.

    I feel great when I am taking notes. I see it all and know what to say about each one, it is how to put it all together in an essay. They say the writing is not the thing, as long as it is coherent and all the prompt points are covered. Then I read the 4 point essays out there. I see one paragraph that covers the literary elements and such, then there are 3 other paragraphs that seem like they are summarizing.

    Ok, back to the first line of this post, what did you use?
     

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