Yikes! CSET Math

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by DancingBear, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Teacher2007

    Teacher2007 Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2007

    I think I paid about $35/subtest for the OC Ed books. I think they are worth every penny, especially since I haven't found anything else out there that even compares to the number of examples and good explanations that they offer. I agree with UCLACareerChngr particularly in that they help narrow your focus, rather than teaching you broad concepts of math. The books are structured to follow the exact guidelines on the CSET website.

    The other program I tried that I purchased online, ace the cset, was pretty worthless and cost me $40 I think for a 90 day subscription. Total waste of money. I've also heard bad things about CA Teaching Solutions from several sources, so pretty much all of those online "quick hits" pay websites are not productive.

    My advice, is to focus on one subject, I would say that Subtest 2 is much easier and the material is more manageable than the others. If you've already registered for 1 & 2, spend as much time as you need (I took 4.5 hours) to complete Subtest 2, and then just use the last half hour or whatever remaining time, to look at the types of problems on Subtest 1 -memorize they structure as best you can and use that to study for next time.

    Suggestions for Subtest 2:
    1. Given the surface area of one object (ie. pyramid), pretend that the object is filled with sand and dumped into another object (i.e. hexagonal prism) and you know partial dimensions for that object as well. How high will the sand go?
    2. There are a bunch of proofs with fill in the blank multiple choice answers. The structure is: Statement/Reason and there would be 5-10 line items and you fill in the blanks. Pretty easy to figure out most of the answers the day of the test, so long as you are familiar with terminology like SAS, AAS, SSS, etc... and some parallel theorems.
    3. chi squared.

    I'll post more as I think of them. Good luck. If anyone has similar suggestions for Subtest I, I'd love to hear them.
     
  2. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 10, 2007

    For subtest 2, by all means get your approved graphing caluclator well in advance and learn how to set the modes and use it for things like Chi-square and linear regression. A friend of mine showed up on test day with a brand new calculator and asked me how to put it back in degree mode after the proctor clears it before the test. You can imagine how it went after that...

    Even worse, a guy showed up with an unapproved calculator on another day. He wasn't allowed to use it and therefore had no calculator. Now one can certainly do Chi-square and linear regression problems without one if he knows and can do the math, but it sure takes a long time, especially taking square roots by hand. And I doubt this guy could do either...
     
  3. new yorker

    new yorker Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2007

    The CSET website has stated the following:

    Each examination is designed to allow sufficient time for examinees to complete all subtests in a five-hour session. The subtests are not individually timed and you may spend as much time as you choose on each subtest. Some examinees may finish testing well before the scheduled ending time of the test session. However, you should be prepared to use the entire test session. You will be allowed no more than the allotted time to complete the subtest(s).

    Although, Teacher2007 - you seem to have a very different stand on the timing, if i understand correctly what you've stated here:

    "my advice, is to focus on one subject, I would say that Subtest 2 is much easier and the material is more manageable than the others. If you've already registered for 1 & 2, spend as much time as you need (I took 4.5 hours) to complete Subtest 2, and then just use the last half hour or whatever remaining time, to look at the types of problems on Subtest 1 -memorize they structure as best you can and use that to study for next time. "

    if the CSET has stated that completing all subsets is manageable in the 5 alotted hours, then why were you unable to complete only one subset in 4.5 hours?

    have others found it difficult as well to complete the first two subsets in 5 hours? being a new yorker, the test is available only on may19th for me - i dont have much other choice than to take them both on this test date.
    thoughts?
     
  4. new yorker

    new yorker Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2007

    If you pass one subset, and not the other must you retake them both again?

    also, if you pass subset one and two, how long are they held valid for? meaning, will i forever be able to teach math in california after passing exams?
    thanks all
     
  5. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Mar 10, 2007

    There have been examples posted here (innovation guy, etc) of people who have taken and passed all three subtests in one session. However, I personally believe that it would be VERY difficult for someone who either wasn't a math major, or didn't just get out of school to even consider taking all three tests in one session, let alone pass them. For two subtests, you can do it, but you'll most likely be rushing the second one.

    I think the important thing you need to consider is devising your test taking strategy appropriately.

    If you are not a math major, or did not just finish taking several relevant math courses, here's the challenge that you have to deal with - you need to feel comfortable turning in subtest II without feeling confident in all of your answers. The proofs and constructed responses just take more time than you think. If you are only taking one subtest, then you can really make sure that you have considered everything and really double check your work. This gives you time to let your subconscious work on some of the tougher issues - go to the bathroom, splash water on your face, collect yourself. You really won't have as much time for that if you are doing two subtests.

    If you know that you have to turn in subtest II (you can't get it back because of the calculator issue) then you can't rely on the fact that something will "click" a little later on...you have to move quickly and finish test II so you can get started on subtest I. And, in my opinion, I is more difficult (speaking as a career changer with an MBA) because I found it more abstract than II.

    Are all three subtests doable in five hours - yes. But, are they doable for the majority of the population taking these tests? Not in my opinion.

    However, as you mentioned, since you have no other options, you just have to devise your strategy to make sure that you give yourself the best opportunity. In my opinion, that means telling yourself a hard and fast time to finish II (say, I HAVE to turn this in by 4pm or whatever and then tell yourself to stick to it). You may find that you don't have the exact answers to constructed responses, but you have to make sure that you write at least something on all of them. And, you'll likely have to guess on some of the multiple choice questions. You just have to feel comfortable with that.

    I think you'll surprise yourself in how quickly the time goes. I consider myself a decent test taker and subtest I took me a solid four hours. Now, I didn't feel rushed but it took that long to make sure that I felt as comfortable with my answers as possible. Subtest II took me about 3 hours and I felt more comfortable with that one.

    Good luck, prepare hard and you should be okay.
     
  6. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Mar 10, 2007

    each subtest is independent. Pass one and it's done. Pass the first two for foundational level math credential, pass III later for full math credential.

    As for how long it will be valid for - who knows? As far as I can tell currently, this will allow you to get your preliminary credential (as long as you've completed the university coursework) and then you can convert that to your professional clear within five years. I'm not there yet - I start BTSA next year for two years.
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 10, 2007

    Once you pass a subtest, you are done with it. Results are good for five years. If you haven't applied them to a credential with five years the results are void. Once you have a credential, you are good as long as you keep your credential. If you pass subtests 1 and 2, and meet the other applicable requirements, you will qualify for a Single Subject credential with a Foundational-level Mathematics authorization. That will let you teach middle school and high school math with the exception of AP classes like statistics and calculus, and possibly algebra 2. You will need subtest 3 and the full Mathematics authorization for those.

    All three subtests can be passed in one sitting. Jay (Innovationguy) did it. But you will probably have to be a recent graduate in mathematics or statistics to do it. Jay was a statistics major. If your major was something else, or you are a career changer like many of us, I suggest you plan on doing it in more than one sitting unless you have no choice. If you don't have a choice, be prepared to make strategic decisions like blowing off a CR question, or even a complete subtest if you have to. Plan to come out having passed at least one, and preferably two, instead of not planning and failing all three. Be aware that if you take subtest 2, you will be given the test materials for it first and will not see the other test materials until you complete subtest 2 and turn it in. This is because it is the only one on which you are allowed to use a calculator.

    You can always fly to California to take the test if you need to. You wouldn't be the first New Yorker to do so. Planning ahead can make it at least somewhat affordable.

    FWIW I spent the entire 5 hours on subtest 1, although I think I could have done subtest 1 and subtest 2 in one sitting if push came to shove. It just would have been more stressful and I wouldn't have been able to have done as thorough a job. I don't think I could have done all three in one sitting without spending a lot more time in preparation than I did. Taking one at a time is what I recommend if you don't have any schedule pressure. Otherwise, you have to do what you have to do.
     
  8. DancingBear

    DancingBear Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2007

    I'm a non-math major trying to move from elementary to secondary level, and Subtest 1 took me 4 hours and 45 min. I'm going into Subtest II next week with the assumption that it will take me the whole time. I agree that unless you're a math major and a recent graduate, you shouldn't take all 3 unless you absolutely have to!
     
  9. innovationguy

    innovationguy Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2007

    Non-math / science / engineering majors ought to factor 2 parameters into account:

    * relative unfamiliarity with the concepts [vs. Math majors ie.] and

    * familiar concepts assessed in relatively unfamiliar ways [vs. textbook-style Qs ie.].

    It is these 2 conspiring that lends itself to the entire 5 hours being taken for one Subtest.

    Jay.
    http://csetmathguru.weebly.com/
     
  10. DancingBear

    DancingBear Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2007

    YES. Few questions are asked in a straight-forward way. I think I spent so much time because I had the concepts required to figure out the questions, but still needed a good deal of time per question to actually figure them out. There were probably a few multiple choice problams that I spent a good 10 or 15 minutes on, and eventually figured out. Those were the ones where I thought, "There must be a rule or trick for figuring this out quickly that I'm not aware of, but I'll have to do it the hard way."
     
  11. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 11, 2007

    Yes, the CSET math test question designers have a flair for the obtuse...
     
  12. Cal

    Cal Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Hey, I'm new to the forum. I'm a tutor and test prep teacher and am taking the CSET Math Subject tests (all three) this week. I reviewed the practice tests at the site, and have studied up on matrices and vectors (the two huh? subjects I ran into). I'm a good tester and don't see any problem with completing the three tests in 5 hours from what I know now. But I wanted to check on a few things.

    First, how many questions are on each subtest--the same as the samples?

    Second, how do these tests compare to the Praxis II Content tests? I know that there's no calculator for two of the tests, and that the Praxis is multiple choice. But in terms of content tested and difficulty of each question, the CSET looks somewhat, but not tremendously, more difficult. Yes/no to anyone aware of both?

    Finally, I've read here a couple times that a passing score is usually possible with two-thirds correct. Again, is that roughly accurate?

    Thanks.
     
  13. DancingBear

    DancingBear Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Each subtest is 30 multiple choice questions and 4 open response questions. I'm not sure how the CSET compares to the Praxis. See the topic I started, I think "CSET math - how are the two sections weighed?" for some information on how the subtests are scored. Also check out Jay's website - innovationguy.easyjournal.com for lots of useful information.
     
  14. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Yes, a passing scaled score of 220 is roughly equivalent to about 2/3 of the available raw points. The actual numbers vary a bit from form to form of the subtest. The tests are weighted 70/30 MC/CR, so it is theoretically possible to pass without a single CR point, although I wouldn't count on it.

    FWIW most of the material is just what is taught in high school up through the AP math classes. But there is a little extra on group theory that usually doesn't show up in high school.
     
  15. Cal

    Cal Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2007

    I'm figuring on getting half credit on half the CRs, figuring I won't properly explain the ones that I answer properly. Thanks for the help!
     
  16. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 14, 2007

    There is no reason to settle for half credit on all the CR questions. Anywhere in the subtest description it says "prove" or "derive" learn the proof or derivation listen. You will get full points for these. And some of them are likely to show up.
     
  17. innovationguy

    innovationguy Cohort

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    Mar 14, 2007

    IF all 3 Subtests are INTENDED to be passed in 1 stab alone, given the extraordinary time constraints of ~ 1 Subtest per an hour and 45 min., strategically, it makes sense to do just a little more than minimum required to comfortably pass each section and move on...to wit: absolutely "nail down" [as my twin would say!] ~ 22 MCQs + 2 FR Qs for each Subtest.

    The desideratum shall have been accomplished!

    Since I am reasonably swift and profess to be conversant with the content, of the 90 MCQs and 12 FR ones from the 3 Subtests, I endeavoured to answer, um, 90 MCQs and 11 FR ones passably well - there was the Abstract Algebra Free Response that I deemed to yield insufficient profit from my labours! But it was infinitely foolhardy risk I inflicted upon myself, since I had to meet an austere deadline of my school district...

    But the 22 MCQs + 2 FRs is a serviceable estimate for passing each Subtest...

    Jay.
    http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com
     
  18. maychild

    maychild Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2007

    Cset Math wanna be

    The site emailed me to let me know that someone needed info regarding CSET single Subject math prep. I took a prep class from Stanislaus county. I have yet to take the math cset. I passed all of the multiple subject CSETS. I am like someone on this site who says that they need instruction using the TI83 calculator.

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
     
  19. new yorker

    new yorker Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2007

    so this is probably not the most appropriate question to post here, but i'm going to go ahead anyways:
    looking through a geometry review guide and have been stumped by something i know is not too difficult, yet am unable to find something helpful online or remember the proper procedure n carrying out the problem correctly .. if anyone could help ,i'd greatly appreciate it.
    the question reads:

    In the diagram, a regular octagon is inscribed a circle of radius r. what are the coordinates of point P?

    how would you go about solving this problem? can it be used for any question of this format ...dealing with a different polygon?
    thank you all.
    xxx
     
  20. innovationguy

    innovationguy Cohort

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    In the diagram, a regular octagon is inscribed a circle of radius r. what are the coordinates of point P?

    Well, it depends on how the octagon is oriented and where P is.

    For instance, if the octagon is aligned as in this figure where r ~ white segments, then

    since for each congruent isosceles triangle - formed by the 2 white segments and 1 blue segment - the "central" angle is 45 degrees, well, starting on the positive x-axis and moving anti-clockwise, the coordinates of P are:

    on the positive x-axis: (r, 0) [technically, (r cos 0, r sin 0) ~ (r, 0) but cos 0 = 1 and sin 0 = 0...],

    then: (r cos 45, r sin 45),

    on the positive y-axis (on top): (0, r) [technically, (r cos 90, r sin 90) but cos 90 = 0 and sin 90 = 1...],

    then: (r cos 135, r sin 135),

    then, on the negative x-axis: (-r, 0) [technically, (r cos 180, r sin 180) since since cos 180 = -1 and sin 180 = 0...],

    then: (r cos 225, r sin 225),

    on the negative y-axis (bottom): (0, -r) [technically, (r cos 270, r sin 270) but cos 270 = 0 and sin 270 = -1...],

    and finally: (r cos 315, r sin 315).

    The "pattern" is simply to add 45 successively to (r cos 0, r sin 0)...Hope it makes sense why!

    On the other hand, were the octagon oriented as the stop sign - simply draw a circumscribed circle so that the octagon is inscribed! - then going about in the anti-clockwise direction, the general coordinates are:

    (r cos 22.5, r sin 22.5),
    (r cos 67.5, r sin 67.5) and so on...

    The "pattern" is simply to add 45 successively to (r cos 22.5, r sin 22.5)...Hope it makes sense why!

    Similar "rules" apply for other inscribed polygons too...you may expect hexagons, pentagons, ...

    Jay.
    http://innovationguy.easyjournal.com

    PS. This is a legitimate Q for many / most / all [what the devil!] Math competency tests including the CSET...!
     

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