A Practical Guide to Passing the Multiple Subject CSET Exam
Earning a teaching credential in California requires that every candidate be "highly qualified." To demonstrate subject matter competency,The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 states that new multiple subject, single subject, and special education teahers pass a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) approved subject matter exam. ( The California Subject Matter Exam for Teachers or CSET.)
When I entered my credentials program, I was a bit intimidated by the requirements set before me. As a returning 45 yr.+ "older" student, ( I remember in my younger college days thinking of such individuals as "seniors.") I wondered how could I even begin to know all the possible information that the CSET would cover?
We are talking about three subtests, taken over a five hour period, consisting of 143 multiple choice questions and 11 short constructed response questions covering reading, language, and literature, history and social science, mathematics, science, physical education, human development, and visual and performing arts.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
When I registered to take the CSET, I limited myself to taking one subtest at a time. That means I had the full five hours, if needed, to complete 52 multiple choice questions and four constructed response questions. Sure, it costs more money to take the subtests individually, but to me it was well worth not having my brain short circuit because of the increasing stress of finishing before time was up. And, I had heard enough students talk about their failure to pass all three subtests because they could not finish. I wanted to set myself up for success rather than a guaranteed failure.
Suggested study materials
You can't go wrong with CliffsTestPrep CSET Multiple Subjects by Jerry Bobrow, Ph.D. and Stephen Fisher, M.A. It is formatted to state content standards and lists each domain along with sample questions.
Check out these links to purchase a copy online:
Other Helpful Books
The Scholastic Homework Reference Series - Fourth to Sixth Grades
~ A Desk reference for Students and Parents ~
- Everything You Need to Know About American History
- Everything You Need to Know About Science
- Everything You Need to Know About United States History
There are other subjects available in this series. These are the ones I found to be most helpful.
The What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know series may also be of benefit. (Other grade levels are also available)
I utilized the practice tests from the Test Prep book over and over again, as well as the test questions available on the CSET website. www.cset.nesinc.com
Given my age, life circumstances, and the amount of information that I could potentially be questioned on, I realized the the only way I would pass such a mammoth of a test would be through divine intervention. So last, but certainly not least, I committed the entire affair to God and rested in the knowledge that with a few people praying for me, I could move this mountain out of my way and jump one of the many hurdles that would stand in the way of reaching my goal.