CSET Test Preparation

CSET Test Tips from Successful Test-Takers

Many thanks to the successful test-takers who provided these suggestions!

CSET Study Guide
· “To prepare for the exam, I answered every question on the study guide (www.cset.nesinc.com/CS_testguide_Sciopener.asp), and studied it.”
· “I studied by printing out the sample exams and outline of topics presented on the exam. I then went back to my general science notebooks and reviewed the topics the exam covered. The only section of the test that I wasn't well prepared for was the "health" section which was more about physical education. I found the questions for that portion of the test weren't difficult.”
· “Study hard. If you answer all of the questions from the study guide that is on the website, you will do well. There are many questions that are not on the test, but then again I think there are different versions of the same test.”

XAM Study Guide
· Buy CSET General Science 118, 119, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-58197-342-6 $59.95 (www.xamonline.com/book/79/CSETGeneralScience). Though it didn't give every specific it helped us recall a lot of science we had taken at CSUF a few years before.”
· “Buy a prep book and have a laptop with Google on it next to you to get lengthier descriptions if you need them. (The prep. book is more of a reteaching tool to recall info. learned prior, not a detailed teaching for someone who has never seen the info before.)“
· “Use the XAM CSET General Science 118, 119 Study Guide. I memorized the book from front to back using flash cards. I did not pass 119 in the first try because I ordered the book too late and didn't realize how much I was going to have to study. I was only able to get about two-thirds of the book memorized. The last third was mainly 119.

Other Study Tips
· Study! “With the right amount of studying (about 5 hours a night for 1-2 weeks before each test) and accountability, the tests were doable. “
· Study with a friend! “ I studied and went to each test with my best friend. We bought a prep book online and studied together. We made about 100 flashcards because that's what works best for us.”
· In order to pass 120, I took one of the courses through the Orange County Department of Education (which I would highly recommend), ordered their book, memorized it, and then had a one hour tutoring session with the instructor.”
· “Have study accountability. I don't think I would have studied near as much if I hadn't penciled in study dates/times.”
· “Just make sure you take the time to study. It's not the kind of test you can go in cold and pass.”
· Take a prep class! or Get together with study groups.

Taking the Test
· “It’s harder than you think, but I took my time, and eliminated any answers that I knew were wrong. That usually left a 50/50 of answers that were really close to each other. The only thing to do in that case is to make an educated guess.”
· If possible, take the tests as soon as you are done with science coursework. “I took CSET Subtests 118 and 119 two years after I graduated from college. I feel that taking the tests right out of college or during college would have made it a little easier.”
· I also came out of the test, and wrote down areas that were on the test. I figured that if I failed, I would have a better grasp on what was on the test.
· Taking all 3 at one time is brutal, so I took 2 the first time, and 1 the 2nd time. I pretty much needed all the time the day I took 2 tests, and would have panicked if I had to take all 3.

CSUF Courses that Helped
· I believe that having a Minor in Natural Science helped me prepare for the exams.
· Geology 102 was particularly helpful. My professor was amazing and I think that has to do with why I remembered so much from his class.
· My Biology, Astronomy, and Geology classes came in handy. I used the books to help study.
· I wish I would have taken a course in Chemistry and/or Physics. This material was definitely more foreign to me.

Was it Worth It?
· It is definitely worth it. I was an elementary school teacher, lost my job, and am now teaching High School Biology.