There is a need to set a target for yourself whenever you set out to do any kind of work, whether it is something as trivial as travelling or something as important as taking the CHSPE. If you are travelling, then your target would be to reach your destination on time. In order to achieve your aim, you need to know the exact location of where you have to go, the means available with you for travelling, the time you have at hand for travelling etc. Similarly, if you are taking the CHSPE, your aim would be to pass the test with high scores. In order to achieve this target, you need to be aware of the exact scores you need for passing, the scoring procedure, the test format etc.
Why is it Necessary to Understand the CHSPE Test Format?
One can expect to pass this exam and understand the scoring procedure only if one is aware of the test format, like the test sections and the types of questions that will be asked. A good understanding of these sections will go a long way in helping you in plan your test preparation. A careful study of the test content and the test format will help you in identifying the subject areas that you need to improve upon for getting good scores in CHSPE.
Once you are aware of your weaknesses with respect to the content areas, you will be able to judge how your scores will be affected if you are unable to improve upon your weak areas. There is a need to understand the content that falls in each content cluster and the number of questions that come in each content cluster. This will help you in getting an estimate of how you are likely to fare in the exam depending upon
- Your familiarity with the subject content of each content cluster
- The number of questions in each content cluster
- The maximum possible raw scores for each content cluster
You can then plan your study in such a way that you are able to achieve the passing scores for each of the test sections.
What are the Test Sections and how are they Scored?
There are two test sections in CHSPE. You have a total time of three and a half hours to complete the entire test. The individual test sections are not timed. You can take each of the test sections in different test administrations, but you need to pass both these subtests to get the certificate.
1. English-language Arts Section
This test section consists of two subtests, both of which have to be passed for passing the test section.
Language Subtest: This subtest consists of 48 multiple-choice questions and 1 writing task. It is mandatory to pass both the writing task and the multiple-choice questions on the same test date. The content clusters for the multiple-choice questions on this subtest are as follows:
– Mechanics (capitalization, usage, punctuation): 24 multiple-choice questions
– Expressions (sentence structure, prewriting, content and organization): 24 multiple-choice questions
Reading Subtest: This subtest consists of a total of 84 multiple-choice questions. The distribution of the questions as per the content cluster is as follows:
– Comprehension (initial understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, strategies): 54 multiple-choice questions
– Vocabulary (synonyms, multiple meaning words and context clues): 30 multiple-choice questions
Multiple-choice Questions: Your raw scores for the multiple-choice questions of this test section will depend on the number of questions that you have answered correctly. There is no penalty for incorrectly answered questions. Therefore, you can make a guess whenever you are in doubt about the correct answer and even if your guess is wrong, it will not have any negative impact on your scores. The raw scores of the multiple-choice questions will be converted into scale scores so that the scores of all test-takers who have taken different forms of the CHSPE or have taken the CHSPE on different test dates can be compared at a common platform. The score range for both the Reading subtest and the multiple-choice questions of the Language subtest is from 250 to 450.
Writing Task: The essay is scored by at least two independent scorers on a 5-point scale in which the maximum score is 5 and the minimum score is 1. The final writing task score is the average of the scores received from the scorers.
Passing Scores for the English-language Arts Section: You can pass the English-language Arts test section only if you pass both its subtests. Although you can take the English-language Arts subtests on separate days, you will have to take the multiple-choice questions and the writing task of the Language subtest on the same day. The passing score for the Reading subtest is 350. The passing scores for the Language subtest are a combination of the scores received in the multiple-choice questions and score received in the writing task.
– You need a minimum score of 342 in the multiple-choice questions to meet the passing criteria for the Language subtest if you have received 3.5 in the writing task.
– You need to score at least 350 in the multiple-choice questions for passing the Language subtest if you have scored 3 in the writing task.
– You need a minimum score of 365 in the multiple-choice questions to pass the Language subtest if you have scored 2.5 in the writing task.
– You will fail the Language subtest irrespective of what your scores are in the multiple-choice questions if your writing score is 2 or lower.
2. Mathematics Section
This test section consists of a total of 50 multiple-choice questions distributed as per the following content clusters:
– Number sense and operations: 9 questions
– Pattern, relationships and algebra: 15 questions
– Data, statistics and probability: 12 questions
– Geometry and measurement: 14 questions
Your raw scores for this test section will depend on the number of questions that have been answered correctly by you. You will not lose any marks for incorrectly answered questions. Therefore, you can safely make a guess when you are not sure of the answer to the question asked. The raw scores will be converted into scale scores to account for the differences in difficulty levels of questions asked in different test administrations. The score range for this test section is from 250 to 450. The minimum score required for passing the Mathematics test section is 350.
What Does the CHSPE Score Report Contain?
The score report is mailed to you about 5 weeks from the test date. If you have passed the exam, then the Certificate of Proficiency will also be mailed to you.
Your score report will display the following:
- An indication of whether you have passed the CHSPE or not
- Your scores in the most recent CHSPE test sections taken by you
- Your performance in each of the content clusters for the Mathematics test section, English-language Arts Reading subtest, and the multiple-choice questions of the English-language Arts Language subtest will also be displayed in the score report.
- The total number of questions in each cluster will be displayed along with the number of questions that you were able to answer correctly.
- Your performance in each of the content clusters will be indicated by rating it in one of the following categories:
– Adequate or Better
– Below Adequate
– Far Below Adequate
You can visit the official website of CHSPE, www.chspe.net to view a sample CHSPE score report.
How can the CHSPE Scores be improved?
The best method for improving your CHSPE scores in a retest is by studying your score report. The categories in which your performance in the content clusters fall will help you in identifying the content clusters in which you need improvement. Work out a preparation plan that concentrates on improving your skills in these content clusters and you will be able to get better scores and ultimately pass the exam when you take the retest.