Preparing for Math Test of CSET

Why Should You Prepare For CSET Math

The Math exam is offered as part of the CSET and you have to pass the test to teach Mathematics at the secondary school level in California.

Subtests in CSET Math

There are three subtests and these are:

  • Subtest 1- Algebra and Number Theory
  • Subtest 2- Geometry, Statistics, and Probability
  • Subtest 3- Calculus and Math History

If you pass the subtests 1 and 2, you will receive a foundation Math certification and can teach specific math courses. On passing the subtest 3, you can teach any course in Mathematics.

Question Types

Both multiple-choice questions and constructed-response questions are administered. 30 multiple-choice questions and 4 constructed-response questions are asked in each of the subtests.

Test Dates and Format

This test is offered at various locations across California on specific test dates and the test dates are available every two months. Only computer-based testing is available for the Math section of the CSET.

Use of Calculators

Calculators are allowed for the subtest 2 alone. The following link gives the details of the models that have been approved:

Preparation for the Test

A thorough preparation is required to pass the test.

  • Volatile Subject – While Math is a subject where you could forget concepts if you do not study everyday, if you practice Math problems regularly, you can attain high scores in the test.
  • Difficulty Level – The difficulty level of the test is high with almost 50% failure rate and therefore, a good preparation is essential. There have been cases where math major students have failed the test because of a lack of preparation.
  • Syllabus – You can understand the complete syllabus of the test only when you practice and prepare for it.
  • Format – With preparation, you will understand the format of the test and the types of questions asked in the test and this will ensure that there are no surprises on the test day.
  • Duration – The test has a time limit and you have to finish the test within the time allotted. You can solve problems in a shorter time frame when you practice and this will help you in completing the test well within the time.

How to Prepare for the Test

There are many methods by which you can prepare for the test and primarily they are:

  1. Self-study – Here, you can study for the test by yourself.
  2. Group-study – Here, you can form a study group and study.
  3. Professional Classes – You can join a professional institution and prepare by attending their classes.

All the above methods have both merits and demerits. You have to weigh them and decide on the method that is best sited for you.

Study Materials

Irrespective of the method of study you follow, good study materials are required for the test preparation. The study materials can be broadly classified into:

  • Learning Materials – The books and materials that you collect or purchase for learning the subject come under this category. Many books are available in both online shops and book stores. There are many free online study materials also available that prove to be very useful for the test preparation.
  • Practice Materials – As said earlier, practice is essential for the math subject. The materials that can be used for practice problems fall under this category. Most books contain practice problems and practice tests. Free online practice tests are also available which can be used for the preparation.

To Wrap Up…

A passing score in at least the first two subtests is required if you want to teach Math in California. With a good preparation, it is possible and this article clearly has stated the need for a thorough preparation.