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Acing Your CSET

The actual content of your exam will depend on the subject you’re thinking of teaching. The official CSET test study guides will tell you what you’re supposed to know before you walk into the exam room. You should certainly be familiar with the topics that apply to you.

Most common CSET study guides, like you find in a bookstore, won’t tell you how to ace the CSET questions when you aren’t sure of the answer. That isn’t because you can’t do it; it’s because with a standard CSET test study guide they don’t want you to know how to do it. Their method, which is unrealistic for most CSET test takers, is to memorize hundreds of their textbook-like pages. It is a lot of work to prepare for and pass a California teacher certification test. Get started now!

Here Are Five Ways to Ace the CSET (Even When You Don’t Know the Answer)

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1. Do the easy CSET questions first

Use the first few minutes of the exam to zip through the paper. You’ll certainly find some of the questions easier than others. Do those straight away. It will make you feel a bit better and give you more time for the tougher CSET questions. And if you find yourself getting stuck on a question, make a mark, leave it and move on. Come back to it at the end when you’ll have more time, more focus and less panic.

2. Use a process of elimination

This is an absolute must on any multiple choice question. There will usually be one or two questions that are outrageously wrong. Knock them out quickly and your score goes up.

3. Drop extreme language and numbers

One way to pick the bad answer choices from the good is to look at the wording of the answers. The CSET examiners generally prefer the correct answer to be wishy-washy. Any answer choice that uses words like “all”, “never” or “always” are probably wrong. Similarly, on math and science questions, the highest and lowest figures are usually bad choices too. Take them out.

4. Identify similar CSET answers

Another way to hone in on the right answer choices is to pick out any answers that look the same. Usually on the CSET exam, two answers will be extreme, one will look right and one will be right.

The one that looks right has been put there deliberately to confuse you.

The examiners are hoping that as you rush through the CSET exam, you won’t notice that there’s a better answer right next to it and pick the wrong choice. That’s mean, but it actually does you a favor. When two answer choices look similar, one of them is likely to be right.

5. Use previous CSET questions

One of the great things about long exams like the CSET is that the answer to one question can often be found in another part of the paper. It’s going to be almost impossible for the examiners not to repeat a subject or duplicate a point. If you’re scratching your head over a question, move on and keep an eye out for it later. There's a good chance that they’ll give the game away in a different CSET question.

Those are just five simple tactics you can use to ace the CSET test. There are others and you’ll need them all to put yourself in the classroom and in front of the students. To learn all the tactics you need, and to make sure that your CSET test preparation is right on track, check out this CSET Comprehensive Success System and start your teaching career with top marks. Don’t wait – start your CSET test prep and review program today.
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