studying for the CSET
We cannot stress enough the importance of prioritizing test preparation. These exams are specific and nuanced. They are also quite long. Unfortunately, we have had many corps members fail these exams despite having majored in the same field as the exams they took.
The consequences of failing to prepare for a test are significant and costly as retaking tests is expensive. We have seen that corps members who spend at least 60 hours of study time preparing for the CSET and at least 10 hours preparing for the CBEST are most likely to pass on their first attempt.
Take Advice from Current Corps Members
“Study, Study, Study. There is no other formula. At the moment of the test what will really count is the number of good quality time you input. Nothing else will make a bigger impact - guaranteed!”
“The free diagnostic test that TFA provided was very helpful; it help me determine what area I should concentrate on the most and which areas did not need much attention.”
“Study your tail off. Don't underestimate this test; you'll not only be wasting your time come test day, but also your hard earned money.”
“Prepare early and know what you need to work on. Be mindful of your study time because chances are you are just as busy as everyone else.”
“Study the 60 hours as suggested, there is no substitute for being prepared.”
“Create monthly, weekly, and daily study goals. If you don't meet the minimum number of hours one day (I did 3), add them on to the next day.”
“Study your weakest areas so you'll feel comfortable going into the test.”
Your Pathway to CSET Success
1. Register for the Exam
Registering well before the registration deadline will ensure that you’ll be able to secure a testing spot at your preferred location and give you ample time to study.
2. Get to Know the Test
Visit the CTC website and navigate to your specific CSET exam to download each subtest guide. These guides will detail the content that you will need to know on the exam. Visit the CSET/CBEST Study Materials page to download study specific CSET Preparation Guides to learn more about your exam from corps members who have taken it before.
3. Take the CSET Diagnostic (Teachers Test Prep) & Watch the Webinar
You will take a diagnostic to gauge areas of strength and weakness through the CSET Diagnostic. Note: This is only available for English, Science, Social Science, and Multiple Subjects assigned corps members.
4. Gather Resources
Review the resources that are recommended. Know that CSET prep books vary in quality. Some of the best resources will be found online.
5. Harnessing Testing Anxiety
We know taking timed, rigorous exams can be nerve-wracking, which is why we've partnered with our LA Corps mental health consultant to provide a testing anxiety guide specifically tailored to incoming LA corps members! Check out the Harnessing Testing Anxiety Guide for more information on the science behind anxiety and steps you can take to feel more at ease.
6. Create a Study Plan
Use your diagnostic results to create a detailed study plan that allots at least 10 hours a week for studying. Block off specific times you are going to study and set objectives for each block. Best practice: Tackle the most challenging material first. For an sample plan and template, click here.
7. Review & Update Your Study Plan/Diagnostic
After studying for 3 weeks, go back to your plan and reassess. Where should you shift focus?
8. Keep Calm & Carry On
The week before the exam, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and stay healthy.
English CSET Resources:
Math CSET Resources
Multiple Subjects CSET Resources
Science – Biology CSET Resources
Science-Chemistry CSET Resources
Science – Physics CSET Resources
Science – Middle School CSET Resources
Social Science CSET Resources
Spanish CSET Resources