I took the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) just this past Saturday. I needn't really specify the time frame of the test because it literally engulfed Saturday. 5 hours of it. Straight.
To teach secondary biology (grades 7-12) in California, one must pass 2 general science subtests and an in-depth biology subtest. While I gave a warm welcome to the multiple-choiced, single-'a'-through-'d'-answered, penalty-free guessing test format I haven't seen since high school, the test was still difficult. For instance, I haven't taken geology since never, and yet there I was, trying to justify plate tectonics using paleomagnetism as evidence. That will be a fun essay to grade.
Most interesting to see was not the test but the people signed up to take the test. Since one never needs to retake these exams (given passing scores), only those who want to start their teaching careers will take it. Given that fact, I was astonished to see so many older folks scratching their heads in the same room as me. Learning the ropes of teaching with other novices twice my age will engender a vastly different dynamic than I had imagined.
The Underground Testing Consortia
3 days ago