Monday, September 17, 2012

CSET take 4

I took the Geo section of the CSET on Saturday. This time they offered it as a computer based test instead of paper. AWESOME. The testing location is closer to my house and you can pick what time you want to take the test.
Old way vs new way
1) OLD: Leave the house by 6:45 to 7am to make sure I rived at the testing location in time. Test starts at 8am but they want you there by 7:30 to check in. --- NEW: leave house 30 min before test time (my test time was 10:15am), arrive with plenty of time to go over notes before walking in.
2) OLD: Test ticket always listed "limited parking so get there early to secure a spot." I hate parking. It is one of those things that has to go perfectly for me or my day is ruined. If there is no designated parking and I have to find some place else to park I get stressed out. I don't know why this is but I have to deal with it every time I go anyplace new where parking could be an issue. --- NEW: "ample parking available"  AWESOME! There were so many parking spots I got to pick one that I liked best.  LOL.
3) OLD: Wait around outside till they let us in the testing room then sit through 1 hour of instructions, check in, and calculator checks. Store personal items in a pile at some location in the room away from us. --- NEW: Walk in, check in - 5 min tops, locker assigned to hold personal belongings. Walk over to testing room, calculator check, ear plugs issued, quick run down of rules, then walked to computer station and test begins. Total time combined 10 min  :).
I absolutely love the new testing system. Everything was very smooth and quick. No lagging behind or driving forever to get there. They even supplied the #2 pencils and scratch paper pad. The only difference I see is with the new way you are only allotted 2 hours for each section of the test. The old way you could take up to 5 hours to complete what ever test or tests you were working on.  This was not a problem for me though. The computer keeps a list of the problems you completed, total number of problems on the test, at running timer telling you how much longer you have left, and a warning screen pops up when you have 30 min left. I ended up finishing the test right when the 30 min pop up happened.

How did I do?  Still don't know - the only thing I wish the new computer testing did was give you the score for your multiple choice questions.  I understand the constructed response need to be graded by a live person but at the very least it would ease my mind to know how many of the multiple choice I got correct. What would be even better is if it told you the multiple choice score and how many points you need on the constructed response to pass based on how well you did on the multiple choice. I bet in the future that will happen.

Leading up to the test I was having a very difficult time focusing on studying. I don't know why, normally when I sit down and start studying I focus so much that I loose track of time. I even took part of Friday off work in the hopes that I would be able to focus on studying. I managed to make it though my worksheets just once, I wanted to go over it at least twice, even better three times but I do think it was enough this time. When taking the test I jumped right to the constructed response section to get them out of the way. I am confident that I did two of them perfectly and another one of them possibly perfectly or pretty close to it. I absolutely did not know how to do the last one (there are a total of 4 constructed response). I wrote down what I did know about the problem and drew a graph... that is about it, maybe I will get 1/2 or 1 point with that but I am not concerned about it since I knew the other three problems.

I left the test center very confident that I passed this time. We shall see.

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