Saturday, July 10, 2010

Math CSET: Algebra, Number Theory, Geometry, Statistics

Oh dear friends, the luxury of knowing you for the sake of knowing you is sometimes hard to afford.

Holy stinking poohcow, that was one difficult test. It was NOTHING like the practice tests in the study guide - both from the book by REA and the ones from the CSET exam site itself. It took me an average of 2.5 hours to do each test (I did four total in preparation for this), and I squeaked by with a low passing grade on all of them.

The real thing: 5 hours given, 5 hours used. And I still ended up rushing the final long answer problems, not even completing one of them. I think I did ok on subtest II (the geo and stats). However, subtest I revealed my blatant ignorance in numerical analysis in very uncomfortable ways. It would be a miracle if I passed that - and purely because I did ok on the number theory problems.

In any case, I'm not holding my breath. Good thing my position in the fall isn't contingent on me passing the math CSET. The signs weren't in my favor at all leading up to this test:

- The proctors took FREAKING FOREVER to get everyone situated. You would think after decades of giving this test there would be a more efficient way of signing in. The cellphone-nazi lady who kept rotated through the rooms every five minutes for the first forty-five minutes didn't help much.....

- ....Which contributed to the bad mood I was already in due to the heat, dehydration from crying so much, sad thoughts of Momo, and the hundred people chattering away giddily, speaking fast enough to rival clucking chickens, about "subbing" or "applications" or "credential programs" or....hold up. That was ME not too long ago. Whoa. Did I sound that annoying too? I'll keep that in mind.

- My last two remaining Muji pencils broke. My lucky pencils! They brought me through so many math exams - the ones where I was so sure I had failed but didn't.

- The lady who was clearing all the calculator memories kept making people's calculators do weird things. She even broke one of them. Good thing my trusty TI-86 has been through worse than errant button punching.

Well, glad it's over with at any rate. I did learn one thing, or was reminded of it more like: passing the test and saving a whole bunch of tuition money is sweet, but in the end, I think I prefer taking the courses. All this cram-studying is exactly the type of learning I hold in much less priority than really learning the material and understanding it deeply. You get to meet people, and collaborate, and argue math logic with your professor until they are so exasperated with you that they kick you out their office. What? That's never happened to you? Um, well, me neither! ::cough::


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Ricochet said...

If you can remember, can you post the essay questions you were given?

I hope you did better than you are thinking yu did.

bun2bon said...

Ricochet: give me your email and I'll email it to you. considering the cell phone nazi lady at the test, I don't want to be accused of passing test information - yeah, the test is over, but still.

I only remember 3 out of the 8 long answer questions clearly though. Just so you know and aren't disappointed by my lack of memorizing skills.