Certification Help

Social Studies CST

If you are studying to become a teacher, I have no doubt that you know your material. However, when planning to take the CST, things are not a simple as remembering what was on your high school regents exam or 100 level classes in college. Therefore, I recommend grabbing this book. It covers everything that could make its way onto the CST, ranging from New York State government to ancient river valley civilizations. When I took the test, there was a question regarding pig farmers during the Revolutionary War. I had no idea. However, when taking the test, be sure to use test taking skills. There is always one answer that is better than the rest. Take your time, get a good night’s sleep, and do not try to cram for this. You will do fine if you truly know your content!


Educating All Students

This test is not knowledge base. Before registering to take this test, I would ensure that you have taken at least one special education course, and have a solid understanding of what it means to create a culturally responsive lesson. Without these stepping stones of previous exposure, this will be a very difficult test to take. Expect to do a lot of reading on this test and be able to choose what works best for minority students. Being a white male, from a majority white area, I would not have succeeded on this test without a background in culturally responsive lesson planning. Make sure to read up on your theorists before taking this exam as well.




  1. Read your handbook! Your handbook will be your best friend. Get to know it inside and out and there is no way that you will not succeed. The directions for success are literally given to you before you even begin the process.
  2. Don’t rush! When you pay your $300, from that point you have 18 months to submit your EdTPA. That means, take your time and make sure that you have everything that you need.
  3. Talk about the EdTPA with your students in class. Let them know what you have to do. If you are a good teacher, they will respect you and help you along the way.
  4. Talk to your cooperating teacher. Let them know what is expected of you. They can help you decide what things may help you be successful in your planning and your video taping.
  5. Be specific in your lesson planning! Write what you are going to be doing in class and make sure that your videos reflect that. Audit your lessons to make sure that they are consistent with what you are writing.
  6. Get to know the administrators. They can get you important, district related information that will be helpful in your Part I.
  7. Get a decent camera. I would not suggest using your phone, because privacy is key. I would suggest getting a camcorder and recording with a tripod.
  8. Make sure to answer all prompts. Do not leave anything blank. Also, try to be concise in your writing. You do not have to fill all of your pages. Do not feel pressured to write 12 pages simply because you have a maximum page limit.
  9. Convert everything to PDF. PDF is a safe file format. Every computer can open a PDF and it is easy to upload. It also keeps everything consistent. Try to make the scorer’s life easier if you can,
  10. Celebrate. Celebrate when you are finished. This is not the end of your journey, it is simply the beginning. Do not let this stress you out or bring you down. Teach to the best of your ability and you will be golden!