The CSET Mathematics test is broken down into three subtests. The first subtest has 24 multiple-choice questions, and 3 constructed-response questions on algebra; and 6 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response question on number theory. The second subtest has 22 multiple-choice questions and 3 constructed-response questions on geometry; and 8 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response question on probability and statistics. The third subtest has 26 multiple-choice questions and 3 constructed- response questions on calculus; and 4 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response question on the history of mathematics.
The first CSET Mathematics exam subtest covers algebraic structures that require knowledge of the properties of both real and complex numbers. This section also tests the candidate’s knowledge of and ability to prove the following theorems: the rational root theorem, the factor theorem, the conjugate roots theorem, the quadratic formula, and the binomial theorem. This section further tests the candidate’s knowledge of polynomial, rational, radical, and absolute value functions as well as the properties of exponential and logarithmic functions. The second section of the first subtest covers number theory. In this section the candidate must be able to prove the basic properties of natural numbers, use the principle of mathematical induction, apply the Euclidean algorithm, and apply the fundamental theorem of arithmetic.
The second CSET Mathematics exam subtest also is broken into two sections. The first section tests the candidate’s knowledge of geometry. This includes a subsection on parallelism, including the parallel postulate. It also includes a subsection on plane Euclidean geometry. This subsection tests knowledge of congruence, the ability to use and prove concurrence theorems, Pythagorean theorem, trigonometric ratios, and the laws of sine and cosine. Also covered are three-dimensional geometry and transformational geometry. The next section covers probability and statistics. The statistics section includes information on calculating the mean, median and mode of number sets, computing quartiles, range, and variance, and application of the chi-square test.
The third CSET Mathematics subtest covers calculus, trigonometry, limits and continuity, derivatives and applications, integrals and applications, and sequences and series. The second section of the third subtest deals with the history of mathematics. This covers chronological and topical development, including an understanding of mathematics’ changing role in society and the contributions to mathematical theory from diverse cultures.