CBEST - California Basic Educational Skills Test

The CBEST is a test developed by the state of California to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. Basic reading, mathematics and writing skills are the areas tested.

It is delivered in English only and consists of three sections: reading, mathematics and writing. A passing score on each section is a scaled score of 41. A total score of 123 is required for passing status. You may score as low as 37 on one or two sections as long as your total score is 123 or higher.

This test must be passed in order to enter a teacher credential program. Once the entire test has been passed, it need never be taken again.

For more information, visit the CBEST website.

CSET - California Subject Matter Exam for Teachers

The CSET was developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for prospective teachers to meet a variety of certification requirements including the subject matter competence requirement. Before beginning student teaching, this requirement must be met.

Multiple subject credential:

Candidates wishing to earn a multiple subject credential must pass all three subtests:

  • Subtest I: Language arts and social science
  • Subtest II: Mathematics and science¬†
  • Subtest III: Visual and performing arts, human development and physical¬†education

Single subject credential:

Candidates wishing to earn a single subject teaching credential may verify their subject matter competence in one of two ways:

  • By passing the appropriate CSET subtest(s).
  • By verifying appropriate experience or education if trained in another state.

Each CSET subtest costs $74. Students may take 1-3 subtests during any of the scheduled 5-hour test sessions.

You may take the subtests one at a time, however careful planning must be taken to ensure that all subtests are passed prior to the deadline for the credential program application. Some students prefer to take three subtests the first time and then re-take only those that were not passed.

A passing exam score must be used for credentialing purposes within five years. The five-year time limit begins after the first subtest is passed.For more information, please visit the CSET website