The California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®) have been developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for prospective teachers who choose to or are required to meet specific requirements for certification by taking examinations. The CTC contracted the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson to assist in the development, administration, and scoring of the CSET. The CSET program includes examinations designed to help candidates meet the following certification requirements:

  • Basic skills requirement. Candidates may satisfy all components of the state basic skills requirement by passing all three subtests of CSET: Multiple Subjects and the CSET: Writing Skills test.
  • Subject matter competence requirement. All candidates who need to meet the subject matter competence requirement for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects as one method of satisfying the subject matter competence requirement. Candidates applying for a Single Subject Teaching Credential or an Education Specialist Instruction Credential may pass the appropriate examination(s) of the CSET as one method of satisfying the subject matter competence requirement.
  • Educational technology requirement. CSET: Preliminary Educational Technology is the current approved examination that is taken only by out-of-state credential candidates to fulfill the basic educational technology requirements for a Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential or an Education Specialist Instruction Credential.
  • Competence requirement for a Bilingual Authorization. CSET: World Languages may be used in conjunction with other valid examinations to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills areas necessary for the purpose of earning a Bilingual Authorization. Specific CSET: World Languages subtests have replaced the Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development™ (BCLAD™) Examinations as the required credential tests for this purpose.

About the Tests

The examinations of the CSET are criterion referenced. A criterion-referenced test is designed to measure an examinee's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard rather than in relation to the performance of other examinees.

Each test in the program is designed to measure a specific set of knowledge, skills, and/or abilities reflecting the subject area of the credential sought. The sets of subject matter requirements for all examinations of the CSET were defined in conjunction with committees of California educators and approved by the CTC.

Test materials matched to these subject matter requirements were developed using, in part, textbooks, California curriculum frameworks, California K–12 Student Academic Content Standards, Common Core State Standards as adopted by California, teacher education curricula, and CTC preparation program standards. The materials were developed through consultation with California educators, teacher educators, and other content and assessment specialists, and were approved by the Commission.

If you plan on fulfilling a requirement by passing one or more of the examinations of the CSET, please note that you may take an examination of CSET only if you have earned, at minimum, a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent, or if you are or have been a student taking courses for college credit pursuant to a career in education. If you are uncertain about your eligibility to test, please contact the CTC for approval to test.

Select an assessment to learn about registration fees and other test-specific information.

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