CSET Practice Tests

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers, or CSET, is a group of subject matter tests used in California and other states to assess mastery of subject matter content for prospective K-12 teachers. 

The credential you are applying for will determine what CSET exam(s) you’ll need to take. These are called subtests. They can be taken separate or together if you are taking multiple.

A passing score is a requirement for teacher certification in California. Try out a free CSET practice test below and see how you do.

 Summary: Learn more about the California Subject Examination for Teachers and take a free CSET practice test below.

CSET Practice Tests and Resources

Resource Notes Topics Covered
CSET Practice Test 1 Subtest I: 52 multiple choice questions and extended responses. Reading, Language, and Literature; Histroy and Social Science
CSET Practice Test 2 Subtest II: 52 multiple choice questions and extended responses. Science and Mathematics
CSET Practice Test 3 Subtest III: 52 multiple choice questions and extended responses. Physical Education; Human Development; Visual and Performing Arts
CSET Subtest I Terms 95 terms regarding subtest I. Reading, Language, and Literature
CSET Subtest II Terms 82 terms regarding subtest II. Science and Mathematics
CSET Subtest III Terms 294 terms regarding subtest III. Physical Education; Human Development; Visual and Performing Arts

CSET Test Outline

There are three subtests as a part of the CSET test. Reference the table below for a breakdown of each subtest.

Subtest Domains Multiple Choice Questions Constructed Response Questions
I Reading, Language, and Literature

History and Social Science
26

26
2

2
  Subtest Total 52 4
II Science

Mathematics
26

26
2

2
  Subtest Total 52 4
III Physical Education

Human Development

Visual & Performing Arts
13

13

13
1

1

1
  Subtest Total 39 

Additionally, there are many CSET: Single Subject tests that you can take depending on what credential you are searching for. Reference the table below to see the details for each subtest and domain.

Subtest Number of Questions Domain
Agriculture

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 Multiple Choice

3 Constructed Responses
Plant and Soil Science, Ornamental Horticulture Animal Science, Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management,

Agricultural Business and Economics, Agricultural Systems Technology
Art

(SUBTEST I, II)
50 Multiple Choice

4 Constructed Responses
Aesthetic Valuing, Historical and Cultural Context of the Visual Arts, Artistic Perception,

Creative Expression, Connections, Relationships, and Applications, History and Theories of Learning in Art
Business

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 Multiple Choice

2 Constructed Responses
Business Management, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Economics,

Information Technology, Business Environment and Communication
English

(SUBTEST I, II, III, IV)
50 Multiple Choice

2 or 4 Constructed Responses
Literature and Textual Analysis, Composition and Rhetoric, Language, Linguistics, and Literacy,

Composition and Rhetoric, Literature and Textual Analysis, and Communications
Health Science

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 Multiple Choice

1 or 2 Constructed Responses
Foundations of Health Education, Human Growth and Development, Chronic and Communicable Diseases,

Nutrition and Fitness, Mental and Emotional Health, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Home Economics

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 Multiple Choice

1, 2, or 4 Constructed Responses
Personal, Family, and Child Development, Nutrition, Foods, and Hospitality,

Fashion and Textiles, Housing and Interior Design, and Consumer Education
Industrial and Tech Education

(SUBTEST I, II)
45 or 75 Multiple Choice

3 Constructed Responses
Nature of Technology,

Power and Energy, Information and Communication, Project and Product Development
Music

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 or 45 Multiple Choice

2 or 3 Constructed Responses
Artistic Perception, Historical and Cultural Foundations, Aesthetic Valuing,

Creative Expression, Connections, Relationships, Applications, Music Methodology, and Repertoire
Physical Education

(SUBTEST I, II, III)
40 Multiple Choice

1 or 2 Constructed Responses
Growth, Motor Development, and Motor Learning, The Science of Human Movement,

The Sociology and Psychology of Human Movement, Movement Concepts and Forms, and Assessment and Evaluation Principles
Science

(SUBTEST I, II)
50 or 100 Multiple Choice

4 or 3 Constructed Responses
Astronomy, Dynamic Processes of the Earth, Earth Resources, Waves, Forces and Motion, Electricity and Magnetism,

Ecology, Genetics and Evolution, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Cell and Organismal Biology, Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics, Structure and Properties of Matter

Subtest II is Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics

CSET Administration Information

Registration

In order to take the CSET test, you must register by appointment. The exam can be taken year-round (excluding some holidays), Monday through Saturday. Check appointment availability

Registration is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Candidates may register for the CSET exam by mail, by phone, or online. 

Certain registration options apply to specific deadlines, and when you choose to register can affect the costs and fees associated with taking the test. Register here.

The exam can be computer-based or taken on paper. It is up to the user to decide.

Session Lengths

Subtests I & II: 3 hours per subtest

Subtest III: 2 hours and 15 minutes

All 3 subsets in a single session: 5 hours

15 additional minutes are provided to complete a nondisclosure agreement and tutorial. Any time taken for breaks is considered part of your available testing time.

You are able to register to take any one subtest or all three subtests in a single session

Location

Find a test center here.

Fees

It is $99 per subtest taken separately or $247 for all subtests taken together. 

After payment, registration will be valid for one year. If you do not take the test or withdraw your registration within that year, your registration will expire, and you will not receive a refund or credit. 

That being said, if you would like to withdrawal your registration you can do so within the year and receive a refund. 

If you have not scheduled your test appointment: Submit a withdrawal request through your account.

If you have already scheduled your test appointment: 

1. Cancel your test appointment at least 24 hours before your scheduled testing time. Sign into your account, select “Reschedule”, and follow the instructions provided.

2. After cancelling your appointment, submit a withdrawal request through your account.

In most cases, if you follow proper protocol, you will receive your full refund of test fees, issued by Evaluation Systems within one week or your request.

CSET Requirements

You are only able to take the CSET Test if you have earned, at minimum, a high school diploma, a GED, or if you are or have been a student taking courses for college credit pursuant to a career in education.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the CTC for approval to test.

CSET Scores

A passing score is 220 per subtest. 

It is important to note that when it comes to scoring the exam, the score is determined by both the multiple-choice section and the constructed responses section.

Not all the questions are weighted equally. As mentioned before, a minimum passing score is 220 with all subtests being scored from 100-300.

Additionally, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) does NOT deduct points for an incorrect answer.  So, what does this mean? That you should answer every question on the test, even if it is a guess!

In terms of how the questions are arranged, they are not arranged in particular order when it comes to order of difficulty. So, it is important to pace yourself throughout the exam as the questions will be randomly placed with no regards to difficulty. 

Test results are available within 5 weeks of testing. Review test results release dates.

If you fail the CSET, you must re-register for the entire test or subtest that you wish to take. You must wait 45 days from the date you took the test to retake a test or subtest on computer. 

CSET FAQS

How long will I need in order to prepare for the CSET?

This will vary amongst individuals taking the exam, but it recommended that prepping one to two weeks before the exam is most beneficial.

Do CSET scores expire?

Passing CSET scores must be used for certification purposes within ten years from the individual passing date of each exam.

What can I bring to the CSET test (computer-based test)?

You must bring to the test one piece of current, government-issues identification in English with your name and photo. You cannot bring any type of writing utensil to the testing center.

What can I bring to the CSET test (paper-based test)?

You must bring to the test one piece of current, government-issues identification in English with your name and photo.

As well as a printed copy of your admission ticket (electronic not accepted) and several sharpened No. 2 pencils.

How many times can you take the CSET?

You may retake the exam as many times as needed to pass, but testing rules require that you wait 45 days from the day you took the test before you can retest.

Last Updated: 4/12/2021

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