CSET Format and Test Dates

CSET Format and Test Dates2018-02-21T17:25:35+00:00

What is the CSET?

The CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers) is a group of subject matter tests that was developed for prospective teachers to measure a specific set of knowledge and/or skills. Each test is based on content specific to the subject.

CSET Format

The CSET multiple subjects exam consists of three subtests, each focusing on a different set of subjects taught in grades K-12. The CSET is also administered separately for certification in preliminary education technology, writing, and specific single subjects.

CSET: Multiple Subjects

Subtest # of Questions Domain

Subtest I

52 Multiple Choice
4 Constructed-response
Reading, Language, and Literature
History and Social Science

Subtest II

52 Multiple Choice
4 Constructed-response

Subtest III

39 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response
Physical Education
Human Development
Visual and Performing Arts

CSET: Preliminary Educational Technology

Subtest # of Questions Domain

Subtest I

70 Multiple Choice
2 Constructed-response
Basic Operations, Concepts, and Issues of Computer-Based Technology
Productivity Applications of Computer-Based Technology

Subtest II

40 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response
Teaching and Learning Applications of Computer-Based Technology

CSET: Writing Skills

Subtest # of Questions Domain

Writing Skills

2 Constructed-response Expository Writing
Expressive Writing

CSET: Single Subjects

Subtest # of Questions Domain

(Subtest I, II, III)

40 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response
Plant and Soil Science, Ornamental Horticulture
Animal Science, Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management
Agricultural Business and Economics, Agricultural Systems Technology

(Subtest I, II)

50 Multiple Choice
4 Constructed-response
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

(Subtest I, II, III)

40 Multiple Choice
2 Constructed-response
Business Management, Marketing
Accounting and Finance, Economics
Information Technology, Business Environment and Communication

(Subtest I, II, III, IV)

50 Multiple Choice (Subtest I, II)
2 Constructed-response (Subtest III)
4 Constructed-response (Subtest IV)
Literature and Textual Analysis, Composition and Rhetoric
Language, Linguistics, and Literacy
Composition and Rhetoric and Literature and Textual Analysis
Communications: Speech, Media, and Creative Performance

Health Science
(Subtest I, II, III)

40 Multiple Choice each
2 Constructed-response (Subtest I, II)
1 Constructed-response (Subtest III)
Foundations of Health Education, Human Growth and Development, Chronic and Communicable Diseases
Nutrition and Fitness, Mental and Emotional Health, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Family Life and Interpersonal Relationships, Consumer and Community Health, Environmental Health

Home Economics
(Subtest I, II, III)

40 Multiple Choice each
1 Constructed-response (Subtest I)
2 Constructed-response (Subtest II)
4 Constructed-response (Subtest III)
Personal, Family, and Child Development
Nutrition, Foods, and Hospitality
Fashion and Textiles, Housing and Interior Design, Consumer Education

Industrial and Technology Education
(Subtest I, II)

45 Multiple Choice (Subtest I)
75 Multiple Choice (Subtest II)
3 Constructed-response each
Nature of Technology
Power and Energy, Information and Communication, Project and Product Development

(Subtest I, II, III)

35 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response (Subtest I, II)
30 Multiple Choice
2 Constructed-response (Subtest III)
Algebra, Number Theory
Geometry, Probability and Statistics
Calculus, History of Mathematics

(Subtest I, II, III)

45 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response (Subtest I)
40 Multiple Choice
2 Constructed-response each (Subtest II, III)
Artistic Perception, Historical and Cultural Foundations, Aesthetic Valuing
Creative Expression, Connections, Relationships, and Applications
Music Methodology and Repertoire

Physical Education
(Subtest I, II, III)

40 Multiple Choice each
2 Constructed-response (Subtest I, II)
1 Constructed-response (Subtest III)
Growth, Motor Development, and Motor Learning, The Science of Human Movement
The Sociology and Psychology of Human Movement, Movement Concepts and Forms, Assessment and Evaluation Principles
Professional Foundations, Integration of Concepts

(Subtest I, II)

100 Multiple Choice
4 Constructed-response each (Subtest I)
50 Multiple Choice
3 Constructed-response each concentration area (Subtest II)
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 one of the following concentration areas):
Biology/Life Science
Earth and Planetary Science

CSET Scoring/Guessing Penalty

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) does not deduct points for an incorrect answer. This means you should answer every question on the test, even if it’s a guess. Pacing yourself and knowing how to allot your time are important strategies to practice before the test.

When it comes to scoring your exam, your score is determined by both the multiple choice section and the constructed response section. This means that not all questions are weighted equally. All subtests are scored from 100-300, with a minimum passing score of 220. Here is a table which outlines how subtests are scored.

Proportions Subtests
70% Multiple Choice
30% Constructed Response
These are the proportions for most subtests; exceptions are listed below.
80% Multiple Choice
20% Constructed Response
  • Science Subtests I and II
  • Science Subtest IV: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • Music Subtest I
  • French, German, and Spanish Subtest II
  • Health Science Subtests II and III
  • 50% Multiple Choice
    50% Constructed Response
  • French, German, Russian, and Spanish Subtest III
  • Cantonese Subtests I, II, and III
  • English Language Development Subtests I, II, and III
  • Korean Subtests I, II, and III
  • Mandarin Subtests I, II, and III
  • Punjabi Subtests I, II, and III
  • 40% Multiple Choice
    60% Constructed Response
  • American Sign Language Subtest III
  • Japanese Subtests I, II, and III
  • Vietnamese Subtests I, II, and III
  • Subtests that consist of only multiple choice OR only constructed response assignments
  • English Subtests
  • Writing Skills
  • Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish
  • Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Filipino, Hmong, and Khmer Subtests I and II
  • World Languages Subtest IV
  • Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Filipino, French, German, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese Subtest V
  • Order Of Difficulty

    The CSET is not arranged in any particular order of difficulty. Due to the random order of difficulty, pacing and timing strategies will vary depending on your strengths and weaknesses.

    CSET Test Dates

    Computer-Based Testing

    Computer-based testing is available for the following CSET examinations:

    • CSET: Agriculture
    • CSET: Business
    • CSET: English
    • CSET: Health Science
    • CSET: Home Economics
    • CSET: Industrial and Technology Education
    • CSET: Mathematics
    • CSET: Multiple Subjects
    • CSET: Physical Education
    • CSET: Preliminary Educational Technology
    • CSET: Writing Skills

    Computer-based administrations of these tests are available year-round by appointment on a first-come, first-served basis. Computer-based testing is offered at over 30 test centers in California and over 250 test centers nationwide. For CSET: Multiple Subjects, CSET: Writing Skills, CSET: English Subtests I & II, scores will be reported within five weeks of testing. For all other exams, scores will be reported within seven weeks of testing. For more information visit the CTC website: http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/