Requirements from the CBEST in California

Why CBEST is Required in California

According to the Law and Employment Board of California, all educators have to be certified in order to work in any school in California (CA). Thus, in order to certify candidates to work as educators, a skills test was designed by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) known as the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST).

This examination is designed to assess the candidate's competency and map it with the requirements of the educator's profile for various teaching institutes and schools. However, this test is not considered as a credibility test.

About the CBEST:

It should be known that the CBEST is a basic aptitude test. 

  1. Test Section and Duration: The examination consists of three sections: Reading, Mathematics and Writing  and the exam lasts for around 4 hours. The Reading and  Mathematics section contain 50 questions each and they are in the multiple-choice format. The Writing section, on the other hand, contains 2 essay writing assignments.

  2. Scoring Pattern: It should be known that each test section is scored separately and that a competency report for every section is issued. According to the guidelines set by CTC, candidates have to pass in all the sections in order to clear the exam. The passing score is set at 41, while the score ranges between 20-80 for each subtest. Thus, the overall passing score for this test is 123. Once the candidates complete this test, they would be given a comprehensive performance report. Moreover, you can visit the following link: to understand the scoring pattern.

  3. Retaking the Exam: The testing pattern has introduced a unique feature for retaking this test, in case the candidate do not clear it initially. According to the guidelines, a candidate is given a choice to either retake specific section(s) or the entire test. Moreover, only the highest score attained by the candidate would be considered by CTC. Thus, it is better to attempt all the sections of the exam while retaking the test.

Who Has to Take This Test?

In California, candidates are required to take the CBEST in the following cases:

  • If you are seeking a new teaching credential or service credential.

  • In case you are a non-resident of California and seeking employment as an educator.

  • If you are seeking admission for any teacher-preparation program or service credential program which is CTC approved.

You can visit to obtain more information on the guidelines regarding the requirements of certification and also about the special cases where candidates are exempted from taking this exam.

Importance of the CBEST:

It is essential to understand that it is mandatory to get certified as an educator in order to be eligible for teaching opportunities in the state of California. Moreover, on the successful completion of this test, you will be provided with the following:

  1. A Permanent Verification Card, stating that that you have taken and passed the test.

  2. Two transcript copies of your Permanent Verification Card.

These documents have to be submitted to the institutes you wish to join as an educator. Moreover, there is no validity period assigned for the certification.

Even though it may take a lot of effort; however, becoming a certified educator would open doors to new and rewarding teaching opportunities. Therefore, it is important for you to invest your time and effort to pass the CBEST!