CSET Chemistry

What Questions Types are Covered in CSET Chemistry

CSET or the California Subject Examinations for Teachers is administered to identify candidates who have the ability and knowledge to become teachers. There are five categories under this test and CSET: Single Subject is one of them.

The CSET: Single Subject is used for identifying candidates who can teach at the middle and secondary school level. Many subjects are available and you can take up one of them, in which you have specialized. Science and Specialized Science are available as options for you in the Science category.

In the Science test, there are three subtests and subtests I & II cover the General Science areas. The subtest III has four options, Biology/ Life Science, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Science and Physics, and you can choose your specialized area of study from these.

In the Specialized Science test, there are two subtests and four subject area specializations, namely, Biology/ Life Science, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Science and Physics. You can take any one of them as per your competence.

The Details of the Test

The details of the CSET Chemistry including the test pattern, scoring pattern, registration procedure and significance are provided here for your easy understanding:

  • CSET Chemistry is one of the specializations offered by the CSET and it falls under the subtest III.

  • In the General Science category, both multiple-choice questions and constructed-response type questions are administered.

  • There are 50 multiple-choice questions and 3 constructed-response type questions.

  • In case of the Specialized Science test, the subtest III has to be taken up along with subtest IV. The CSET Chemistry subtest IV contains 40 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response type questions.

  • Questions covering topics from Atomic and Molecular Structure to Nuclear Processes are administered in this test.

  • The syllabus pertains to the Science topics that you have learnt from grade 3 to grade 12 and the detailed syllabus can be viewed at http://www.cset.nesinc.com/PDFs/CS_chemistry_SMR.pdf

  • The CSET Chemistry is available in the paper-based format.

  • A single session is for five hours and you can take up all the subtests of the CSET Science or Specialized Science in one session.

  • The test dates for CSET Chemistry are available once in the months of September, November, January, March, May and July.

  • The details of the test dates and registration deadlines are available at http://www.cset.nesinc.com/CS18_Testdates.asp?PageType=PBT.

  • Online and phone-in registration are the two modes of registration available. There are three registration categories namely, the regular, late and emergency registration categories.

  • You can register online during all the registration periods whereas you can only register over phone in the late and emergency registration periods.

  • The timings for the phone-in registration are fixed and it is from 9.00am to 5.00pm on working days. On the other hand, online registration is open on all days at all times.

  • The registration fee for CSET Chemistry is $69 for each subtest.

  • If you are registering during the late registration period, you have to pay an additional $18 as late registration fee and if you register during the emergency registration period, you have to pay $35 as emergency registration fee.

  • The registration fee can be paid by check, debit or credit card which has a MasterCard or Visa logo on it.

  • The multiple-choice questions in the CSET Chemistry are marked electronically and the constructed-response questions are evaluated by subject experts and the total score is termed the raw score.

  • The Chemistry subtest is assigned a weight and the raw score is multiplied with this weight. The resultant score is the scaled score.

  • The range of the scaled score is from 200 to 300 and you need to attain at least 220 to pass the test.

  • You can pass each subtest separately.

  • To teach Science in the middle or secondary school you must pass the CSET: Science and you have to take up any one subject in the subtest III.

  • If you have specialized in Chemistry, then CSET Chemistry is the subject you have to choose.

  • If you take up Subtests III & IV of CSET Chemistry, then you can teach only Chemistry in the high school level.


If teaching is your passion and Chemistry is your specialization, then you must take up CSET Chemistry and pass the test. The test is difficult but with preparation, you can easily pass it and become a teacher. If you want to teach only Chemistry, then you have to opt for it in CSET: Specialized Science and pass the subtests III & IV.

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