CSET Subtest 1

Basics of CSET Subtest 1

The CSET exam tests the knowledge and skills that are required for a teaching profession because teachers must possess in-depth knowledge of their subject/subjects and should also have good teaching skills. For the various levels like elementary, middle and secondary school and for different subjects, different categories of the CSET test are available. This test is available in five different categories namely;

  1. CSET: Multiple Subjects
  2. VSET: Single Subject
  3. CSET: Writing Skills
  4. CSET: Preliminary Education Technology
  5. CSET: Languages Other Than English (LOTE)

CSET: Multiple Subjects

The different categories of the CSET are made of subtests and each subtest is made of domains. The CSET: Multiple Subjects comprises of 3 subtests and these are:

  1. Subtest I comprises of two domains- Reading, Language and Literature and History and Social Science

  2. Subtest II also comprises of two domains- Science and Mathematics

  3. Subtest III comprises of three domains- Physical Education, Human Development and Visual and Performing Arts

Main Features

The main features of the CSET subtest 1are listed below:

  • Question type - Both multiple-choice questions and constructed-response questions are administered.

  • Number of questions - There are 26 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response questions or short, focused response questions in each of the two domains. Therefore, in total there are 52 multiple-choice questions and 4 constructed-response questions.

  • Time duration- The total time for this subtest is 90 minutes. This subtest can be taken separately or can be taken along with the other subtests.

  • Format- Though the CSET is available in both paper-based and computer-based testing formats; the CSET subtest 1 is available only in the computer-based format.

  • Testing Dates - Testing dates for CSET subtest 1 are available all through the year, except on Sundays, public holidays and from November 25th to December 1st.

  • Registration fee - The registration fee for CSET subtest 1 is $99 but if you register for all the subtests together it is $247. You can register for the test either by phone-in registration or by online registration. The registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis and therefore, it is best that you register for the CSET subtest 1 at the earliest. The registration fee can be paid by credit, debit or check card that has a MasterCard or Visa logo on it.

  • Test scores - The multiple-choice questions are electronically scored and the constructed-response questions are scored by qualified educators in California. Based on the number of correct responses, a raw score is calculated and this raw score is multiplied with the pre-assigned weight of the subtest 1. This score is termed the scaled score and is released in the range of 200 to 300. 220 is the passing score. There are no negative marks for incorrect answers. You can pass the CSET subtest 1 and the other subtests separately or pass all of them in one attempt and once you pass a subtest you need not take it again.

  • Preparation - Preparation is essential for passing the CSET subtest 1. Many books and other study resources are available which can be used for preparation. Many online practice tests are also available free of cost. One such company that provides free practice test is Teachers Test Prep and the link to the practice tests is http://www.teacherstestprep.com/cset-multiple-subjects-practice-tests.

Importance of the Subtest

If you pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects test, you are authorized to teach at the elementary school level because all the different subjects like Language, Social Science, Math, Science, Arts, and Physical Education that are required for an elementary school are covered in this category. CSET subtest 1 is part of the CSET: Multiple Subjects test and therefore, only if you pass this subtest, can you become an elementary school teacher.


The CSET subtest 1 is a part of the CSET: Multiple Subjects category and you have to pass this test to become a teacher in California. This test is difficult and you have to prepare thoroughly for this test.

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