5 Important Things about CSET

The CSET is an important test in the lives of individuals who want to take up teaching as their career. Five important things about the CSET test are provided in this article as answers to questions that are frequently asked. This knowledge will help you in understanding the test thoroughly.

  1. What is the CSET Test?

    The CSET or the California Subject Examinations for Teachers is an exam used for identifying those individuals who have an aptitude and knowledge for becoming teachers. The CSET test has been developed, administered and scored by Pearson Education.

    It is designed to measure an examinee's knowledge and skills levels. There are different categories of exams in the CSET and these are:

    • CSET: Multiple Subjects
    • CSET: Single Subject
    • CSET: Writing Skills
    • CSET: Preliminary Education Technology
    • CSER: LOTE

    You can visit the official website of the CSET for the details, http://www.cset.nesinc.com/.

  2. Why is the CSET Test Conducted?

    The CSET test is conducted to assess if the examinee has the following credentials which a teacher should ideally possess:

    • Possesses the basic skills required for teaching
    • Possesses knowledge and subject matter competence
    • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirement- All public schools that receive federal funding must administer a test to all the students to evaluate their performance to make sure that all students receive good education. This NCLB regulation requires teachers to pass a specific examination
    • Possesses knowledge on educational technology
    • Possesses the ability to teach English to non-English students
  3. What is the Format of the Test?

    The CSET test is available in a computer-based format and also in the paper-based format. Mathematics, Multiple-Subjects and Writing Skills tests are available in the computer-based format and the other tests are available in the paper-based format. Both multiple-choice questions and constructed response type questions are administered in the CSET test.


    Question Type

    Purpose of the test

    What is tested

    CSET: Multiple Subjects

    Multiple-choice and constructed
    response questions

    Authorizes the holder to teach
    in elementary schools

    3 subtests:

    • Reading, Language and Literature,
      History and Social Science
    • Science and Mathematics
    • Physical Education, Human
      Development and Visual and Performing Arts

    CSET: Single Subject

    Multiple-choice and constructed
    response questions

    Authorizes the holder to teach
    the particular test in middle and
    secondary school

    Various subjects

    CSET: Writing Skills

    Two Constructed response questions

    Required for meeting the
    Basic Skills Requirement

    Assesses the basic skills in writing

    CSET: Preliminary
    Educational Technology

    Multiple-choice and constructed
    response questions

    Used for evaluating the skills
    required for handling computers in
    educational institutions

    Two subtests:

    • Basic Operations, Concepts and
      Issues and Productivity Applications
      of Computer-Based Technology
    • Teaching and Learning Applications
      of Computer-Based Technology


    Multiple-choice and constructed
    response questions

    Required for Bilingual Authorization

    Skills required for teaching
    English in a native language

    • The time duration for CSET: The Multiple subjects test is approximately for five hours. However, you can take up the different subtests at different times. The time duration for the first two subtests is 180 minutes each and that for the third subtest is 2.25 hours.
    • For CSET: Writing Skills the time duration is 1.5 hours.
    • For the rest of the tests, in one session of 5 hours, you can opt to take up three subjects in the same examination, four English Subtests or three subtests from different examinations.
  4. What are the CSET Test Scores?

    The CSET test is composed of many subtests and each of these subtests are scored separately. The scores in the individual subtests are called the raw scores and each subtest has a pre-assigned weight to it. The raw score is multiplied with the weight to obtain the scaled score for the individual subtests. 100 to 300 is the scaled score range and the minimum score to pass is 220.

  5. How to Register for the CSET Test?

    You can register for the CSET test in two ways:

    • Online Registration- This mode of registration is available on all days and closes at 5.00 pm (Pacific Time) on the registration deadline date.
    • Telephone Registration- It is open for registration on all working days from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

While you can register for the CSET online during the regular, late and emergency periods, you can register over phone only during the late and emergency periods.

You can pay the registration fees for the different subjects while you are registering for the test. Credit, debit and check card method of payment is accepted.

To Conclude...

The above-mentioned five points are the most important things that you should know about the CSET test. These points will help you gain basic knowledge about the test. It is ideal that you understand these details first and learn about the specifics next.

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