English Test of CSET

What You Need To Know About CSET English

The CSET is a test administered to identify candidates who have the potential to become teachers.

English is one of the subjects in the CSET: Single Subject category and if you pass this test, you can teach English at the secondary level. In this article, first, the subtests of the test are provided followed by the question types, duration of the test and other details.

CSET English

The English subject test comprises of four subtests namely,

  • Subtest I comprises of two domains: Composition and Rhetoric and Literature and Textual Analysis

  • Subtest II comprises of one domain: Language, Linguistics, and Literacy

  • Subtest III comprises of two domains: Composition and Rhetoric and Literature and Textual Analysis

  • Subtest IV comprises of one domain: Communications: Speech, Media, and Creative Performance

The details of the topics for each of the subtests can be found at http://www.cset.nesinc.com/PDFs/CS_english_SMR.pdf.

Question Types

Both multiple-choice questions and constructed-response type questions are asked in the test. For Subtests I & II, the types of questions asked are multiple-choice questions and there are 50 questions each. In case of Subtests III & IV, constructed-response type questions are administered. Four such questions are asked for these two subtests.

Subtests I & III test the same abilities but in subtest I multiple-choice questions are administered and in subtest III, constructed-response questions are administered.

Test Duration and Result Announcement

The total duration of the test is 5 hours and you can take all the four subtests in one session or take two subsets on one day and the other two on another day.

The results will be announced one month after the test date and the report will be sent to you, the CTC and the institution you have selected while registering for the test.

Test Dates and Test Fees

This test is offered only as a paper-based test and it is administered in the months of November, January, March, May, July and September.

The test fee for subtest I is $51 and for the other three subtests it is $52 each. The fee can be paid by credit, debit or check card that carry either the MasterCard or Visa logo.

What is expected from You?

  • If you want to be an English teacher in a California public school, certain knowledge and skills levels are expected from you. This test tries to identify if you possess the necessary qualities.

  • A wide knowledge and understanding in all the areas of English like language, composition and communication studies are the foremost requirement.

  • You must also be good at written and spoken English as communication is very important for a teacher.

  • Experience in theatre arts, journalism, and the ability of public speaking is also required.

  • These knowledge and abilities are tested since they are required for an effective communication in a classroom setting for children.

Preparation for the Test

The English test needs a thorough preparation and many good study materials are available for your perusal. Try to decide on the method of study you would like to follow and collect the materials required for the test preparation. If you are planning on joining a course, take it up a few weeks before the test date. This will ensure that everything you learn stays fresh in your mind.


The CSET is a mandatory test that you have to pass if you want to become a teacher for secondary school students in California. With adequate preparation, the test can be easily aced. All the information about the test is provided here and it is ideal that you understand the test before you attempt it.