What are the CBEST & CSETs?


What is the CA basic skills requirement?

The basic skills requirement is for all future credentialed teachers. Until recently, most students met the requirement through qualifying exam scores including the CBEST, CSET, AP, SAT, ACT, etc. However, a new law allows coursework in English, reading, and math to serve as an additional method to satisfy the requirement. That means students can use a combination of exam scores and/or coursework to satisfy the requirement. Your transfer university will work to assist you to accept college level coursework and/or exam scores for the basic skills requirement.

What is the CBEST?

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a series of tests that meet the requirement for credentialing and employment for teachers. The three parts include mathematics, reading, and writing. Institutions like CSUs may require this to be met before enrollment in a credential program, so students often take the exam at or around time of transfer to the university. LBCC often hosts CBEST study sessions each semester. See the CTC Educator Credentialing Assessments website for exam details.

What is the CSET?

The California Subject Examination for Teachers is an exam or series of exams taken by multiple-subject (elementary) teachers or secondary (middle/high school) teachers in California. CSET Exams are often taken after transfer at the university as part of your educator preparation program’s pathway.

Which coursework qualifies? Coursework must:

  • Earn a grade of “B” or better
  • Be taken at a regionally accredited college or university
  • Be three semester units (or equivalent quarter units)
  • Taken for academic credit (earned units)
  • Be degree applicable
  • For Reading, be in the subject of critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis
  • For Writing, be in the subject of composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing
  • For Mathematics, be in the subject of algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics

For a complete list of options, please visit the CTC Educator Credentialing Assessments website.