CSET Exam Overview

On this webpage, we provide an overview of the CSET Exam, including info on the exam format, what to bring to the test site, and what kinds of questions to expect on each section of the CSET Multiple Subjects exam.

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CSET Exam Overview

On the day of the CSET exam you will need to bring:

For those taking Multiple Subjects subtest two, note that a basic calculator will be provided for you.  You are not allowed to bring your own calculator to the CSET exam.

You should dress comfortably in layers so that if the room where your CSET exam is being held is too warm or too cool, you can adjust accordingly.  You may also bring a bottle of water with you to drink during the exam, but it must be a clear container with no label.

You'll want to arrive early for the CSET, as once the exam is underway, you may not be admitted.  If you arrive late and are admitted, you will not be given extra time.

Types of Questions on the CSET Exam

There are a variety of question types you may encounter on the CSET Multiple Subjects exam.  In each of the three subtest sections, you will be asked to answer both multiple choice questions and constructed response questions.

The CSET exam will test your knowledge of a variety of subject areas.  Subtest one covers reading, language, literature, history (world, U.S. and California), and political science.  Subtest 2 covers math (number sense, algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability) and science (life science, physical science, and earth science).  Subtest 3 covers everything else, including human development, physical education, visual and performing arts, music, and dance. 

On the multiple choice portion of the CSET exam, you'll be asked to answer questions about major theories and ideas within each of these subject areas, and you will be given four answers from which to choose.  You will not be penalized for guessing incorrectly. 

On the constructed responses section of the CSET exam, you will be presented with more complex, often multipart, questions, and you will have to write a short essay.  You will be graded on the subject matter knowledge you demonstrate and how well you support your conclusions with specific details.  You will not be graded down for spelling or grammar mistakes.  However, your spelling and grammar must be clear enough that the grader scoring your CSET exam can accurately assess the ideas you are trying to communicate.


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