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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies


On this page: Learn about the CBEST and CSET, tests you must take and pass if you want to enter into a credential program in preparation for teaching.

When to Take the CBEST and CSET

Before entering into a teacher credential program, you must pass the CBEST and CSET, exams which will measure your knowledge of basic educational skills and subject matter.

Take the exams before graduation

Many students take these exams approximately 9 months before graduation, to give themselves time to:

  • Receive their test results
  • Retake either or both tests, if necessary

While taking the tests 9 months before graduation may help you to move directly into a credential program post-graduation, you may take these tests at any time.

California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

The CBEST assesses the skills of writing, reading, and math for potential educators. Application booklets and information about preparation workshops are available at OSS. The test fee is approximately $100. Scores are valid forever.

California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)

The CSET assesses prospective teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter they will teach in the classroom.

In California, individuals who wish to be elementary teachers satisfy subject-matter competency by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers-Multiple Subject (CSET-MS). While students may complete any major, the Liberal Studies major is specifically designed to match the standards that are taught in the elementary school and that are tested on the CSET-MS.

Test booklets are available at OSS. Cliff's Study Guide is available from the Liberal Studies advisor and the Reserve Book room of the library. The cost is $99 per subtest (3 subtests), or $247 if all 3 are taken at one time. Scores are valid for 5 years.

CSET Waiver Documents

Please make sure to read the CSET Waiver Policies and Procedures document in its entirety. All your questions will be answered by reading this document. In addition, this document provides step-by-step instructions for completing the CSET Waiver process. 

This document is a blank copy of the CSET Waiver Self-Evaluation Form. Please complete this after reading the CSET Waiver Policies and Procedures. Use this form when submitting the CSET Waiver application.


Questions? Email or contact OSS.

School of Teacher Education

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