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CBEST vs. CSET: What’s the difference?

March 23, 2018

Categories: Blog

Published: March 23, 2018

Confused by the difference between the CBEST and the CSET exams? Both are involved in becoming a teacher in California and are developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Additionally, both the CBEST and the CSET exam can be used to fulfill the basic skills requirement for the CTC—but that’s not all. Discover more about what each exam entails below.

What is the CBEST?

The CBEST is the California Basic Educational Skills Test. Candidates interested in becoming a California teacher take this exam to fulfill the basic skills requirement for the teacher certification process.

There are three sections to the CBEST: math, reading, and writing. Math and reading each feature 50 multiple choice questions while the writing section has 2 essay topics. These sections are intended to test a person’s basic knowledge of the general skills needed to be a teacher at any level.

You can choose to take one, two, or three sections in a testing session, but ultimately all sections must be taken to complete the exam. The California Educator Credentialing Examinations website has more information on testing fees, session lengths, and testing dates.


What is the CSET?

The CSET stands for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers. There are many CSET exams that cover a variety of subjects. Subjects include English, Math, Social Science, and many foreign languages from American Sign Language to Turkish. Check out the full list of subject exams here.

Passing a subject examination proves an individual’s competence in the subject manner and is part of the teacher credentialing requirements in California. If you take one CSET, it can be part of the requirements for a Single Subject Teaching Credential. If you take CSET: Multiple Subjects, it can be part of the requirements for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

It’s important to note that you can take CSET: Multiple Subjects and CSET: Writing Skills to fulfill your basic skills requirement. This means you do not have to take the CBEST. If you do not take these four CSET tests, you do have to take the CBEST.


CBEST vs. CSET at Pacific Oaks

Interested in a Pacific Oaks program? Some degree programs require CBEST scores in your application.

CBEST scores are required for:

For more details on the CBEST and our programs, read up on our admissions requirements.

Alternatively, the CSET is not required for admission to any program. Rather, the CSET is taken during or after a student’s enrollment at Pacific Oaks.

Pacific Oaks offers free CBEST and CSET preparation workshops. These workshops are available in person and online. Discover upcoming workshops on our events page.

Are you interested in learning more about Pacific Oaks College? Fill out the form below to request more information, visit our academic programs page, or you can apply today through our application portal.



Categories: Blog

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