Here's a bit of background on the exams you may need to take to gain admission to a teacher preparation program.
Required Tests: CBEST & CSET
To apply for your TPP, you will need to prove mastery of basic skills in reading, writing and math, and you’ll need to show you’ve mastered content in your chosen subject area. This generally requires two tests: The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).
Out-of-state educators applying for certification in California must have their credentials reviewed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Out-of-state educators may still need to take the CBEST, CSET or both.
CBEST — The Basic Skills Test
For your basic skills requirement, many applicants take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This test includes sections on reading, writing and math. You’ll need to score a 41 on each section, though you can score as low as 37 on a section if your overall scaled score is at least 123.
The CBEST is not the only option to meet California’s basic skills requirement. Your SAT, ACT, AP or other test scores may satisfy this requirement as well. To find out whether you should sign up for the CBEST, your best bet is to talk to your TPP staff about your specific situation. They can guide you in the right direction.
CSET — The Subject Matter Competency Test
Whether you want to teach middle school art, AP Physics or third grade everything, there’s a subject area test for that! To demonstrate competence in your grade level or subject area, the most widely used option is the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).
Like the CBEST, check with your TPP staff if you think you may have met this requirement without taking the CSET. If you completed undergraduate or post-baccalaureate coursework from an approved waiver program, you may be all set.