Basic Skills Requirement

On this page: Read about the Basic Skills requirement for those applying to the Preliminary Credential Program.


Preliminary Credential Admissions Requirements - Basic Skills Requirement

**Important** Please plan to take the exams early.

The California Education Code specifies that candidates for a credential must verify basic skills proficiency in one of 3 ways:

1. Passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

  • Go to the CBEST website for test dates, online registration, and more
  • Plan to take the exam early in the application process.  We will require passing exams to be submitted in your application (or soon after submitting your application).  You must pass all three sections (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing).
  • Computer versions of the exam will be offered by appointment, year round, Monday through Saturday (excluding some holidays)--see CBEST web site above for details. Taking the exam this way is more costly ($105 versus $41 for paper exam), but you are able to take the exam more frequently. Paper-based exams are only available in September, December, February, April, and July.  For more info, visit the CBEST web site.
  • Upload a copy of the score sheet you receive to the Program Materials section of the Cal State Apply application.  

Test Preparation

2. The CSET: Writing Skills Test (available to MULTIPLE SUBJECT applicants only)

  • Go to the CSET website for test dates, online registration, and more.
  • Plan to take the exam early in the application process. We will require passing exams to be submitted in your application (or soon after submitting your application).  You must pass this writing exam in addition to the 3 Multiple Subject subtests of CSET.
  • Upload a copy of the score sheet you receive to the Program Materials section of the Cal State Apply application.

Test Preparation

3. Successful completion of both ELM and EPT exams or the CSU EAP exam or SAT

For more information on option #3, please visit the CCTC website to read about the Basic Skills requirement (PDF).

Please note that if you choose option #3 for meeting the Basic Skills Requirement, it is likely that upon employment you will be required to pass the CBEST exam.  For this reason we recommend that you take the CBEST exam to enter the credential program.