Basic Skills Requirement

Read about the Basic Skills requirement for those applying to the Preliminary Credential Program.

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

There are several ways to meet the Basic Skills requirement for the credential program at SDSU. The most common way is passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

Please plan to take the exams early. We require passing scores for CBEST to be able to offer admission to the credential program, so it is best if you have passing scores in March.

If you are applying close to the application deadline, please take the exam as soon as possible.

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
  • Currently, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, many testing centers are closed.  We know a testing site on Hancock St (Downtown San Diego) is allow exams to continue with social distancing.  We hop more test centers will re-open in the coming months.
  • Plan to take the exam early in the application process.  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.  If you pass the exam AFTER submitting your Cal State Apply application, then you will need to email your score sheet to our office.

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. 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.  If you pass the exam AFTER submitting your Cal State Apply application, then you will need to email your score sheet to our office.

Test Preparation

3. Successful completion of other approved exams such as SAT, ACT, AP...

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.