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).

The CBEST may also be required as a condition of employment. Applicants should contact the school district where they are considering employment for more information.

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.  You must pass all three sections (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing).
  • Upload a copy of the score sheet 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 staff at [email protected].

Test Preparation

2. Other exams that meet the Basic Skills Requirement (ACT, SAT, AP, etc..)

  • Several exams that you may have taken in high school or to get into college may be used for the basic skills requirement if your scores are high enough.
  • Please refer to the CCTC leaflet for complete information: CCTC Basic Skills leaflet (cl-667)

Test Preparation

3. Coursework option to meet the Basic Skills Requirement

This new option allows the Commission-approved preparation programs to verify that a candidate or applicant has demonstrated basic skills proficiency by verifying qualifying college-level coursework from a regionally accredited institution of higher education if the following conditions are met:
• The candidate must have earned a grade of "B" or better (“B-” is acceptable) in the qualifying coursework
• The coursework must have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university
• The coursework must provide three semester units (or equivalent quarter units)
• The coursework must have been taken for academic credit (earned units)
• The coursework must be degree applicable (AA degree applicable is acceptable)
• You can combine coursework with any of the approved exams above to meet sections of the Basic Skills requirement.  This means you could use a course for the Reading section and passing CBEST scores for the Math section, etc...  Your CBEST scores must be a 41 or better to be considered "passing."  Please include/submit your testing score sheets if you use this combined option.
• For Reading, applicable coursework must be in the subject of critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis (CSU subarea A3-Reading)
• For Mathematics, applicable coursework must be in the subject of algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics (CSU subarea B4-Mathematics)
• For Writing, applicable coursework must be the subject of composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing (CSU subarea A2-Writing).

1. Review the BSR coursework form and the listing of approved SDSU General Education courses on page 3

2. Review your unofficial SDSU transcript to see if you have taken these courses and earned a B- or better

3. Complete the form and add it to your SDSU credential application for the Basic Skills upload

1. Access the Transfer Admission Planner (TAP) to identify coursework taken at a community college that meets the SDSU General Education categories.

2. Review your community college transcripts to see if you have taken courses in the appropriate GE areas and earned a B- or better.

3. Complete the form and add it to your SDSU credential application for the Basic Skills upload

1. If you hold a degree (or are earning a degree) from another CSU campus or a UC campus in California, find your institution's GE requirements equivalent to CSU subarea A2, A3 and B4

2. Review your transcripts to see if you have taken courses in the appropriate GE areas and earned a B- or better.

3. Complete the form and add it to your SDSU credential application for the Basic Skills upload

1. If you hold a degree from a private or a public institution other than a CSU or UC, there are no existing articulation agreements for meeting the SDSU GE requirements. 

2. If you are applying to SDSU's credential program you can complete the BSR coursework form with courses you have taken with the key words listed above in their titles and we will review the form to see if these courses can be accepted.

3.  If you are not planning to apply to SDSU's credential program, then we do not have the staffing to review coursework for this requirement at this time.  Please contact your degree institution to see if they can assist you with this requirement.

Note: Specifically for the B4 Mathematics, applicable coursework must be in the subject of algebra, geometry,
mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics to be acceptable. Even if you have taken a course that meets the CSU undergraduate GE requirements for the area: B4-Math, it DOES NOT guarantee to clear you for the math portion of the CBEST and additional documentation/information such as a course syllabus and/or a letter from the Math department maybe required by the CTC.

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