Subject Matter Competency - CSET exam

Read about the CSET subject matter competency requirement for those applying to the Preliminary Credential Program.

California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET):

  • Go to for test dates, online registration, and more.
  • We strongly recommend that you try and have the exams completed/ passed by the time you submit your application to the credential program. Exams may be in progress when you are applying, but scores need to be submitted as soon as possible.  
  • All subtests indicated below must be passed to be eligible to start a 2-semester program.
  • Non-passing scores may be considered for eligibility for the 3-semester program. All CSET subtests must be passed prior to starting student teaching.
  • Subject Matter Competency Test scores are considered valid for 10 years.  Teacher certification must be recommended within that time period in order for the scores to be permanent.
  • If you do not obtain a recommendation for your teaching credential within 10 years, you must retake the appropriate subject matter competency test.

Refer to the chart below to learn which subtest you are required to pass:

 Teaching Area  Test Name/ Test Code
(2 subtests required)
Artistic Perception;
Historical and Cultural Context of the Visual Arts;
Aesthetic Valuing (140)
Creative Expression;
Connections, Relationships, and Applications;
History and Theories of Learning in Art (141) 
(4 subtests required)
Literature & Textual Analysis;
Composition & Rhetoric (105)
Language, Linguistics & Literacy (106)
Composition & Rhetoric;
Literature & Textual Analysis (107)
Communications: Speech, Media,
& Creative Performance (108)
(3 subtests required)
Algebra; Number Theory (211)
Geometry; Probability & Statistics (212)
Calculus; History of Mathematics (213)
Mathematics: Foundational
(2 subtests required)
Algebra; Number Theory (211)
Geometry; Probability & Statistics (212)
Multiple Subjects
(3 subtests required)
Reading, Language & Literature, History,
Social Science (101)
Science, Mathematics (214)--formerly subtest 102
Physical Education, Human Development,
Visual & Performing Arts (103)
(3 subtests required)
Artistic Perception, Historical and Cultural
Foundations, Aesthetic Valuing (136)
Creative Expression, Connections and
Relationships-video required (137)
Music Methodology and Repertoire (138)
Physical Education
(3 subtest required)
Growth, Motor Development and Motor Learning;
Science of Human Movement (129)
Sociology and Psychology of Human Movement;
Movement Concepts and Form (130)
Professional Foundations; Integration of
Concepts (131)
Science: Biological Sciences *
(2 subtests required)
General Science (215)
Life Science (217) — formerly subtest 120
Science: Chemistry *
(2 subtests required)
General Science (215)
Chemistry (218) — formerly subtest 121
Science: Foundational Level *
(1 subtest required)
General Science (215) — formerly subtests 118 and 119
Science: Geoscience *
(2 subtests required)
General Science (215)
Earth & Space Science (219) — formerly subtest 122
Science: Physics *
(2 subtests required)
General Science (215)
Physics (220) — formerly subtest 123
Social Science
(3 subtests required)
World History; World Geography (114)
U.S. History; U.S. Geography (115)
Civics; Economics; California History (116)

(3 subtests required) 


General Linguistics, Linguistics of Spanish (145)
Literary & Cultural Texts & Traditions; Cultural
Analysis and Comparison (146)
Language and Communication: Oral Expression,
Listening, Reading, and Written Expression (147)

 * As of August 7, 2017, changes in subtests made to these exams by CCTC.


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