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Required Exams for California Teacher Credentialing

The following examinations are required as part of the teacher credentialing process (exam requirements vary according to the type of teaching credential sought). Please choose the exam below to read more:

California Basic Educational Skills Test™ (CBEST®)

The California Basic Educational Skills Test™ (CBEST®) was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement does not replace any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation and practice teaching or field experience applicable to the issuance of credentials.

The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator; the test is not designed to measure the ability to teach those skills. The CBEST consists of three sections: Reading, Mathematics and Writing.

The examination is delivered in English, and all responses must be in English. Six paper-based administrations will be held per year in the months of September, November, January, March, May and July. Additional computer-based test centers are being added in California and throughout the United States. For up-to-date information on available test centers, including real-time seat availability, refer to the Pearson VUE website at www.pearsonvue.com/cbest/.

The CBEST is required for admissions to Alliant credentialing programs. Website: www.cbest.nesinc.com

California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®)

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®) have been developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for prospective teachers who choose to or are required to meet specific requirements for certification by taking examinations. The CCTC contracted the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson to assist in the development, administration and scoring of the CSET. The CSET program includes examinations designed to help candidates meet the following certification requirements:

  • Basic skills requirement
    Candidates may satisfy all components of the state basic skills requirement by passing all three subtests of CSET: Multiple Subjects and the CSET: Writing Skills test.

  • Subject matter competence requirement
    All candidates who need to meet the subject matter competence requirement for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential must earn passing scores on CSET: Multiple Subjects. Candidates applying for a Single Subject Teaching Credential or an Education Specialist Instruction Credential may pass the appropriate examination(s) of the CSET as one method of satisfying the subject matter competence requirement. Single Subject Credential Subject Matter competency may also be verified by undergraduate university (CA only) letter of subject matter competency.

  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) subject matter requirement
    For candidates who need to satisfy the NCLB subject matter requirement, candidates for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential must use CSET: Multiple Subjects and candidates for a Single Subject Teaching Credential may use CSET: Single Subjects.

  • Educational technology requirement
    CSET: Preliminary Educational Technology is the current approved examination that is taken primarily by out-of-state credential candidates to fulfill the basic educational technology requirements for a Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential or an Education Specialist Instruction Credential.

The CSET is required prior to student teaching. The CSET is required prior to recommendation for the Intern credential. Website: www.cset.nesinc.com

Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA)

The purpose of the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA) is to ensure that California-trained candidates for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials and Education Specialist Instruction Credentials (special education) possess the knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students.

The set of teacher knowledge and skills described in the RICA Content Specifications and reflected in the RICA is organized into the following five domains:

  • Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment
  • Domain 2: Word Analysis
  • Domain 3: Fluency
  • Domain 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge
  • Domain 5: Comprehension

The RICA is required prior to recommendation for the Preliminary Credential. Website: www.rica.nesinc.com

U.S. Constitution Exam

A course or examination covering the provisions and principles of the United States (U.S.) Constitution is required for many teaching and services credentials. The California Education Code states this requirement may be met by satisfactory completion of coursework or a college-level examination completed at a regionally- accredited community college or four-year college or university.

Currently, school districts, county offices of education and professional program sponsors offer the US Constitution examination that is accepted for credentialing purposes.

Evidence of competency in the U.S. Constitution is required prior to recommendation for intern credential and preliminary credential.

Teaching Foundations Examination (TFE)

As a result of the implementation of Senate Bill 57 (Scott, Chapter 269, Statute of 2001), the Teaching Foundations Examinations (TFE) tests are used to satisfy one portion of the early completion option of the internship programs for California Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credentials. The TFE demonstrates competency in Pre-Service requirement for Internship and in twelve units of coursework in Alliant's teaching credential program. The TFE in Multiple Subjects, English, Science and Mathematics are administered several times a year. Please check Praxis Test Dates for the specific dates. Website: www.ets.org/praxis/ca/requirements

Teaching Performance Assessments (TPA)

As of July 2008, California statute (Chap. 517, Stats. 2006) requires all candidates for a preliminary Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credential to pass an assessment of their teaching performance with K-12 public school students as part of the requirements for earning a preliminary teaching credential. This assessment of teaching performance is designed to measure the candidate's knowledge, skills and ability with relation to California's Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs), including demonstrating his/her ability to appropriately instruct all K-12 students in the Student Academic Content Standards. Candidate performances are scored by trained assessors against one or more rubrics that describe levels of performance relative to each task/activity. Each model must also meet and maintain specified standards of assessment reliability, validity, and fairness to candidates. There are four assessments. At Alliant, two assessments are offered in the fall and two in the spring.

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