TESTING

Certification and Licensure

California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

The California Basic Educational Skills Test was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement in no way replaces any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation and practice teaching or field experience used in 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. CBEST test specifications, including information about the skills eligible for testing in each section, are available on the CBEST website.

The examination is delivered in English, and all responses must be in English.

  • The reading section consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions in this section assess your ability to comprehend information presented in written passages, tables and graphs. The reading section questions are from two major skill areas: critical analysis and evaluation, and comprehension and research skills. Approximately 40 percent of the questions from this section are drawn from the critical analysis and evaluation area, and approximately 60 percent are drawn from the comprehension and research skills area.
  • The mathematics section consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions in this section require you to solve mathematical problems. Most of the questions are presented as word problems. The mathematics section questions are from three major skill areas: estimation, measurement, and statistical principles; computation and problem solving; and numerical and graphic relationships. Approximately 30 percent of the questions from this section are drawn from the estimation, measurement and statistical principles area; approximately 35 percent are drawn from the computation and problem-solving area; and approximately 35 percent are drawn from the numerical and graphic relationships area.
  • The writing section includes two writing topics that assess your ability to write effectively. You must respond to both topics. One topic asks you to analyze a given situation or statement; the other asks you to write about a specified personal experience. You are not expected to demonstrate any specialized knowledge in your responses.

For more information on the CBEST, including testing fees, visit the CBEST website.

Test Administration Hours

The test is administered on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, by appointment only.

Register for CBEST

CBEST Registration Bulletin

California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers have been developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for prospective teachers who choose to or are required to meet specific requirements for certification by taking examinations. The CTC 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 CSET: Writing Skills.
  • 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.
  • No Child Left Behind 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.
  • Competence requirement for effective teaching of English Learners. CSET: Languages Other Than English may be used in conjunction with other valid examinations to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skill areas necessary for effective teaching of English Learners and for the purpose of earning a Bilingual Authorization. Specific CSET: LOTE subtests have replaced the Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development examinations as the required credential tests for this purpose.

For more information on the CSET, including testing fees, visit the CSET website.

Test Administration Hours

The test is given on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, by appointment only.

Register for CSET

CSET Registration Bulletin

Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

Through the California Reading Initiative, California has made a major commitment to improving students' reading skills and performance. An important element of the California Reading Initiative is the effort to improve the pre-service preparation of teacher candidates. The law requires the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to "develop, adopt and administer a reading instruction competence assessment . . . to measure an individual's knowledge, skill and ability relative to effective reading instruction." Evaluation Systems was contracted by the CTC to assist in the development, administration and scoring of this assessment, which is known as the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment.

The purpose of the 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

For more information on the RICA, including testing fees, visit the RICA website. You can also review the RICA Content Specifications.

RICA Options

The RICA consists of two assessment options: the RICA Written Examination and the RICA Video Performance Assessment. Both the Written Examination and the Video Performance Assessment are based on the RICA Content Specifications. A passing score on either assessment represents successful completion of the RICA requirement.

Test Administration Hours

The test is given on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, by appointment only.

Register for RICA

RICA Registration Bulletin

Other Pearson VUE exams

Pearson VUE Authorized Test Centers are privately owned, third-party testing facilities which provide on-site, on-demand testing for certification and professional licensure exams.  Our Testing Center is an open testing site for various certifications, licensures, IT and professional exams offered through Pearson VUE. 

Registering & Scheduling an exam with Pearson VUE

  1. Schedule a test with Pearson VUE. Visit www.pearsonvue.com/programs and select the relevant test program from the Test Taker Services section.  Next, select 'Schedule a Test' on the right-hand side of the page and complete the necessary fields. Upon confirming the booking, you will receive a confirmation email from Pearson VUE.  This confirmation will contain information such as time, date, and location of your test, including directions to the test center.
  2. Need to reschedule? Visit www.pearsonvue.com/programs and select the relevant test program from the Test Taker Services section.  Once you have chosen your test program, select 'Reschedule a Test' on the right-hand side and complete the necessary fields.
  3. I need to cancel. Visit www.pearsonvue.com/programs and select the relevant test program from the Test Taker Services section.  Once you have chosen your test program, select 'Cancel a Test' on the right-hand side and complete the necessary fields.
  4. Forgot my Pearson VUE username and/or password? Click on the sign-in page relevant to your program at www.pearsonvue.com/signin_en and select either 'I forgot my username' or 'I forgot my password'. Provide the details and you will then be able to recover your username and/or reset your password.
  5. What if I have a problem? You can call Pearson VUE's customer support center by going to www.pearsonvue.com/contact/vuephone and choose your relevant program and region.
  6. How early should I arrive on the day of my test? Typically, you are asked to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.  This will give you an opportunity to find parking, check-in location, use the restroom and relax prior to beginning your test. 
  7. What happens when I arrive? When candidates arrive for an exam, they go through a standard admissions process.  Candidates are asked to provide one government-issued photo identification, in some cases a second form of identification is also required.  Candidates will agree in writing to a set of exam rules and sign a log sheet.  In most cases, a photo and signature will be digitally captured as they would appear on your results report.  Some exam sponsors may have other identification or check-in requirements.  You can review Pearson VUE's privacy policy on www.pearsonvue.com/legal/privacy.
  8. What do I need to bring to test?  Typically, you are asked to bring two forms of identification, including one government-issued photo identification.  Some test programs may have additional requirements.  The items you are asked to bring differs for each test program.  You will receive a confirmation email with program-specific information.
  9. How often are test centers open for testing? CSUN Testing Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.

Testing Accommodations

Pearson VUE is committed to ensuring access for all individuals with disabilities and supports the intention of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended. Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis. All candidates who are requesting accommodations because of a disability must provide appropriate documentation of their condition and how it is expected to affect their ability to take the test under standard conditions. This may include additional supporting documentation from the professional who diagnosed the condition. Please visit the Accommodations from Pearson VUE website for specific details on how your test program handles requests for accommodations.

Additional Information

Proper identification will be required on the day of your test. Please arrive on time for your scheduled appointment.

Parking in the B3 structure is recommended. You may purchase a single day permit at an attendant booth or dispenser for $6. Day pass dispensers accept credit cards or cash and are located by the elevator on each level. For the location of parking lots and dispensers, download the Student Parking Information

Visit our Test Reporting Locations Map for driving directions to all on-campus testing locations.