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Get prepared for the CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest 1 exam

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CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I Study Guide

ISBN Number: 978-1-68317-040-2

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517 Interactive Practice Questions and 192 Pages of Instructional Content!

Reading, Language, and Literature

296 Questions with Explanations
70 Pages of Instructional Content

Language and Linguistics, Communication, Texts

History and Social Science

221 Questions with Explanations
122 Pages of Instructional Content

World History, United States History, Economics, Government, and Geography

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After reviewing all the sub-areas you can retake your assessment. This will help you gauge your progress and then show you exactly where to study.

Take a CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I Practice Test!

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What’s on the CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I Exam

The CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I exam is a required exam that ensures candidates have sufficient knowledge in all relevant subject areas to teach elementary school.

Taking the CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I exam can be a daunting task.  Because its goal is to test your classroom readiness across the spectrum of content, it covers a lot of ground.  This breadth can make it hard to know how to prepare.  Luckily, if you understand how the test is organized and what it is testing, you will have no problem prepping for this test.  In order to cover everything, the exam is broken into six domains.


Now that you have your test date set, you can turn to preparing for the exam itself. To begin, let’s look at the structure of the exam. The CSET Multiple Subjects: Subtest I exam consists of 52 multiple-choice questions and 4 constructed-response questions. The test is administered via computer. Because of this, there can be a variety in the style of questions that are asked. You should expect to see three main types of questions: single-answer, stimulus-based, and cluster. You should expect most questions to require you simply to click an oval next to the correct answer. However, there may be questions that utilize the technology more. They may ask you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture, click boxes next to all that apply, click on check boxes, click on parts of a graphic or sentence, use a drag and drop feature, or select your answer from a drop-down menu.

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You will have 3 hours to complete Subtest I.


Subtest I

3 hours

Exam Domains

0001 Language and Linguistics

1.1: Language Structure and Linguistics

1.2: Language Development and Acquisition

1.3: Literacy

1.4: Assessment

0002 Non-Written and Written Communication

2.1: Conventions of Language

2.2: Writing Strategies

2.3: Writing Applications

2.4: Non-Written Communication

2.5: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

0003 Reading Comprehension and Analysis

3.1: Reading Literature

3.2: Reading Informational Text

3.3: Text Complexity

0004 World History

1.1: Ancient Civilizations

1.2: Medieval and Early Modern Times

0005 United States History

2.1: Early Exploration, Colonial Era, and the War for Independence

2.2: The Development of the Constitution and the Early Republic

2.3: Civil War and Reconstruction

2.4: The Rise of Industrial America

0006 California History

3.1: The Pre-Columbian Period through the Gold Rush

3.2: Economic, Political, and Cultural Development Since the 1850’s

 Passing Scoring

Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly. You will need to score a minimum of 220 on Subtest I in order to pass.

Registration and Testing

The first step in getting yourself ready for this exam is to complete the registration.  The CSET exams are offered continuously throughout the year. However, it is important to register as soon as possible to make sure you get the date and location you want.  It is also a good idea to register early, so that you leave enough time for yourself to prepare.

Which CSET Exam Should I Take?

A list and description of each exam in the CSET program is provided here. Most teaching candidates will need to pass two CSET assessments: the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and at least one California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).  For specific guidance, see below.

Candidates pursuing an education degree from a California college or university must pass the appropriate CSET examinations prior to beginning student-teaching. Candidates must complete the Basic Skills Requirement and the Subject Matter Competence Requirement.

Candidates seeking Education Specialist Instruction Credentials must pass the approved examinations or complete an approved subject-matter program for the Single Subject Credential area of art, English, world language, mathematics including foundational-level mathematics, music, science including foundational-level and specialized science, and social science or the approved examination for the Multiple Teaching Credential. Holders of previously-issued general education teaching credentials are exempt. Early Childhood Education Specialists are also exempt from the subject-matter competence requirement.

Candidates pursuing an education degree from an out-of-state teacher preparation program must pass the CSET in the subject area for which they are seeking certification. This requirement may be filled through out-of-state certification credentials, however, so candidate should contact the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for more details.

Registration and Preparation

Identify which test you need to take prior to beginning your study plan.

Register for a test. Test dates are offered year-round at various locations. Candidates can select either a computer-based or paper-based format for most tests. Additional guidance is available through the CSET registration page.

Arrival and What to Bring

There are several steps you need to take prior to arriving at the test site to ensure you are set up for admission at the testing center.

  • Verify your test location and reporting time. Reporting times will differ from testing times, and it is important to arrive early to ensure admission. Examinees should arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the examination to ensure enough time for check-in.
  • Print your admission ticket. Access and print your admission ticket in advance. You must bring your admission ticket to the center with you in order to be permitted to test. Electronic versions will not be accepted. To avoid technical problems that could delay the process, print your ticket the night before your exam.
  • Gather identification materials. All test takers are required to provide one valid form of identification. Identity verification methods vary by testing method (paper-based or computer-based), but all examinees must bring one piece of current, government-issued identification printed in English, in the name in which you registered, bearing your photograph and signature. You will not be permitted to test without proper identification. For information about ID requirements and acceptable forms of ID, see the guidance provided on the CSET website.
  • Permitted items vary by test method. See below for more information, or view the CSET testing policies page.
    • Candidates taking computer-based tests MAY NOT bring pencils, pens, or writing utensils. A pen and booklet of erasable sheets will be provided.
    • Candidates taking paper-based tests MUST bring: admission tickets and several No. 2 pencils with erasers.

Taking the Test

By now, you should be familiar with what to expect on the exam. All that is left to do is complete it, but that may not be as simple as it sounds once the test is in front of you.

If you feel anxious, remember 7 Reasons People Fail Their Certification Exam. If you have prepared using these tips and 240Tutoring’s study guide, you will have:

  • Learned the content
  • Reviewed testing strategies
  • Learned how to break down questions and answer choices
  • Learned how to write a constructed response
  • Developed strategies for reducing test anxiety

Throughout the test, remember what you have learned, maintain a steady pace, and keep calm!

Test Scores

Score Reporting Dates

Scores are typically released within 7 weeks of testing, but dates vary for each test. For the most up-to-date calendar of score-reporting dates, see the “My Test Results” section of the CSET’s FAQs page.

Sending and Canceling Scores

When registering for the CSET, you will have indicated which institutions or programs you to which you would like to send score reports. Your test scores will be automatically reported to you, the CTC, and the institutions that you indicated when you registered. If needed, you may choose to send your scores to additional recipients. Learn more about requesting additional copies of your test results here.

If after taking a paper-based test you do not want your test results reported, you may cancel your results by completing a Score Cancellation Form (available at the test center) or a written request that includes your personal and testing information.  Score cancellation is NOT available for computer-based testing. See the CTC’s score reporting policy for more information.

If you choose to report your scores to a certification institution, you will be unable to cancel them at any point and they will become an official part of your record. If you choose to cancel your scores, you will be unable to report your scores and they will never be reinstated to your testing record. Cancellation does not result in a refund.

Except for extreme circumstances, such as severe physical illness or overwhelming anxiety, it is not recommended that you cancel your scores.

Official Score Reports

Official score reports are posted to examinee accounts on the score report date according to the exam.  Examinees will receive an email notification when official score reports are available, and may access their CSET account to view their score reports.

Understanding Your Scores

Your official score report explains your score and whether you passed or failed. For specific information regarding passing scores for your assessment, see the test information page for your specific examination.

Retaking the Exam

In the event that you do not earn a passing score, you may retake the test to attempt it again. You must wait 45 days to retake any exam or part of an exam, but there is no limit to the number of times you may take an exam.

A passing score must be achieved at a single test administration, and performance on parts of a test or subtest cannot be combined across administrations. Therefore, if you take a combined assessment and only pass one of the subtests, you will need to retake the entire exam. Once you have achieved a passing score on all subtests, you will have passed the entire assessment. For more information, see the CTC’s guidance on retaking tests or subtests.

In order to retake the exam, you need to re-register for the exam, so do so as quickly as possible. Take action immediately to be sure you meet your certification deadlines!

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