Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination
For Single Subject Teaching Credentials


Individuals may verify subject-matter competence for a Single Subject Teaching Credential by passing all portions of the appropriate Commission-approved subject matter examination(s). It is the individual’s responsibility to take the appropriate examination(s) and to contact the Commission when questions arise.

Information about CSET

The Commission-approved subject-matter examinations to verify subject-matter competence for Single Subject Teaching Credentials are the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), administered by Evaluation Systems, Group of Pearson (formerly National Evaluation Systems [NES] Inc.). Passing exam scores must be used for certification purposes within ten years of the passing test date and applies to each score independently. The ten-year limit does not apply to exam scores that have previously been used for certification purposes.

Each examination consists of subtests that cover specific domains of subject matter, and each subtest includes multiple-choice and/or constructed-response test items. Examinees may refer to the examination website for details regarding test administration and the time allocations for the
subtests of each examination. Exam titles, test content information, and passing scores are listed in Table 1.

The Commission adopted revised Subject Matter Requirements for the CSET: Mathematics examination to ensure alignment with the California Common Core State Standards. Administrations of the updated CSET: Mathematics will begin December 29, 2014. Individuals who passed one or more subtests of the previous CSET: Mathematics administered prior to December 29, 2014 will not have to retake those subtests. Test scores from the previous CSET: Mathematics subtests may be used in conjunction with scores from the updated subtests for certification.

The last administration of the Specialized Sciences examinations was July 11, 2015. Applicants will have five years during which to use those passing examination scores toward obtaining California certification. See Coded Correspondence 14-09.

Beginning with the August 7, 2017 administration of the CSET exams, General Science Subtests I and II were replaced by a single test aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Candidates seeking the Single Subject Credential in Foundational-Level General Science will be required to pass the new General Science CSET exam (Number 215). Candidates seeking the Single Subject Credential in Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience, or Physics will be required to pass the new General Science test and one of the new tests in their specific science area. Science: Biological Sciences is the credential area for the Life Sciences exam, and Science: Geosciences is the credential area for the Earth and Space Sciences exam.

Previously passed Science subtests may be used in conjunction with scores from the updated subtests for certification. However, if by August 7 candidates have passed only one of the previously administered General Science tests (Number 118 or Number 119), they will be required to take the new single General Science test (Number 215) to verify subject matter competence. Likewise, if by August 7th candidates have not already passed Subtest III in one of the four science specialty areas, they must take the new, NGSS-aligned subtest in that area.

Examination Contact Information

Information regarding examination administration, registration bulletins, fee schedules, and test preparation may be obtained from the examination administrator at the phone number, address or link provided below:

CSET Program
Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson
1224 N Market Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (800) 205-3334 (toll free, US and Canada only)
Automated Information System (available 24 hours)
Website: http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com

World Languages-Latin

The Designated World Languages: Latin test from the Washington Educator Skills Tests-Endorsements [TM] (WEST–E [TM]) program is now accepted by the Commission to fulfill the subject matter requirement for the Single Subject World Language Credential in Latin. California candidates must register for this computer-based test at the WEST website by selecting "Register Now".

Subject-matter competence in Latin can also be verified by contacting the teacher education department at one of the California colleges or universities listed below to request an evaluation of your transcripts.[1] You will receive either a signed subject-matter equivalency letter or a list of classes to be completed before the equivalency letter can be issued.

  • CSU Long Beach
  • San Francisco State University

Note [1]: This is an optional service offered at the discretion of the individual institution. The program sponsor may charge a fee for providing an evaluation.

Assessor Agencies 

To verify subject-matter competence in the single subject world language content areas indicated with an asterisk (*) in Table 1, you must pass the applicable portion of the CSET subject-matter examination and complete a language assessment administered by a Commission-approved assessor agency. Please contact the appropriate Commission-approved assessor agency shown below for more information.

Hebrew
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
3077 University Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Contact: Dr. Bonnie Sharfman
Phone: (310) 701-8819
Email: bsharfman@huc.edu
Italian-Northern California
Sacramento Italian Cultural Society
6821 Fair Oaks Blvd
Carmichael, CA 95608
Contact: Patrizia Cinquini Cerruti
Phone: (916) 482-5900
Email: italy@winfirst.com

Hindi
Global Research on Indian Diaspora
c/o Dr. Sharvari Dixit
Department of Psychology
San Jose State University
1 Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95151
Phone: (408) 313-5348
Email: DrSharvariDixit@gmail.com
Italian-Southern California
Fondazione Italia
10940 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 739-9350
Contact: Hilary Stern, Executive Director
Email: hstern@fondazione-italia.org

Portuguese
California State University-Stanislaus
1 University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382
Phone: (209) 667-3638
Contact: Dr. Elmano Costa
CSU Stanislaus Center for Portuguese Studies
Email: ecosta@csustan.edu

Turkish
ACTFL
1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Webpage: ACTFL


For information on completing subject matter competency assessments for world languages not shown, contact the Commission Exams Unit at exams@ctc.ca.gov.

Applying for Your Single Subject Teaching Credential

Verifying subject-matter competence is only one of the required steps to obtaining a Single Subject Teaching Credential. Please refer to leaflets below for specific requirements.

  • Individuals Prepared in California (CL-560C)
  • Individuals Prepared Out-of-State (CL-560)
  • Individuals Prepared Outside of the United States (CL-870)

CL-674S  March, 2019
Updated July 21, 2022