Credential Exams

Note: When taking any of the credential exams, be sure to have your results sent to CSU, Chico. If you do not request that your results be sent to CSU, Chico, you will be required to submit official, sealed copies of your results for each exam (and pay the $10 fee to Pearson Education for each request). 

About the CBEST Exam

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) assesses and verifies proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics skills in the English language. The test provides separate scores in each of these three areas.

Who must take the CBEST?

In most cases, students must take the CBEST if any one of the conditions listed below applies (unless they already hold a valid California teaching credential).

  • Candidates are applying for admission to an accredited teacher preparation or services credential program.
  • Candidates are applying for their first California teaching credential or services credential.
  • Candidates are applying to be a day-to-day substitute.
  • Candidates are applying for an Emergency Teaching Permit.
  • Candidates are applying for a pre-internship certificate.
  • If candidates have not taught in a school district during the 39 months prior to new employment, the CBEST may also be required as a condition of employment under Education Code Section 44830.  

Note: CBEST results do not expire.

***Alternatives to the CBEST may be viewed at

Exam dates, bulletins, and Internet registration are available online.

About the CSET Exam

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) is designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates.     

Who must take the CSET?

To earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential all candidates must pass the Multiple Subject CSET.

To earn a Single Subject Teaching Credential or Education Specialist Credential, passing the CSET is one method of satisfying the subject matter competence requirement for these credentials. Candidates wishing to earn a Single Subject Teaching Credential or an Education Specialist Credential may verify their subject matter competence in one of the following ways:

  • by completing a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved subject matter program, or
  • by passing the appropriate subject matter examination(s).

Note: CSET results only valid for ten years; results must be current through the entire credential program and the credential recommendation process. 

Exam information, dates, bulletins, and Internet registration are available at available online.

About the RICA Exam

The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) ensures that candidates for Multiple Subject and Education Specialist Credentials possess the knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students.  

Who must take the RICA?

Based on the California Education Code, the following two groups of credential applicants are required to pass the RICA:

  • California-trained candidates for the initial Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, preliminary or professional clear, with or without emphasis, based on a fifth-year, blended, or intern program or on three or more years of applicable private school experience
  • California-trained candidates for initial Education Specialist Instruction Credentials (special education), preliminary level I or professional clear level ll.

Note: RICA results are only valid for ten years; results must be current at the time of the credential recommendation process following completion of the credential program. 

Exam information, dates, bulletins, and Internet registration is available at available online.