Test Preparation

Welcome! This page is the gateway to your CBEST and CSET resource needs. Click on any of the following links to direct you to a specific destination.

Testing Dates and Registration 

Visit this site for full information: www.ctcexams.nesinc.com

Test Prep Tips

Six Steps to Success on Your Exam

  1. Understand the test you are taking. Visit the California Educator Credentialing Examinations website to review the content guide of the test. To apply for the single subject credential program, you must fulfill the criteria of subject matter competency. This can be achieved through taking the CSET exam OR completing an approved subject matter compentecy program. Please see Subject Matter Competency Advisors to check if your coursework qualifies.
  2. Register for the exam early with enough time to study and commit to that date. Teacher Fellows, as soon as you have registered for the exam, begin to fill out and turn in the reimbursement form (within 60 days of registration). Reimbursement forms are available in Creative Arts 127.
  3. Understand and assess your strengths and weaknesses. If you are already strong in a particular area, then you may not need to spend as much time focusing on it.
  4. Pick up a testing manual that provides exam topic content and practice questions. Review the content that will be covered on the test and study.
  5. One study strategy you can utilize is to find an introductory textbook, pair it with your test preparation guide and analyze any questions you may not understand. This way, you can strengthen and solidify your knowledge on those particular areas.
  6. There are also plenty of online resources with a wide variety of content, study tips, and practice questions. You can check out books from the CSME Main Office or from the Resource Center in the Creative Arts 127. Email jmchan@sfsu.edu for more information. 

Online Resources

Free CSET/CBEST Practice Tests:




Resources for Brushing Up on Mathematics

Test Preparation Guides Available for Lending at CSME


  • CliffsNotes
  • Kaplan
  • XAM


  • CliffsNotes
  • Kaplan
  • Princeton Review
  • REA
  • XAM

Recommended Books

The following are a list of recommended books to supplement test preparation guides and other materials. Copies of the following are available at Creative Arts 127 for checkout. This list will continue to be updated so please check back frequently.

Mathematics (CBEST and CSET)


  • CPM Core Connections: 1, 2, and 3. Kysh, Dietiker, Sallee, Hamada, and Hoey
  • Holt Algebra I

CSET SUBTEST Mathematics

  • CPM Core Connections: Algebra II. Kysh, Dietiker, Sallee, Hamada, and Hoey
  • CPM Core Connections: Geometry. Kysh, Dietiker, Sallee, Hamada, and Hoey
  • Prentice Hall Algebra and Trigonometry
  • Prentice Hall Geometry
  • Discovering Geometry: An Investigative Approach. Key Curriculum Press


  • CPM Pre-Calculus Second Edition Volume 1. Sallee, Kysh, Kasimatis, and Hoey
  • CPM Calculus Second Edition Volume 1. Dietiker, Kysh, Sallee, and Hoey
  • CPM Calculus Second Edition Volume 2. Dietiker, Kysh, Sallee, and Hoey
  • Precalculus: Graphing and Data Analysis. Sullivan
  • Calculus: Early Transcendentals. Stewart

Science (CSET)


  • Biology: 9th Edition. Campbell


  • Chemistry: 9th Edition: Zumdahl
  • Chemistry: Matter and Change: Glencoe Science
  • World of Chemistry: Zumdahl


  • Earth Science. Holt Science and Technology
  • Earth Science: Geology, the Environment, and the Universe. Glencoe Science


  • Conceptual Physics, 10th Edition. Hewitt