CSET Preparation

Tips offered by UC Davis students who have taken and passed the CSET

Here are some tips offered by UC Davis students who have taken and passed the CSET:

  1. Complete the sample tests from CSET website.
  2. Use a study book: There are many different options, here are some recommendations:
    1. Study book from the public library
    2. Kaplan Study Book
    3. Cliff Notes study book
  3. Specifically for the social science CSET.
    1. Focus studies on economics, California history, and world religions
    2. Be sure to review California, African, and Asian History
    3. A 7th grade world history book has most of the information to know about non-western history
  4. If you attend CSUS: there are study guides with practice problems from teaching majors 

Websites for CSET preparation programs and practice tests (we are listing the sites below for your exploration only. UC Davis has not evaluated these services and does not have any information about the success rate for these programs. We do not endorse any of the sites listed below and offer them only for your information):

  • Teaching Solutions: This site offers a quick program with guaranteed passing results.
  • CSET Tutor: Multiple Subject CSET practice ONLY; you can sign up for tutoring, classes and download practice tests.
  • Alameda Office of Education: Test preparation workshops for the CBEST and the CSET.
  • CSET Exam Overview: This site has preparation advice, practice tests, test reviews and courses.
  • Test Prep Review: This site has more practice questions and other resources for studying for the exam.
  • Teacherstestprep.com: This site has preparation advice, practice tests, and tutoring.
  • Tutoring 240: This site has preparation tips, practice tests, but there is a monthly fee.

CSET Test Taking Tips

  • Be sure to read each question carefully
  • If you don’t know the answer to a multiple choice question, make your best guess (don’t leave it out).
  • Don’t spend too much time on one question. Come back to it later if necessary.
  • On “constructed response” questions, read the entire question, and respond to all parts of the question. Even if you don’t think you can answer it correctly, do as much as you can. You will get credit for partially correct answers. You may know more than you think you do.
  • Plan ahead on how many tests to take at the same time. the amount of time you have to take the test varies according to how many subtests you are taking. You can take one, two, three, or even four subtests during one test date, as long as you sign up for each subtest in advance, but should you? Review the content that will be on each exam, consider your preparation for each subtest, consider your test taking abilities, and finally consider any deadlines by which you need to completely pass all subtests.  Then decide your best course of action.
    • For English we strongly recommend that you do not take all four subtests at one test administration.


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