CSET Test Day Preparation

Preparing for CSET Test Day

There are several things individuals taking the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) should know and do before test day to be fully prepared. This involves practical preparation so that you understand what will be expected of you on test day.

Know Where You're Going

The test site location is provided on the test scheduling confirmation that Pearson VUE sends to you once you've scheduled your exam. This email from Pearson VUE also includes directions so that you will know how to get to the test site. It is a good idea, however, to travel to the test site before test day so that you can locate parking and are familiar with transit conditions that may affect your travel time on test day, such as road closures or construction.

Know When to Arrive

All test-takers are asked to be at their test site no less than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of their exam. This is to ensure that you are registered and admitted to your exam before the start of the test.

Know What to Wear

Temperatures inside test sites can vary, so it's a good idea to wear layers of clothes. This will allow you to adjust and be comfortable during the test. You are also asked to wear soft-soled shoes so that you are not disruptive if you need to get up to go to the bathroom or be dismissed early during the testing period.

Know What to Bring to the CSET

All individuals registered to take the CSET must comply with the identification policy for admittance to the test. This means that you must have an acceptable piece of identification with you that meets the regulations established for CSET test-takers. Accepted ID must:

  • Be current
  • Be issued by the government
  • Display your name
  • Display your signature
  • Display your photograph
  • Be in English

The name on your ID must match the name you used to register. Social security cards and learner's permits are examples of IDs that are not acceptable. Forms of ID that are accepted include passports and military ID.

ID Verification

When you arrive at you test site, you will be photographed. You may also be required to have you palm scanned, and you must provide your signature.

Know What Not to Bring to the CSET

There are many items that individuals are not allowed to bring into a test site when taking the CSET. Examples of restricted items include:

Guns Calculators (unless permitted) Pens
Notes Cell phones Computers
Hats Food Paper
Knives Cigarettes Tablets
Books Pencils Highlighters

A full list of prohibited items is available on the CTC exams website.

Know What Is Allowed

There are some things that individuals can bring to a test site that do not require special permission. These items include:

Walkers Crutches Casts Eye drops
Eyeglasses Wheelchairs Canes Nasal spray
Hearing aids Braces Inhalers EpiPens

A full list of permitted items is provided on the Pearson VUE website.

Know What the Test Site Will Provide

You can get tissues at the test site if you need them. You are not allowed to bring your own noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs, but test centers will provide these items to all test-takers who request them on test day.

The test site will also supply a booklet and pen that can be used to do rough calculations or make notes during the testing period.

Know If You Need Accommodations

In some cases, a person may have a condition that justifies adjustments to the testing process. Examples include test-takers who are nursing, have medical needs or have a disability. If you think you may qualify, you should refer to the CTC exams website and review the application requirements for alternative testing arrangements. You will need to gather the appropriate documentation to support your request and complete an application form. You should apply before scheduling your exam and allow plenty of time for your application to be reviewed.

Know the Testing Rules

The rules for taking the CSET are provided on the CTC exams website. It is a good idea to review the testing rules before test day so that you are familiar with what's expected of you in terms of your behavior during the test session and the procedures for taking scheduled and unscheduled breaks. You will also be required to sign a document agreeing to follow the testing policies before you start your test, so it is a good idea to read through this document before test day.

Reviewing CSET Test Material

These CSET Study Guides can be used to ensure that you have reviewed all of the relevant information you will be tested on. They are self-paced and contain dozens of short lessons that can be accessed anywhere you have a smart phone or internet access, making it easy to quickly shore up your knowledge on any topics you want to revisit in the days leading up to your test date. Available titles include:

Each CSET test also has a page on the CTC exams website. These test pages provide links to preparation materials that can be used when studying for a CSET test, such as outlines of content areas that you will be tested on and examples of questions that you may be required to answer. You can use these resources to familiarize yourself with the test question format and review the content of your CSET tests.

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