Step 1: Find a Test Date and Test Center
On the official CSET website, www.ctcexams.nesinc.com, you'll need to select the exam you want to take in order to browse available test windows or dates. To locate a testing center near you, you'll submit your zip code and get a list of nearby centers. To learn more information about test dates, visit the article about CSET Test Dates.
Step 2: Create an Online Account
In order to register for either a computer-based or paper-based CSET test, you will need to set up an online account on the official CSET test site. This account requires some personal info, such as your address and legal name, and can be used to access registration info and test results.
Step 3: Register for Your Test
Once you have created an account, you'll need to submit necessary registration information, including the institutions that you want to receive your test scores, background info and tests you plan to take. There are three different testing methods students can choose from when they register for a CSET: computer based testing, paper based testing, and video based testing. Each method has its own registration process.
Computer-Based Testing (CBT)
Many CSET exams are given on computers. CSET registration for exams delivered in this format can be completed up to four days ahead of the test date. However, the CTC recommends that students register as early as possible to receive their preferred date, time, and location.
Students choose which CSET exam(s) to take during registration but will need to wait until receiving an Authorization to Test via email before they can schedule a testing appointment. The Authorization to Test allows students to schedule their test date and location anytime within a year after receipt.
Paper-Based Testing (PBT)
The CSET registration process for paper-based testing is similar to the process for computerized exams, but instead of waiting for an Authorization to Test, students choose a test date and select a testing area during the initial registration process. Once this step has been completed, students receive a registration confirmation by email, followed by an admission ticket to be used on exam day. Due to the limited locations offering paper-based testing, students do not choose their specific location, but are assigned to a testing center.
Video-Based Testing (VBT)
Taking a CSET by video is rare, and registration is only available through the mail. Students should contact the CTC to request a VBT registration packet, which includes paperwork asking for personal data and whether the student plans to submit his or her registration info by the March, June, or November test registration deadlines for VBT. Fees need to be submitted with the registration packet.
Step 4: Pay Testing Registration Fees
All registration fees are paid through your online account through credit, debit, or check card. Testing fees vary by subject. Most subtests cost between $69 and $134. Fees for additional services, such as requesting another test score report, can be paid by cashier's check or money order.
Step 5: Schedule Your Test Appointment
After registration, you will be emailed an Authorization to Test, which contains instructions on how to set a test date. You will need to schedule an appointment during available testing windows for any test you plan to take. Most testing windows are about four weeks in length. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) contracts with Pearson Education for the development, administration, and scoring of the CSET. On test day, you will need to have your government issued photo ID with you.
Step 6: Prepare for the CSET
Prior to taking the CSET, it's important to review material on the test by preparing with study guides, prep classes, or practice tests. Study.com offers numerous CSET preparation courses that will have you ready for test day. Each CSET prep course covers the material and concepts on the test. View helpful, easy-to-grasp video lessons, and test your knowledge with practice quizzes and practice tests on each lesson and chapter.