CSET Science Practice Test

Prepare for your test with realistic questions.

Becoming a teacher in California requires you to pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). The CSET Science exam is designed to measure your command of general science, life science, chemistry, physics, and earth/space sciences.

Click “Start Test” above to take a free CSET Science practice test, and check out our premium-quality CSET test prep resources by clicking the links below!

CSET Science Exam Outline

The CSET for Science is designed to measure a potential teacher’s subject matter competence in general and integrated sciences, as well as a chosen area of competence. To achieve this, the exam is split into two subtests, both of which must be passed in order to pass the full exam.

The first subtest is the same for every candidate, while the second subtest will be different depending on which specific area of science you have chosen as your area of concentration. For example, candidates seeking to teach Chemistry will take Subtest I and Subtest II for Chemistry, while a candidate seeking to teach Life Sciences will take Subtest I and Subtest II for Life Sciences.

exam outline for the CSET Science exam, which contains 157 questions and has a time limit of 6 hours

Subtest I: General Science (215)

The General Science subtest contains 100 multiple-choice questions and four constructed-response questions, and you will be given a time limit of four hours.

This subtest is split into four domains:

  • Scientific Practices, Engineering Design and Applications, and Crosscutting Concepts (34 questions)
  • Physical Sciences (24 questions)
  • Life Sciences (23 questions)
  • Earth and Space Sciences (23 questions)

Subtest II (217–220)

As mentioned previously, there are four versions of this subtest. The version you take will match the specific scientific area you are pursuing. Regardless of which version you take, you will be given two hours to answer 50 multiple-choice questions and three constructed-response questions.

Life Sciences (217)
  1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  3. Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Chemistry (218)
  1. Structures and Properties of Matter
  2. Chemical Reactions and Chemical Bonding
  3. Energy
Earth and Space Sciences (219)
  1. Earth’s Place in the Universe
  2. Earth’s Systems
  3. Earth and Human Activity
Physics (220)
  1. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  2. Energy
  3. Waves and their Applications
  4. Modern Physics

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CSET Science Exam Registration

This exam is available to take year-round, Monday through Sunday, excluding certain holidays. You must first register to take the CSET on the CTC examination website. You may set an appointment through the affiliated Pearson website, after which you will be able to see the available testing times and locations.

Test Fee

The fee is $133 for Subtest I and $134 for Subtest II ($267 if you plan to take both subtests in one sitting). All registration fees must be paid with a credit, debit, or check card via the CTC examination website’s online payment platform.

Test Day

On testing day, you should arrive at the testing center 15-30 minutes early on the day of your testing appointment. Upon arrival, you will be asked to sign in and provide at least one form of valid photo ID.

After the check-in process is complete, you will be asked to leave all personal items (cell phone, wallet, keys, etc.) in a locker outside the testing area.

Once you enter the testing room, you will be given a brief tutorial on the testing system before the exam begins.

How the CSET Science Exam is Scored

Your CSET Science test results are reported as scaled scores based on your total raw score points. Your raw scores are converted to a scale of 100 to 300, with a scaled score of 220 being the minimum passing score for each subtest.

Generally, it takes around two to three weeks after the last day of the examination period before you receive your test results.

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How many questions are on the CSET Science exam?


There are 157 questions on the exam.


How long is the CSET Science exam?


The time limit for the exam is 6 hours.


What is the passing score for the CSET Science exam?


To pass the exam, you must achieve a minimum scaled score of 220 for each subtest.


How much does the CSET Science exam cost?


The examination fee is $267 for both subtests taken together.

By Eric Richter

Eric is the Product Development Manager responsible for developing and updating the Mometrix Teacher Certification and K-12 products. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s of education in Teaching ESOL.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: December 27, 2023