BTEP: Basic Skills and Subject Matter Requirements

The state of California requires that teacher candidates satisfy both Basic Skills and Subject Matter Compentency requirements before beginning student teaching. This page outlines options. We strongly encourage prospective applicants to begin the process of completing these requirements as soon as possible, especially if your undergraduate major does not align with one of the CTC-approved options below.  

Meet Basic Skills Requirement 

Watch a short video overview of Basic Skills and Subject Matter Competency Requirements here

Applicants have the following options to complete the Basic Skills Requirement:

  1. Passage of CBEST

  2. Passage of CSET 142 (this option is for multiple subjects candidates ONLY). 

  3. Passing scores set for SAT exam: 500 English and 550 Math

  4. Passing scores set for ACT exam: 22 English and 23 Math

  5. A 3 or above in an approved AP English and AP Math exam:English Language and Composition or English Literature and CompositionCalculus AB, Calculus BC, or Statistics

  6. A combination of full-credit, college-level coursework with a letter grade of B or higher in the subject areas of reading (including courses in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis), writing (including courses in composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing), and mathematics (including courses in geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics). Courses from closely related subject areas may also be used in this manner.

Parts of different options may not be combined to meet the Basic Skills Requirement. If you are completing Basic Skills through SAT, ACT, or AP, you must provide the official College Board PDF score report to verify completion of the Basic Skills Requirement - if you have your original score report, it is okay to scan it and upload it with your application. If you need to request a new copy of your score report, please have it sent to you and then scan and upload it, and please request scores ASAP as processing times from the College Board may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 

(3) Meet Subject Matter Requirement 

Subject Matter Requirement

You may fulfill the Subject Matter Requirement in one of three ways, detailed below:

  1. By passing the CSET Exams aligned with your credential area (see below), OR
  2. By successfully a completing a Subject Matter Preparation Program, OR
  3. Through an undergraduate major or subject-relevant coursework that meets or exceeds the Commission’s subject matter requirements.  If you have completed an academic major in the subject you will teach. For Single Subject credentials, the major must be in one of the subjects of single subject credential defined in statute. For Multiple Subject credentials, the major must be in liberal studies or an interdisciplinary major that addresses all the content areas of the Multiple Subject credential. 

Option 1: CSET Exam (California Subject Examinations for Teachers):

Subject-matter competency is required of all applicants to programs leading to a multiple or single subject teaching credential. If you will demonstrate competency through CSET exams, please upload a PDF scan of your official score report into the online application.

You are required to take ALL CSET subtests of the corresponding credential Subject, unless you have an undergraduate major or coursework alignment.

Credential Area

CSET Subtests Required


  • Subtest I (test code 105)

  • Subtest II (test code 106)

  • Subtest III (test code 107)

  • Subtest IV (test code 108)

Social Studies

  • Subtest I (test code 114)

  • Subtest II (test code 115)

  • Subtest III (test code 116)

Science (Taken 8/6/17 and before)

  • Subtest I (test code 118)

  • Subtest II (test code 119)

  • Subtest III (test codes 120-123)

    • Biology/Life Science (test code 120)

    • Chemistry (test code 121)

    • Earth and Planetary Science (test code 122)

    • Physics (test code 123)

Science (Taken 8/7/17 and after)

  • Subtest I (test code 215)

  • Subtest II (test codes 217-220)

    • Life Sciences (test code 217)

    • Chemistry (test code 218)

    • Earth and Space Sciences (test code 219)

    • Physics (test code 220)


  • Subtest I (test code 211)

  • Subtest II (test code 212)

  • Subtest III (test code 213)

Multiple Subject

  • Subtest I (test code 101)

  • Subtest II (test code 102) (last test administration 8/6/2017—last registration date 8/3/2017) OR

  • Subtest II (test code 214(first test administration 8/7/2017—registration is now open)

  • Subtest III (test code 103)

We strongly recommend that the CSET be taken by the application deadline. Applicants who provide evidence of Subject Matter Competency when applying to the program increase the strength of their application. 

In order to be considered for admission you must:

Pass 2 subtests (1 for science taken after* 8/6/17) by March 15th, 2022. If recommended for admission, remaining CSETs should be passed by June 1. Passage of ALL subtests is required by Aug 15th in order to continue in the program.

Visit: for test dates and registration information.

Option 2: Subject Matter Preparation Program:

Complete an approved Subject Matter Preparation Program. Upload a certified letter from your credential analyst confirming your enrollment and completion of your program. If you are currently in a Subject Matter Preparation Program you should submit a letter indicating you have completed 80% of your program and submit final letter upon completion.

Option 3: Undergraduate Major/Coursework:

Review the coursework options for any subtests where you have not met SMR by using the Coursework worksheet for your intended credential pathway. You must have coursework in each domain listed for that subtest. Access the worksheets at the following links: Multiple Subjects, Secondary English, Secondary History/Social Science, Secondary Math, Secondary Science.

    1. If yes, you have a course for every domain for that subtest, you will request a Subject Matter Coursework Evaluation by submitting the worksheet in lieu of CSET scores for review. Upon recommendation for admission BE3 will verify subject matter competency. 

    2. If you intend to apply to BTEP you can submit your subject-matter coursework worksheet for early evaluation by our program director and credential analyst. We will review submitted documents approximately every two weeks. Please upload worksheets here if you'd like them reviewed. 
    3. If no, you have NOT taken a course in every domain listed for that subtest, you will need to pass the CSET exam for that subtest to meet SMR. 


2121 Berkeley Way #4322


(510) 642-4201

BTEP Program Assistant

Program Inquiries: Susie Hill.