CSET Practice Test Questions

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers or CSET test is a challenging and comprehensive battery of assessments for men and women who want to teach specific subjects in the state of California. These exams were created by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in consultation with expert test developers. There are five basic types of examination in this series, each of which has a different structure.

The multiple subjects CSET test is composed of three distinct subtests, themselves made up of multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. (Constructed-response questions require the test taker to compose written responses or to show the steps in solving a problem.) The first subtest covers reading, language, literature, history, and social science. The second subtest addresses science and mathematics, and the third subtest encompasses physical education, human development, and the visual and performing arts.

The preliminary education technology CSET contains two separate tests, both of which include multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The writing skills test, composed of two constructed-response questions, is used as an accompaniment to the multiple subjects test in order to fulfill the basic skills requirement. The CSET test for languages other than English, commonly known as the LOTE test, has a few different versions but typically includes subtests on the methodology of bilingual education, bilingual cultural knowledge, and language and communication skills.

The most common tests in the CSET test program are those on single subjects. Some of these cover art, business, music, and science. In most cases, single-subject tests include both multiple-choice and constructed-response questions.

Practice Questions

1. A teacher asks her students to compare and contrast two animals they saw at the zoo. This is an example of what level of Bloom’s taxonomy?
a. Knowledge
b. Comprehension
c. Application
d. Analysis

2. Students studying fractions manipulate “fraction blocks,” blocks cut to represent fractional parts, to learn the concept of adding and subtracting fractions. Which level of development as described by Piaget does this activity demonstrate?
a. Sensory-motor stage
b. Pre-operational stage
c. Concrete operational stage
d. Formal operations stage

3. According to Kohlberg, at which developmental level do children understand that good behavior is expected?
a. Post-Conventional
b. Conventional
c. Pre-Conventional
d. Adolescent

4. Erikson’s stages of development include all of the following except
a. Young childhood
b. Middle adulthood
c. Adolescence
d. Late childhood

5. In Bronfenbrenner’s organization of child development, the family or classroom is considered a
a. Chronosystem
b. Microsystem
c. Macrosystem
d. Mesosystem


1. D: Analysis. Compare and Contrast is a higher level of thinking and requires analysis.

2. C: Concrete operational stage. The manipulation of objects in the learning process involves using concrete materials to bridge understanding of abstract concepts.

3. B: Conventional. There is actually a hint to this answer in its name. According to Kohlberg, the stage of development during which children learn conventional behavior—e.g., good behavior—is the Conventional Stage.

4. D: Late childhood. This is not one of Erikson’s levels of development.

5. B: Microsystem. The family unit and the classroom unit constitute a small social system, a microsystem.

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