Credential Requirements & Testing Information 

Basic Skills Requirement (BSR)

All California future educators (TK-12) are required to meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing's (CTC) Basic Skills Requirement (BSR).  Click here to learn more about how the basic skills requirement can be fulfilled.  

Subject Matter Competency

All California future educators (TK-12) are required to meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing's (CTC) Subject Matter Competency.  Click on the corresponding link to learn more about how the subject matter competency can be fulfilled: Multiple Subject or Single Subject.

Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA), which is taken during a credentialing program. Visit the Commission’s website or the Evaluation Systems, Pearson website at CTC Exams for more information.  Note: the RICA is only required for multiple subject candidates, and special education candidates (both multiple & single subject).

U.S. Constitution Course

Complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university.

Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs) & Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA)

TPEs comprise the body of knowledge, skills, and abilities that beginning general education teachers have the opportunity to learn in approved teacher preparation programs in California. Beginning teachers demonstrate their knowledge of the TPEs by successfully completing course work, engaging in clinical practice, and passing a
Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) based on the TPEs (completed during the credential program). Beginning teachers must meet these requirements prior to being recommended for a preliminary teaching credential in California. 

Clear Preliminary Credential

Complete a Commission-approved Teacher Induction Program and submit application for the clear credential through the Induction Program sponsor.  California has a two-tier credential structure. A preliminary credential is the first credential issued after an individual meets basic certification requirements. The preliminary credential is issued for a maximum of five years. A clear credential is issued when all certification requirements have been completed. If requirements for the clear credential are not completed before the expiration of the preliminary credential, the holder will be unable to teach in California's public schools with that credential until those requirements are met and the credential is renewed.

California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) & California Subject Matter Examination for Teachers (CSET) Test Dates & Locations:

  • To learn more about dates and locations for the CBEST, please visit CBEST
  • For practice of the CBEST exam, please visit CBEST Practice Test