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The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement in no way replaces any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation, and practice teaching or field experience used in the issuance of credentials.

California Education Code Section 44252 specifies that you must demonstrate proficiency in basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills in English by passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test.

There is a new exemption to the CBEST test. SB 1208 exempts a retired, returning teacher from the CBEST requirement if that teacher:

1) has taught at least 15 yrs. in a CA public school

2) was employed as a full time teacher at least 5 of those 15 yrs. in the same school district desiring to re-employ them

3) has been a classroom teacher or administrator within the past 10 yrs.

In California, you must take the CBEST if any one of the conditions listed below applies to you:

  • You are applying for a first teaching credential or service credential.
  • You are applying for the issuance or renewal of an Emergency Permit, unless you already hold a valid California teaching credential for which a baccalaureate degree is required.
  • You are applying for admission to a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved teacher-preparation program.
  • If you have not taught during the prior 39 months, regardless of the credential you hold.


  • Current holders of California credentials who have taught within the prior 39 months.
  • Retired, returning teachers who meet the following criteria (per SB 1208):
  1. Has taught at least 15 years in a CA public school; and
  2. Has been employed as a full time teacher at least 5 of those 15 years in the same school district desiring to re-employ them; and
  3. Has been a classroom teacher or administrator within the past 10 years.

Contact CBEST directly for additional information.

CBEST Program
National Evaluation Systems, Inc.
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
(916) 928-4001

Internet Resources:  Test Prep Review