CSET Physical Education Exam

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers or CSET Physical Education exam is taken by prospective entry-level teachers in the state of California. These teachers to be are interested in teaching physical education on a professional level and must be credentialed to do so. This exam is broken into three subtests that can be taken separately or together in one sitting.

Who is Eligible?

CSET does not have any certain limitations to who can or cannot take this exam. However, most who do are part of an educational program to earn their teaching license in the state of California. Each of these educational programs or institutions may have their own set prerequisites candidates must successfully complete before taking the CSET. It would be wise to check with your program to know what those are and how to complete them.

Each subtest costs $99 to take separately or $297 for all three taken at once.

When and Where is it Taken?

These computer-administrated subtests can be scheduled several times a year during four-week testing windows, one beginning in each of the following months: August, November, January, and March. During those testing windows, the exam can take place

Tests are taken at Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the state of California and nationwide. Choose a location that is most convenient for you. It is recommended that you register for your exam as early as possible as seating may be limited and is filled on a first come, first served basis.

You may reschedule or cancel your exam appointment anytime up until the last 24 hours before your original exam session. If you wait any longer, you will forfeit any fees paid and be considered a no-show.

Special accommodations are available for those who may need testing assistance or are not able to test under normal conditions. You can make this request during your registration through Pearson VUE.

What Should I Bring?

Pearson VUE recommends that you arrive at the testing center at least 15 minutes early for your exam. This will you give you time to complete a check-in process and find a seat before your exam begins. Those who show up late will not be allowed in the testing area and will forfeit all fees.

The above-mentioned check-in process will require you to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID. Your signature, full name as it appears on your application, and a recent and recognizable photo. If your ID has missing or incorrect information, you may need to provide another ID or risk not being able to test that day.

Pearson VUE and all CSET exams prohibit the bringing of any other personal items. This includes:

  • Cell phones
  • Watches and jewelry
  • Calculators and study materials
  • Pencils and paper
  • Bags, purses, and/or outerwear

These will be kept in a designated area during the entire exam. You will be given a pen and booklet of paper for any note taking or writing needed during your exam.

What is Covered?

The CSET Physical Education Exam is made of three separate subtests.

Below is a brief outline of each subtest, how many questions are included, and the amount of time given for each.

Subtest 1 (40 multiple-choice and two constructed response questions/ 1 hour and 45 minutes)

The subtest focuses on growth, motor learning, motor development, and the science of human movement.

Subtest 2 (40 multiple-choice and two constructed response questions/ 1 hour and 30 minutes)

In this subtest, you will be asked about the sociology and psychology of human movement, movement concepts and forms, and assessment and evaluations principles.

Subtest 3 (40 multiple choice and one constructed response questions/ 1 hour and 45 minutes)

The last subtest of this CSET exam consists of questions that test your knowledge of professional foundations and the integration of concepts.

If you decide to take all three subtests in one testing session, you will be given 5 total hours.

How is it Scored?

You will receive your official test results within 7 weeks of your taken subtests. These will include your pass or fail status and diagnostic feedback. Those who fail will also receive their scaled numerical score. These scores will be sent automatically to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing as well as any institution you indicated on your registration.

Your raw score (number of correctly answered questions) is converted to a scaled score based on the difficulty of the questions you answered. This is given on a range of 100-300. You must receive a score of at least 220 on each subtest to be considered passing. Should you fail the exam or any of its subtests, you will be able to retake it after a 45-day waiting period. You will need to reregister for the entire exam, no matter how many subtests you need to retake. However, you will only retake the needed subtests.

How Can I Prepare for the CSET Physical Education exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: August 15, 2019