CBEST Registration Info: How and Where to Sign Up

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A group of substitute teachers takes the CBEST

If you’re thinking about becoming a substitute teacher in California, taking the CBEST test might be the right first step. Passing the CBEST will fulfill California’s basic skills requirement, which is a big part of earning your Emergency 30-Day Sub Permit.

(Other steps to earning your sub permit include gathering your transcripts, completing a live scan, and submitting your application.)

Already a certified substitute teacher? Search for substitute teacher jobs

How to Register for the CBEST Test

  • Go to http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/Home.aspx
  • Click on “Assessments”
  • Click on “California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)”
  • Click on “Reading, Mathematics, and Writing”
  • Click on “Register for CBEST”
  • You will be asked to create an account if you haven’t already.
  • You can register for either a computer-based test or a paper-based test.

Where to Take the CBEST Test

You can take the CBEST at a paper-testing site or at a computer-testing site.

If you prefer to take the test over the computer, you’ll be able to select one of several centers in your area — there are many locations across California that offer computer-based testing. Visit this website and select “find a test center” to search for a testing site near you.

Computer-based testing gives you the most flexibility since it’s available by appointment Monday-Saturday year-round. Visit this website to learn more about scheduling.

Preliminary test results for the math and reading sections are provided at the conclusion of testing. Official test results are available within two weeks of testing.

There is a $41 test fee per registration and a $61 service fee, totaling $102.

Paper-Based Testing

There are approximately 20 locations in California that offer paper-based testing. Click here and scroll to “locations” to view the list.

Aside from the limited number of locations that offer paper-based testing, another challenge with this route is that paper-based testing is available on only a handful of dates throughout the year, typically every other month. Click here and scroll to “dates” for an updated list.

Results are available within three weeks of testing, and there is a $41 test fee per registration.

What to Know Before Taking the CBEST

  • Don’t stress! You do not have to pass all three sections in one sitting — and you can take the test as many times as you need to pass.
  • You can receive alternative testing arrangements if you are a nursing mother or have a disability. Visit this site for more information.
  • Make sure to check out our full list of tips to help you have a successful testing experience.

What to Do After Passing the CBEST

Once you pass the CBEST, you’ll be well on your way toward earning your substitute teaching permit. Swing Education will connect you to subbing opportunities in 900 California schools.

Get started with Swing Education today!


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