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CSET Social Science – Top 5 Things You Need To Pass

  • Do you wonder whether you’ll pass the CSET Social Science?
  • Looking for some tips on how to study so much material?
  • Do you need to need to pass the CSET test the first time?

You’ve come to the right place! You CAN get a passing score the first time—here’s how…

cset social science study guide prep book

CSET Social Science Study Tip #1: Know What You’re In For

The first thing you MUST do is check out the basics of your test to see what a CSET Social Science practice test or study guide should cover.

The CSET Social Science is really 3 Subtests. When you register for the CSET, you can choose to take one at a time or all 3 together.

SubtestDomains# of MC# of CRTimeCost*


World History

World Geography



1 ext. resp./ 1 short

1 short

2 hours 15 min.



U.S. History

U.S. Geography



1 ext. resp./ 1 short

1 short

2 hours 15 min.





California History




1 short

1 short

1 short

1 hour 45 min.


MC = Multiple-choice; CR = Constructed-response (written, short answer or “extended response”)

*You may choose to take all 3 CSET Social Science Subtests at one time. 6 hours and 15 minutes is allotted for the 3 exams together. There is NO cost savings if you take all three at one time! The cost of all 3 together is $297.

Links To Free CSET Practice Tools And Tactics:

CSET Social Science Practice Tip # 2: Understand What’s On The Exam

cset social science practice test subtest 1 2 3The first thing you MUST do is review the CSET Social Science “Test Structure and Content” for each of the Domains of all 3 Subtests for your exam. Yes! All of them!

Subtest I = 6 pages Subtest II = 8 pages Subtest III = 9 pages

These 23 pages are your map to success. Each “Understanding”, “Skill”, or “Ability” could be a question on the test.

  • Print out every page with skills that YOU may have forgotten. That may be 2 pages or all 23!
  • Mark your weak spots. What do YOU need to study or re-read?
  • Use YOUR study needs to find the right CSET Social Science study guides and practice tests to help you pass the test the first time!

Watch This: To CSET Test Takers Who Can’t Afford To Fail, But Don’t Know Where To Begin…

CSET Social Science Prep Tip #3: Take Care Of Your Must-Do Things To Pass

Once you know what you need to study, you can find the right CSET Social Science practice test and study guide to help you pass on your first attempt.

Here’s your MUST-DO list:

  1. Find the most recent CSET Social Science study guides and practice tests. Choose the ones that. . .
    • Focus on YOUR needs!
    • Explain questions and answers clearly to YOU.
    • Offer practice tests that give options to time yourself, just like the real CSET Social Science exam.
  2. Set aside time to use the preparation guide and take the CSET sample questions, but do it the right way:
    • Try to mimic the real test by getting rid of the phone, music, and TV.
    • Time the sections as if you’re taking the real test.
    • Study and do CSET Social Science practice questions over a period of weeks. . .cramming into 1 or 2 days may work for some, but research says it’s not the best way to prepare.
  3. Don’t skip sections in the study guide or practice tests. Read all the answers’ explanations. Just because they’re easy doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them!
CSET Social Science Study Tip #4: Avoid Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

Each year, teacher candidates have to retake Social Science Subtests. Why? Because they make the same old mistakes. Don’t make those same mistakes!

MistakeFix-It #1Fix-It #2
Don’t wait too long to begin studying for the CSET Social Science test.Begin now. Find the best Social Science book and practice exam for YOU! Don’t settle for anything because you ran out of time!Schedule your test for 2-3 weeks from the time you find your study materials. Set up prep time each day. Stick to it!
Don’t skip the review of those “boring” domains! This is what’s on the test!Print out the whole 23 page set of Domains! Mark your problem areas. Carry it with you!After you take 2 or more CSET Social Science practice exams, regroup! What is it that still puzzles you? Study it!
NEVER leave an answer blank.Computer-based tests may make it harder to double-check your answers, but do it!Practice leaving some time to go back to your answers to make sure you completed them!
Don’t “guess” how Constructed-Response questions are graded. Understand the rubric used for grading!The rubrics are on the page and should be in your CSET Social Science practice test book. Compare YOUR C-R answers with the IDEAL answers. Improve yours!

Get help from a friend to read your answer and check the rubric.

  • Did you answer the question?
  • Are you accurate?
  • Is your support logical and accurate?
CSET Social Science Tip #5: Final Advice To Pass Quicker And Easier

There are plenty of “Don’ts” on a high-stakes test like this exam.

But what should you do? That’s easy!

  • Do review causes and effects of major historical events such as WWII or expansion or contraction of empires;
  • Do remember that nothing happens in isolation: CSET Social Science Constructed-Response questions often ask about relationships between Domains, for example, geography and history;
  • Do take advantage of the terrific CSET Social Science study guides and practice test questions out there!
  • Do ask others about their recent experiences with the test. Did anything surprise them about the test?
  • Finally, focus on YOUR goal to keep you motivated. Imagine yourself in your own classroom with your own students. Keep working to achieve your goal!

Question: Do You Have This Embarrassing CSET Test Preparation Problem?…

Author: Mark Dahlson