CSET Social Science Test

The CSET Social Science test has three subtests. The first subtest has 35 multiple-choice questions, 1 extended-response question, and 1 short-answer question dealing with world history; and 4 multiple-choice questions, and 1 short- answer question dealing with world geography. The second subtest has 35 multiple-choice questions, 1 extended-response question, and 1 short-answer question dealing with U.S. history; and 4 multiple-choice questions, and 1 short- answer question dealing with U.S. geography. The third subtest has 18 multiple-choice questions and 1 short-answer question dealing with civics; 15 multiple-choice questions and 1 short-answer question on economics; and 7 multiple-choice questions, and 1 short-answer question dealing with California history.

The first CSET Social Science exam subtest breaks down world cultures into several sections, including ancient civilizations, medieval and early modern times, and modern world history. The next section covers principles of geography including tools and perspectives of geographic study, geographic diversity of natural landscapes and human societies, and culture and the physical environment.


The second CSET Social Science subtest covers U.S. history, including sections on the pre-revolutionary and the war for independence; the development of the Constitution and the Early Republic; emergence of a new nation; the civil war and reconstruction; the “Gilded Age;” the U.S. as a world power; the 1920’s; the great depression and the New Deal; World War II; post-World War II America; post-World War II U.S. foreign policy; and the civil rights movement. There is also a section on the principles of geography including tools and perspectives of geographic study, geographic diversity of natural landscapes and human societies and culture and the physical environment.

The third CSET Social Science subtest deals with the principles of American democracy; fundamental values and principles of civil society; the three branches of government; landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases; issues regarding campaigns for national, state, and local elective offices; powers of the national, state, local and tribal governments; the media in American political life; political systems; and tensions within our Constitutional democracy. The economics section covers economic terms and concepts and economic reasoning; elements of America’s market economy in a global setting; the relationship between politics and economics; elements of the U.S. labor market in a global setting; aggregate economic behavior of the American economy; and international trade and the American economy. The final section of the CSET Social Science test covers California history from pre-Columbian through modern times.

CSET Social Science Practice Questions

CSET Exam Secrets

CSET Social Science Test Practice Questions

1. The Paleolithic era is known for:
A) Weaving.
B) Tools.
C) Pottery.
D) Jewelry.

2. Who of the following was a destructive Spanish explorer in America who led an expedition in search of gold?
A) Hernando de Soto
B) Sieur de La Salle
C) Christopher Columbus
D) Zheng He

3. What national document did Thomas Jefferson create in 1776?
A) The United States flag
B) Star Spangled Banner
C) The Declaration of Independence
D) Bald eagle

4. During which period did the most people move to California?
A) Mission period
B) Rancho period
C) Early American settlement
D) Gold Rush

5. Which of the following is an example of a government-provided public good?
A) National defense
B) Car
C) Clothing
D) Food

CSET Social Science Test Answers

1. Answer: B
The Paleolithic era is known for the creation of stone tools. People also used tools made of wood, bone, and organic materials (such as leather), but the development of the stone tool is particularly distinctive. This prehistoric time was also an era of gradual population growth and migration.

2. Answer: A
Hernando de Soto led a Spanish expedition in search of gold, but he never found it. The horses, war dogs, live hogs, and over 600 people in the expedition destroyed the regions they passed through. They brought new disease, enslaved people, used up and ruined the crops, incited war, and upset societies, trade, and industry. Combined with a long drought during the same time, the expedition created unspeakable harm. De Soto died from fever in 1542, but his expedition continued under new leadership. Answer choice B, La Salle, was a French explorer who wanted to create a New France. Answer choice C, Columbus, was an Italian navigator who wanted to colonize the New World. Answer choice D, Zheng He, was a Chinese voyager and explorer in the 1400s.

3. Answer: C
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and John Hancock was the first to sign it. Answer choice A, the U.S. flag, is not a document. The first flag was designed by Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Betsy Ross. Answer choice B, the Star Spangled Banner, is the national anthem and was composed by Francis Scott Key. Answer choice D, the bald eagle, is not a document. It is the national bird.

4. Answer: D
During the Gold Rush, there was mass migration to the state of California. Answer choice A, the Mission period, was a time in the 1700s when monks were working for their religious salvation. Answer choice B, the Rancho period, was a profitable time, but it was not a time when a lot of people moved into the area. Answer choice C, early American settlement, is closer to the right answer since it leads up to the Gold Rush, but it is not the best answer. The first settlers came to the Santa Clara Valley in the 1830s.

5. Answer: A
Private goods are for profit. Public goods are available for everyone, and nobody can be excluded from enjoying them. Of the choices listed, only national defense is made available for everyone by the federal government.