CSET Writing Test

The CSET Writing Test has two parts, the first part is a constructed answer demonstrating mastery of expository writing, and the second part is a constructed answer demonstrating mastery of expressive writing. One of the writing pieces deals with analyzing a statement or situation. The second writing piece requires the candidate to write about a personal experience. This exam does not require or look for specific knowledge on any given topic. The entire focus is on writing ability. On the CSET Writing test the writing should be clear and well written in addition to there being no spelling or grammatical errors. The CSET writing exam is only offered in the afternoon, not in during the morning sessions. It is available on all test dates.

If you disagree with the score you are given on the CSET Writing Exam, you may ask to have the score verified for a small fee. Your exam will be rescored the next time the Writing Exam is given. If your appeal is successful in getting you additional points on your score, the verification fee will be refunded to you. If the score stands, the fee will not be refunded.

CSET Writing Test Sample

Sample Writing Topic:

You are a fourth-grade teacher who is planning a field trip in the state of California. Your class is studying California history, and you want to reinforce the lessons you are teaching with real-life experience. In an essay, explain where you would take your class, the reasons behind your choice, and what you hope your students will learn during the day away from the classroom.

CSET Writing Test Scoring


In the writing portion of the CSET, the candidate will be given writing topics. The written response will be scored on a scale of 0 to 4, as follows: B – There is nothing written, and the paper is blank
U – The writing is unscorable because it is not in English, not on topic, cannot be read, or is too short.
1 – The writing is inadequate.
2 – The writing is partially complete, but it is not supported by details, or there are other problems with the communication of ideas.
3 – The writing is adequate.
4 – The writing is clear, organized, and well-formed.
The following elements are taken into consideration when scoring the writing exam:

  • Rhetorical force, or clarity
  • Organization
  • Details and development
  • Word usage
  • Structure and conventions Suitability for the given topic