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STEP - Admission - Require - Testing

Testing Requirements

1. GRE

The GRE is required of all Graduate Applicants*. 

  • Applicants are required to take the GRE General Test before the application deadline.
  • The University strongly encourages all applicants to take the GRE General Test before submitting the application and by November 30.
  • GRE Subject Test scores are not required.
  • Scores must be from an examination taken within the last five years from the application date.
  • Be sure to take the test in time for your scores to be received at Stanford by the application deadline.

Stanford Institution code: 4704 (no department code is required).

GRE website

*Current Stanford undergraduate students who apply to a coterminal program at the Graduate School of Education are not required to submit GRE scores.

2. TOEFL

Stanford University requires the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from all applicants whose native language is not English.

  • The Test of Written English (TWE) portion of the TOEFL is not required.
  • Applicants who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree or a two-year master's program (or its equivalent) in the U.S. or at an institution where English is the main language of instruction are not required to take the TOEFL.
  • The Graduate School of Education requires a minimum TOEFL score of 250 for the computer-based test, 600 for the paper-based test, or 100 for the internet-based test to be considered for admission.
  • The test may be taken no earlier than 18 months prior to the application deadline. Be sure to take the test in time for your scores to be received at Stanford by the application deadline.

For more information on TOEFL requirements, please see the FAQ - TOEFL.

Stanford Institution code: 4704 (no department code is required).

TOEFL website

3. California Basic Skills Requirement

A basic skills examination is required of all admitted students.

  • Applicants residing in California should take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) by the application deadline and receive passing scores prior to the start of the program in June.
  • Applicants residing outside of California admitted to STEP will need to pass the CBEST no later than the end of their first quarter in the program. Some out of state basic skills exams can be used in lieu of the CBEST.  To verify eligibility Out-of-State Basic Skills Exams Guide to find your state's basic skills exam.
  • Multiple Subject candidates may also choose to take the CSET: Writing Skills exam to meet the basic skills requirement.
  • The Basic Skills Requirement can be satisfied with other options. For more information please see Commission on Teacher Credentialing Basic Skills Requirement.
  • All admitted STEP students must satisfy the basic skills requirement before they can assume daily teaching responsibility in their placements.
  • If you have previously passed the exam, include a score report with your application.

CBEST website

Stanford reporting code: 327

4. California Subject Matter Competence Requirement

Only STEP teacher candidates who have demonstrated satisfactory subject matter competence may assume daily classroom student teaching.

Subject Matter Competence – STEP SECONDARY (Single Subject Candidates)

STEP Single Subject Candidates** must demonstrate subject matter competence in one of the following two ways:

OPTION 1:

California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET)

The CSET is the primary way to verify your subject knowledge. Due to California credentialing requirements we do not accept subject matter competency tests from other states. We strongly urge applicants to take the CSET before applying to STEP. Applications will be reviewed if candidates have not taken the exams or have not received their results by the application deadline.

To begin the program in June, however, applicants must pass a minimum of two CSET subtests in their intended teaching subject. Candidates must ultimately pass all subtests by January of their program year.

**STEP Secondary Science Applicants - When registering for the CSET please choose the "Science" series (not "Foundational Science").  All Science applicants should take subtest 118 and 119 in addition to their subject specific area (ie Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics - subtests 120, 121, 122, or 123).  Keep in mind only two subtests are required to start the program. All three subtests will be required by January of the program year.

**STEP World Languages Applicants – CSET subsets for World Languages applicants are only available during specific 4-week testing windows. Follow this link to learn more about the testing windows.

CSET single subjects exams are now offered as a computer based test, year round, Monday through Saturday in California and across the country.  STEP applicants should plan on taking the CSET no later than March 31, 2018. Advanced registration is required. 

Please visit California Basic Educational Skills Test page for information on test date locations, registering for the exam and test preparation materials.

If you have previously passed any of the exams, include a score report with your application.

CSET Stanford reporting code: 582

OPTION 2:

Subject Matter Program:

Certain California institutions have been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to offer subject matter programs (essentially, specialized majors) that meet state requirements for subject matter competence, in lieu of the approved exams. This program verifies you have completed the course work (undergraduate or graduate level) that the university feels is critical to a solid subject matter understanding. If you are completing/have completed one of these approved subject matter programs, contact the teacher education department at your institution for an evaluation of your course work.

Subject Matter Competence – STEP ELEMENTARY (Multiple Subject Candidates)

STEP Multiple Subject Candidates must demonstrate subject matter competence by completing the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET).

We urge applicants to take the CSET before applying to STEP. Applications will be reviewed if candidates have not taken the exams or have not received their results by the application deadline. Multiple subject applicants are expected, however, to take the CSET Multiple subject exam and pass two of the three subtests before the program. Candidates must ultimately pass all subtests by January of their program year.

Applicants to STEP Elementary should plan on taking the CSET no later than March 31, 2018.  CSET: Multiple Subject is computer based and offered year round in California and across the country, Monday – Saturday. Advanced registration is required.

If you have previously passed any of the exams, include a score report with your application.

Please visit California educator credentialing examinations website for information on test dates and locations, registering for the exam and test preparation materials.

CSET Stanford reporting code: 582