Basic Skills Requirement

Teacher preparation and PPS school counseling candidates must meet the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) upon admission to School of Education programs. Evidence of basic skills is submitted along with application materials.

Submitting Evidence of Basic Skills

To submit evidence of basic skills for the admissions application, follow the steps below: 

Step 1:

Identify how you will meet the Basic Skills Requirement by reviewing the options outlined below.

Step 2:

Obtain official transcripts or exam results. Official transcripts must be received by the University of Redlands from the accrediting institution.

Step 3:

Complete the Verification of Basic Skills Requirement form.

Step 4:

Upload completed Verification of Basic Skills Requirement to your admissions application portal under Basic Skills. If you have questions on how to complete the form, please contact your designated assistant director of enrollment.

Options to Meet The Basic Skills Requirement

In line with Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and State policy, the University of Redlands will consider admission of applicants who have met the Basic Skills Requirement by one of the following methods:

Pass the CBEST

Individuals only need to pass The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) once; CBEST passing scores remain valid indefinitely for all credential and employment purposes. To pass the CBEST, one must obtain a minimum scaled score of 41 in each of the three sections—reading, writing, and mathematics. However, a score as low as 37 on an individual section is acceptable if the total scaled score is at least 123.

Any or all sections of the CBEST can be repeated as many times as necessary to obtain a passing score, but the full registration fee is charged for each test administration. See for more information.

College-Level Coursework

Candidates may fulfill the Basic Skills Requirement by successful completion of qualified higher education coursework. The transcripts must show passage of courses in reading, writing, and mathematics as outlined below. 


  • For Reading, applicable coursework must be in the subject of critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis
  • For Writing, applicable coursework must be the subject of composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing
  • For Mathematics, applicable coursework must be in the subject of algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics

Course Criteria

  • Coursework must have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Must have earned a grade of "B" or better (“B-” is acceptable) in the qualifying coursework. A CR (credit) or Pass grades are acceptable, if the course in question meets all other criteria. 
  • Coursework must be at least three semester units (or equivalent quarter units)
  • Coursework must have been taken for academic credit (earned units)
  • Coursework must be degree applicable (AA degree applicable is acceptable)
  • A single course can to count for both reading and writing. A letter from the registrar or department chair of the institution where the candidate has taken the course attesting that it covers both areas must be submitted. 
  • If taken at a college or university outside the United States, the courses must be English based courses and must be deemed as equivalent to coursework taken at a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States. Foreign-prepared educators must obtain an evaluation of their transcripts through a Commission-approved Foreign Transcript Evaluating Agency. See Leaflet CL-635 for more information.  
  • Courses are valid indefinitely for all credential purposes. 

The following coursework is NOT acceptable:  

  • Professional development or continuing education units  
  • Inservice training or workshops  
  • Non-credit bearing courses  
  • Courses where credits do not apply toward the requirements for an Associate degree, Baccalaureate degree, or higher degree  

Qualifying SAT or ACT Scores

Previously, individuals having earned a score of 500 or higher on the Critical Reading (previously Verbal) section of the SAT exam combined with a score of 550 or higher on the SAT Mathematics exam are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.

A restructuring of the SAT Suite of Assessments has adjusted the qualifying scores on the revised Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematics examinations required to meet the basic skills requirement. The new scores listed have been deemed by the College Board as equivalent to the scores shown for the examinations as administered prior to this revision.

An individual having earned a score of 22 or higher on the ACT English exam combined with a score of 23 or higher on the ACT Mathematics exam is determined to have met the basic skills requirement. 

 See Table below:  



Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

College Board SAT (taken after 2016)






Critical Reading (or Verbal)

College Board SAT (taken before 2016)











Combination of Applicable Coursework and Qualifying Exam(s)

The Basic Skills Requirement can be met through a combination of applicable courses and qualifying exams. The qualifying coursework must meet the requirements as describe above in the "College Level Coursework" section. 

For example, a candidate who has passed the CBEST examination subtests in reading and writing but not mathematics may combine the exam scores with a qualifying mathematics course taken in college. 

Qualifying College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

Students who achieve a score of 3 or higher on the College Board AP English exam and AP Calculus or AP Statistics exam may also use these exam scores to meet the basic skills requirement. The table below shows how the scores may be applied.





College Board Advanced Placement Examinations


Score of 3 or above on one of the following:

·         AP Calculus AB

·         AP Calculus BC

·         AP Statistics

Score of 3 or above on one of the following:

·         AP English Language and Composition

·         AP English Literature and Composition


Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects plus Writing Skills Examination

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects examination has been modified, adding an assessment of basic writing skills. Passage of the CSET: Writing Skills examination (test #142) can be added to passage of the CSET: Multiple Subjects Examination (subtests #101, 214, & 103) to meet the basic skills requirement. Passing exam scores used to meet the basic skills requirement only remain valid indefinitely.

See for more information.

Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations

Passing scores on the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program (EAP) (English and Mathematics sections) or the CSU Placement Examinations (English Placement Test [EPT] and Entry Level Mathematics [ELM]) are sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement. Passing exam scores remain valid indefinitely for credential purposes. See Table below for passing scores.**


CSU EAP Placement Tests (taken in Spring of 11th grade)




Early Assessment Program (EAP)

“College Ready” or “Exempt”

“College Ready” or “Exempt”

CSU Placement Tests




Entry Level Math (ELM)



English Placement Test (EPT)



* ELM tests taken prior to March 2002 required a minimum passing score of 550. 

** The English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry-Level Mathematics Exam (ELM) are no longer offered.

Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State

Basic skills examinations from other states are accepted. See the Out-of-State Basic Skills Examinations chart (page 5 of the pdf) for a listing of acceptable examinations from other states.