At the top of this page, you will find a button that provides full access to the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) practice test. Directly below, a comprehensive practice test is available, designed to engage and challenge you. These tests are excellent tools for assessing your strengths, pinpointing areas that need improvement, and tailoring your study strategy to fit your unique requirements.

To enhance your preparation, particularly in topics that require additional attention, we have developed specialized quizzes. These quizzes are carefully designed to focus on particular aspects of the CPACE, offering a more focused and effective study experience.

California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing Domain Exams

The California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) exam is designed to assess the competencies necessary for effective school administration. The CPACE is divided into two subtests: the CPACE-Content and the CPACE-Performance. The CPACE-Content subtest includes 70 multiple-choice questions and three focused constructed-response assignments. 

This subtest covers six major domains of school leadership:

Domain 1: Visionary Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 17%
  • Focus: Focuses on the capacity to articulate, plan, and realize a vision for learning that is shared by the school community.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 1: Visionary Leadership

Domain 2: Instructional Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 20%
  • Focus: Pertains to strategies for managing curriculum and learning experiences to enhance student learning.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 2: Instructional Leadership

Domain 3: School Improvement Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 17%
  • Focus: Centers on the ability to drive continuous improvement using various strategies and techniques.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 3: School Improvement Leadership

Domain 4: Professional Learning and Growth Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 16%
  • Focus: Involves fostering a professional environment conducive to the education and development of staff.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 4: Professional Learning and Growth Leadership

Domain 5: Organizational and Systems Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 16%
  • Focus: Relates to managing resources and operations effectively to support learning.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 5: Organizational and Systems Leadership

Domain 6: Community Leadership

  • Percentage of Exam: 14%

Focus: Encompasses the skills needed to leverage community resources and interact with various community stakeholders to support students and school programs.

Welcome to your CPACE Domain 6: Community Leadership

Domain% of ExamDescription
Visionary Leadership17%Articulating, planning, and realizing a vision for learning shared by the community.
Instructional Leadership20%Managing curriculum and learning experiences to enhance student learning.
School Improvement Leadership17%Driving continuous improvement using various strategies and techniques.
Professional Learning and Growth Leadership16%Fostering a professional environment for education and development of staff.
Organizational and Systems Leadership16%Managing resources and operations effectively to support learning.
Community Leadership14%Leveraging community resources and interacting with stakeholders to support students and school programs.
  • CPACE-Performance: The CPACE-Performance subtest is composed of two performance modules. It assesses candidates on their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in simulated environments reflective of real-world school leadership scenarios. This includes analyzing teaching effectiveness and school leadership through various exhibits, such as video recordings and school-related documents.
  • Testing and Scoring: Each subtest requires a passing score of 220. The CPACE-Content can be taken either at a testing center or through online proctoring and lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes, while the CPACE-Performance, which is only available at testing centers, lasts 4 hours.
  • Registration and Costs: The CPACE-Content costs USD 294, and the CPACE-Performance costs USD 358. Tests are administered during three annual two-week windows, and you must register and schedule your test through the official Pearson or CTC Exams website.

California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) Exam Breakdown

The California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) exam is designed for individuals aiming to begin a career in school administration within California. This exam assesses the capabilities required for effective educational leadership and administration.

Exam Components:

  • CPACE–Content (test code 603): This subtest includes 70 multiple-choice questions and three focused constructed-response assignments. The questions cover both direct knowledge assessment in school leadership and applied skills in educational administration scenarios.
  • CPACE–Performance (test code 604): This subtest consists of two performance modules that require candidates to analyze educational scenarios through provided exhibits, including video-recorded segments. This section tests the candidate’s ability to evaluate and propose leadership strategies in real-world school settings.

Testing Options and Requirements:

  • Both subtests can be taken as computer-based tests. The CPACE–Content is also available with an online proctoring option that allows candidates to take the test remotely.
  • The Content subtest has a duration of about 3 hours and 15 minutes, while the Performance subtest takes approximately 4 hours.

Scheduling and Fees:

  • The CPACE tests are available during specific two-week testing windows throughout the year. Fees are USD 294 for the Content subtest and USD 358 for the Performance subtest.

Preparation and Passing Scores:

  • A score of 220 is required to pass each subtest. Candidates can prepare through various provided materials and should ensure they meet system requirements, especially when opting for online proctored exams.

How to Become CPACE Certified

To become CPACE certified in California, which qualifies you for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, you’ll need to follow several key steps:

  1. Meet the Basic Requirements: You must possess a valid prerequisite teaching credential and complete five years of full-time experience in teaching or other qualifying educational roles.
  2. Pass the CPACE Exam: The California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination (CPACE) is essential for certification. This exam consists of two subtests: the CPACE-Content (test code 603) and the CPACE-Performance (test code 604). Both subtests must be passed to qualify. The CPACE-Content involves 70 multiple-choice questions and three constructed-response assignments, while the CPACE-Performance includes two performance tasks.
  3. Register and Schedule Your Exam: Registration for the CPACE can be completed online through the official CTC Exams website. You can choose to take the test either at a test center or online with a proctor.
  4. Verification of Experience and Employment: If you pass the CPACE and meet the other requirements, you will need to verify your employment in an administrative position. If you’re not yet employed in such a role, you may apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, which shows you’ve met all prerequisites and are seeking an administrative position.
  5. Application for the Credential: After fulfilling the above requirements, you can apply for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential by submitting the necessary documents, including proof of experience, CPACE scores, and a completed application form to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
  6. Advancement to Clear Credential: To transition from a Preliminary to a Clear Administrative Services Credential, you must complete a Commission-approved induction program and verify two years of successful experience in an administrative role.

Our Experience Teaching CPACE Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, crafting our California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) practice tests has been an inspiring journey, filled with significant milestones and formidable challenges. Our development process was guided by the exam’s extensive range of subjects and the distinct needs of our students.

We have meticulously shaped every facet of our strategy to guarantee thorough preparation for students committed to excelling on the exam. Our dedication to offering a holistic educational experience is evident in the breadth and depth of our practice materials, underscoring our commitment to fostering student success. 

Teaching the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) certification from a lecturer’s perspective involves navigating various educational theories and methodologies to enhance student engagement and success. Lecturers emphasize the importance of enthusiasm and a proactive approach to foster a learning environment that encourages student participation and accountability. This involves regular check-ins with students to ensure they are keeping pace with the coursework and engaging them actively through feedback sessions on their assignments​​.

  • Enthusiasm and Proactivity: Lecturers maintain interest in their subjects, which translates into passionate teaching that inspires student enthusiasm. Regular interactions with students ensure that everyone keeps pace with the course requirements​​.
  • Approachability: Being approachable is emphasized to foster positive lecturer-student relationships, ensuring a supportive academic environment​​.
  • Community in Online Learning: Online teaching leverages theories like connectivism and the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework, which highlight the importance of community and networking in learning. These theories advocate for cognitive, social, and teaching presence to support a constructive online learning environment.
  • Clear Communication of Expectations: It’s crucial for both students and lecturers to have a mutual understanding of their expectations. This clarity helps in achieving academic success and navigating educational pathways effectively.
  • Adaptation to Online and Hybrid Learning: Adapting teaching strategies to suit online and hybrid learning formats is crucial, especially with the increasing reliance on digital platforms for educational delivery​​.

This structured approach helps in delivering the CPACE certification effectively, ensuring that administrative professionals are well-prepared for their roles in educational settings.

At Career Employer, our dedicated team has expertly developed the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) certification practice test, leveraging their extensive knowledge and experience in CPACE exam preparation. Their profound understanding has successfully guided over 1000 school administrators towards achieving success in the official CPACE certification exam.

Our team consists of highly skilled educators, each with more than ten years of specialized experience in school administration. This vast expertise ensures that our practice materials are anchored in professional knowledge and exceptionally effective in fostering exam success.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

Preparing for the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) exam involves a structured approach to ensure you cover all necessary content effectively. Here are several strategies drawn from various sources that can help you optimize your study efforts:

  1. Understand the CPACE Format and Content Areas: The CPACE exam comprises multiple-choice and constructed-response sections, divided into subtests on visionary leadership, school culture, climate, instructional leadership, and organizational management. Familiarizing yourself with the structure and types of questions you’ll encounter can reduce test anxiety and boost your confidence.
  2. Utilize Comprehensive Study Materials: Invest in reputable CPACE study guides that offer in-depth content review, practice questions, and explanations. These resources are crucial for understanding key concepts and the structure of the exam​.
  3. Engage in Active Learning: Active engagement with the material is more effective than passive reading. Techniques such as highlighting important points, taking notes, and explaining the material to others can enhance retention and understanding​.
  4. Practice with Online Tests: Regular practice with online CPACE tests is invaluable. These simulate the actual exam conditions, helping you manage your time effectively and identify areas needing improvement. They also familiarize you with the exam’s digital format​​.
  5. Adhere to a Study Schedule: Creating and sticking to a detailed study schedule ensures comprehensive coverage of all topics. Allocate time blocks for different subjects based on your strengths and weaknesses, and adjust as needed based on practice test results​.
  6. Learn the Rubric and Buzzwords: Understanding the scoring rubric and familiarizing yourself with key phrases that reflect the exam’s language and expectations can help you tailor your responses more effectively, especially in the constructed-response sections​.
  7. Seek Feedback: Using feedback on practice responses, either through study groups or professional prep courses, allows you to adjust your approach. This feedback is crucial for understanding how to structure answers that meet graders’ expectations​​.
  8. Time Your Practice Sessions: Timing your practice sessions helps you understand how to allocate time across different sections of the exam, a common challenge for many test-takers​.


CPACE-Content Exam Fee$294
CPACE-Performance Exam Fee$358
Practice Test (Single)$29.95
Practice Test Bundle (25 Tests)$218.75
Score Verification Fee$50
Extra Test Results Copies$10 each

The cost of obtaining the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) includes various fees associated with the examination process, study materials, and additional services. Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

Examination Fees

  • CPACE-Content: $294 per attempt.
  • CPACE-Performance: $358 per attempt.
  • These fees are applicable whether you choose computer-based testing or online proctoring for the CPACE-Content exam​​.

Study and Preparation Costs

Preparation costs can vary significantly depending on the resources and courses you choose. For example:

  • Practice Tests: Prices range from USD 29.95 for a single practice test to USD 218.75 for a bundle of 25 tests, which includes significant discounts.
  • Study Guides and Materials: Costs for study guides and materials can also vary. You might spend anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars on comprehensive study guides, courses, and additional practice materials​.

Additional Fees

  • Score Verification: If you wish to have the constructed-response section of one subtest verified, it will cost you $50.
  • Extra Test Results Copies: Each additional copy of test results is priced at $10​​.

Post-Exam Costs

There might be additional costs post-exam depending on whether you need to retake the exam or require verification services for scores, which can include further fees.

It’s important to consider that these costs can vary, and you might find different pricing or additional fees for services like urgent scoring or specialized preparation materials. Make sure to verify the most current costs directly on the official CPACE website or through trusted educational resources that provide test preparation services.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) certification exam, several online resources can be particularly useful:

  1. Mometrix Test Preparation offers a comprehensive range of study materials, including a CPACE study guide and flashcards. These resources cover various topics essential for the exam, such as Visionary Leadership and School Improvement Leadership, along with practice questions and detailed study lessons. Additionally, Mometrix provides video tutorials that can help reinforce learning. 
  2. 240 Tutoring also provides a detailed CPACE Test Prep page that breaks down the core subtests and key concepts you need to know. It includes resources on Visionary Leadership, Instructional Leadership, and other domains essential for the CPACE. They also offer practice questions and responses which can be a practical tool for assessing your readiness. 
  3. Teachers Test Prep offers specific CPACE study guides and test prep resources. This includes detailed guides for both the content and performance sections of the exam, along with general exam information such as test dates, locations, and fees. Their resources often come with sample test prep videos, which can be beneficial for visual learners. 
  4. The official CPACE website by the California Educator Credentialing Examinations provides critical information on test structure, registration details, testing policies, and preparation materials. It’s a vital resource for official updates and comprehensive test details. 

These resources offer a blend of free and purchasable study materials, ensuring you have access to both quick review and in-depth preparation options.

Tips for Exam Day

To succeed on the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) exam day, there are several strategies and preparations you can undertake:

  1. Understand the Format and Content: The CPACE exam consists of two parts: the Content test with 70 multiple-choice questions and three constructed-response assignments, and the Performance test with two performance modules​. Familiarizing yourself with the exam structure will help you manage your time effectively during the test.
  2. Preparation and Study: Focus on the domains covered by the exam such as Visionary Leadership, Instructional Leadership, and Organizational and Systems Leadership​. Utilize resources like practice questions, video tutorials, and study guides available from various platforms like Mometrix and 240 Tutoring to bolster your preparation​.
  3. Exam Day Logistics: Whether you are taking the exam in-person or online, ensure you know the specific procedures. For in-person tests, arrive early, and remember to bring required identification and leave prohibited items like personal electronics behind​​. For online exams, check your equipment and environment beforehand to meet the necessary technical requirements and ensure there are no interruptions during the test.
  4. Managing Time: Given the time constraints (3 hours and 15 minutes for the Content test and 4 hours for the Performance test), practice time management skills during your preparation to ensure you can complete all sections within the allotted time​​.
  5. During the Exam: Stay calm and focused. If permitted, take brief breaks to manage stress and fatigue, especially as breaks are counted against your allotted time in computer-based testing​​.
  6. Post-Exam: Results are typically available within 4 to 5 weeks. Understand the scoring system where a minimum score of 220 out of 300 is required to pass each subtest​​.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After taking the California Preliminary Administrative Credentialing (CPACE) exam, there are several steps you can take to effectively utilize the time while you await your results and plan your next moves:

  1. Reflect on Your Exam Experience: Reflection is a valuable tool to improve your performance in future assessments. Consider using a structured approach like a post-exam reflection worksheet, which guides you through analyzing your study and test-taking strategies. Reflecting helps identify strengths and areas for improvement, which is crucial for continuous learning and development.
  2. Engage in Online Forums: Join forums and online communities focused on CPACE and educational administration. These platforms allow you to connect with peers who have also taken the exam and with professionals who have advanced in the field. You can gain insights, seek advice, and discuss common challenges and opportunities in educational administration. For instance, OpenTuition provides a platform for engaging with experts and peers, offering a space to discuss exam experiences and professional development​​.
  3. Review and Advance Your Knowledge: While waiting for your exam results, continue to engage with relevant content. This can include reviewing study materials, exploring new books on educational administration, or enrolling in further courses that enhance your skills and knowledge. Such activities not only keep the information fresh but also prepare you for potential re-examination or practical application of your skills in the workplace.
  4. Plan for Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Look into CPD resources that can further enhance your credentials and prepare you for your administrative role. Many professional organizations offer resources, workshops, and seminars that help you stay updated with the latest trends and regulations in education administration. ACCA Global, for example, provides a variety of options for ongoing professional development and networking​.
  5. Utilize Institutional Resources: If you encounter any issues during your exam, such as technical difficulties, check the specific post-exam options available. Many institutions offer the ability to rebook or review your exam under certain conditions. Familiarize yourself with these options and understand the procedures to address any concerns related to exam administration​​.

By following these strategies, you can effectively manage the post-exam period, ensuring that you continue to grow professionally while awaiting the results of your CPACE exam.


  1. “CPACE Test Page.” California Educator Credentialing Examinations,
  2. “About CPACE.” California Educator Credentialing Examinations,
  3. “CPACE Exam.” Teachers Test Prep,
  4. “CPACE Content Specifications.” California Educator Credentialing Examinations,
  5. “California Educator Credentialing Examinations.”
  6. “Commission on Teacher Credentialing.”
  7. “How to Improve as a Lecturer.” University of Liverpool Online,
  8. Mann, S. “Designing Authentic and Engaging Performance Tasks for Remote Higher Education Learning Contexts.” Frontiers in Education, vol. 6, 2021,
  9. Burkholder, Eric R., et al. “Remote Associates Test and Alpha Brain Waves.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017,
  10. “CPACE Practice Test.” Practice Test Geeks,
  11. “CPACE Study Guide.” Teachers Test Prep,
  12. “Evoprep.”
  13. “5 Study Strategies for Acing Your Certification Exam.” ACSA,
  14. “CPACE California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination.” Exam Edge,
  15. “CPACE Topics.” Exam Edge,
  16. “Mometrix.”
  17. “240 Tutoring.”
  18. “Teachers Test Prep.”
  19. “CPACE Written Exam.” Mometrix Academy,
  20. “CPACE Content Practice Test.” 240 Tutoring,
  21. “Post-Exam Reflection Worksheet.” Washington University in St. Louis,
  22. “Open Tuition Discussion.” Open Tuition,
  23. “YouTube Video on CPACE Tips.” YouTube, uploaded by ACCA,
  24. “Post-Exam Options.” ACCA Global,
  25. “CPACE Preparation Video.” YouTube, uploaded by ACCA,

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