Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

To be recommended for a Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential, candidates must pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment.

What is the RICA?

There are two RICA assessment options: 


The goal of reading instruction is to develop competent, thoughtful readers who are able to use, interpret, and appreciate all types of text. Beginning teachers need to be able to deliver effective reading instruction that is based on the results of ongoing assessment, reflects knowledge of state reading standards for different grade levels, represents a balanced, comprehensive reading curriculum, and is sensitive to the needs of all students.

The purpose of the RICA is to ensure that California-trained candidates for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials and Education Specialist Instruction Credentials possess the knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students.

Both the RICA Written Examination and the RICA Video Performance Assessment are based on the same set of teacher knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students. These competencies, described in the RICA Content Specifications, are organized into the following five domains:


Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment

Domain 2: Word Analysis

Domain 3: Fluency

Domain 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge

Domain 5: Comprehension


The RICA Content Specifications were developed by the CTC's RICA Design Team, consisting of California teachers, administrators, reading specialists, and teacher educators with experience and expertise in the areas of reading and reading instruction. Draft RICA Content Specifications were the subject of a field review in which approximately 1,900 California teachers and teacher educators judged the importance of the proposed competencies. The RICA Design Team used the results of the field review to finalize the RICA Content Specifications, which were subsequently adopted by the CTC.

RICA Test Preparation Resources

The University of Redlands has not evaluated the following resources nor do we have information regarding their success rate. The resources are not endorsed by the University of Redlands. They are provided here for your research and exploration. This list is not reflective of all RICA resources available.

In addition to the resources below, you may consider purchasing a test prep book and searching for video tutorials.

RICA Test Preparation Resources


RICA Exam (written option)

Practice Test & Content Specification (Written)

RICA Exam (video performance option)

Content Specification & Information Guide (video performance)

RICA Study Guide RICA Notebook study guide

YouTube Tutorials

240 Tutoring

Study Guide & Practice Test

Teacher’s Test Prep

Practice Test

Practice Test


RICA Test Prep


San Diego County Office of Education

Rica Preparation



Teacher’s Test Prep*

Online Prep Program




Study Guide

Test Prep & Practice

Teachers Pay Teachers

Study Guides

*30% discount on Teacher's Test Prep courses if you sign up through Riverside County Office of Education

Are you in need of testing accommodations?

You can request alternative testing arrangements from Pearson Education. See information on the request process for the Written Examination or the Video Performance Assessment

When do I need to pass the RICA exam? 

All Multiple Subject and Education Specialist teacher candidates must pass the RICA exam to be recommended for their Preliminary Credential. Teacher candidates have until their CSET exams expire to pass the RICA. CSETs expire after 10 years. 

See information on applying for the Preliminary Credential on Pathway to Credentialing.

Do I need to pass the RICA exam to graduate? 

The RICA is a credential requirement, not a program requirement, therefore it is not required to graduate, to receive your degree, or to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. 

See Graduation Requirements for more information.