CBEST Test Facts and FAQs

CBEST Test Facts and FAQs

If you have recently realized how rewarding and beneficial it is to be a substitute teacher in California, then perhaps you are planning on giving the CBEST test. Well, luckily for you, this is a complete guide on the CBEST, complete with answers to frequently asked questions and facts.

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What is the CBEST?

Known as the California Basic Educational Skills Test, the CBEST is a test that allows you to gain the first credential to becoming a teacher in California. This test is specifically made to test you on a variety of skills, such as writing, reading, and mathematics. This is because these skills are considered to be fundamental skills for anyone to have to pursue a career in education. You would be quite pleased to know that the CBEST is not a test that tests an individual on their ability to teach reading, writing, and mathematics. Rather, the test simply tests the individual’s knowledge of those particular skills. So, in essence, the test isn’t much different from a standardized test that you would be quite familiar with taking in your academic life.

Components of the CBEST

Since the test is designed to quantify your skills and knowledge when it comes to reading, writing, and mathematics, the CBEST consists of subtests addressing each of these three skills. Within the subsets for mathematics and reading, you will be required to solve fifty multiple-choice problems. As for the writing component, it consists of two separate essays. Each of the three sections is taken either altogether or on different days.

CBEST writing section format

Within this section, you will be given two different prompts, where, firstly, you will have to recount a life experience. Secondly, you will have to provide your opinion on a particular statement or situation. The goal is to test you on your analytical and writing skill, which is why you’re not required to display any specialized knowledge. What matters in this section is your ability to organize, utilize details that support your main concept, and your ability to adhere to the conventions of the English language.

CBEST reading section format

This section consists of fifty multiple-choice questions. 40% of these questions will measure your skills of evaluation and critical analysis, such as identifying the audience of a particular passage, differentiating opinions from facts, and more. The other 60% will measure your research and comprehension skills through the identification of the central concept of a passage, structure analysis, and more.

CBEST mathematics section format

This section also consists of fifty multiple-choice questions, which focus on statistical analysis, measurement, and estimation. This is done through arithmetic problems, interpretation of graphical relationships, and more. The questions will mainly be given in the form of word problems, and you will not be allowed to use a calculator.

Applications of taking the CBEST

By passing the CBEST, you can set yourself up for a variety of opportunities. Of course, in the most common cause, by passing this test, you will be able to begin teaching as a substitute teacher in California. However, if you are aiming higher, the CBEST is the first requirement that you need to complete to be accepted into a credentialing program or teacher preparation program, which is accredited by the state. The CBEST is also considered to be one of the requirements for those who are seeking credentials in administrative services. 

CBEST testing and fees

The test for CBEST comes in two different forms, that are, computer-based or paper-based testing.

Computer-based CBEST testing

Throughout the state of California, several different centers allow for testing on computers. This type of testing is great as it allows you great flexibility in terms of scheduling. This is because computer-based testing is administered all year round, six days a week, from Mondays to Saturdays. The preliminary results for the test for both the reading and math sections are available for viewing at the end of the test. However, the official results for the test are available for you to view after two weeks have passed since the date of your test. The registration fee for CBEST’s computer-based testing comes up to 41 dollars, and the service fee comes up to 61 dollars. So the total fee for this testing is 102 dollars.

Paper-based CBEST testing

In the entirety of California, twenty centers facilitate paper-based testing for the CBEST. However, it offers less flexibility when compared to computer-based CBEST testing. The official results for the CBEST paper test are available in under three weeks of the test. The fee for paper-based CBEST testing only consists of the registration fee, which amounts to 41 dollars.

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Frequently asked questions

What do I need to score to pass the CBEST?

Each of the three subtests is graded on a scale, which ranges from twenty to eighty points. To pass each of the sections, a scaled score of a minimum of 41 points is required. To pass the entire CBEST test, you must score a minimum of 123 points. However, if you do end up scoring as low as thirty-seven points on two out of the three subtests, as long as your total score amount to 123 or more, you will still be able to pass the CBEST test.

What requirements must I fulfill to give the CBEST test?

There are three different requirements that you must fulfill to be eligible to give the CBEST test. Here is a list of all of those requirements.

  • A high school diploma
  • A GED
  • Previously had or are currently taking a college course that pertains to education.

Remember to arrive at the testing center ahead of time so that you can find parking space, sign in, and be seated on time. Be sure to grab your identification card before leaving the house. At the testing center, you will be provided with writing tools as well as scratch paper, so you do not need to bring any of your own. The CBEST takes a total of 4 and a half hours, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

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