CBEST writing

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by aida, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2018

    I have been trying to study writing and forms of essays for two weeks now and i feel like i am not moving from where i began. I watched 01 basic skills-writing on You Tube and its confusing to me that author is saying that for CBEST test we will be required to write two essays. The first one is one where we need to analyze a situation or statement. I understand that that is expository essay where we need to follow 5 paragraphs. What i do't understand is that for the second essay we need to write about a personal experience. The author of video is calling this essay an expresive essay or persuasive essay. We all know that there is different forms of essay and i am not sure wich form to use for the second essay, the one about personal experience. Should it be narrative or persuasive or five paragraph essay or...? How do i recognice by the prompt wich one to use?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 4, 2018

    The form of the personal essay depends on the prompt.

    If the prompt specifies a personal experience ("Tell about a time when..."), that's a narrative prompt; the successful essay will be a story about an experience of that kind.

    If the prompt specifies a preference - one's favorite childhood toy, one's least favorite city - then one could tell a story. If the prompt asked about my favorite vegetable, I could tell the story of how I re-learned to love artichokes. But it would be equally appropriate to write a persuasive essay that lays out two to four reasons that artichokes appeal to me.
     
  4. Lou

    Lou Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2018

    Approximately how many words we have to write
     
  5. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2018

    Thank you so much TeacherGroupie, this was helpful. Now I know that I need to learn all of the three formats of the personal essay I and how to recognize wich one to use.
    Lou, I think it needs to be 325 to 375 words.I know,that's a lot.
     
  6. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2018

    I have been practising my writing and here is my first attempt of writing a personal essay. If somebody can please review it and point out my mistakes I would appreciate it.

    An extraordinary situation that had a powerful impact on my personality occured during my highschool. It was then that I reacted the way I didn't think I would. This reaction brought me a lifelong friend.

    Althought Anna went to same class with me and lived close by my house, we never really spoke to each other. I noticed that she lived in a small house and that her parents didn't work. Therefore, Anna wasn't dressed as well as the other students. However, this didn't bother me. What bothered me more were our classmates who teased her because of her cheap clothes and ripped shoes. Unlike me, Anna was a really quiet person. She never replied to their rude comments, but I can only imagine the way she felt.
    At first, I pretended not to hear the offensive remarks coming from our friends. Then, I thought that I shouldn't get involved and that she should defend herself independently. Unfortunately, ignoring the situation didn't help and her reaction, that I was expecting, wasn't happening.
    The defining moment of the experience was when in the middle of the class teacher had to leave the classroom. As soon as she left, everyone could hear the voice coming from the back of the room,"Anna's shoes are prettier today than yesterday!" Everyone loughed and for the first time I could see Anna's tears. Yet, she remain silent. A mix of emotions rushed try my body. I was angry, sad and confused. Without any hesitation I stood up and said,"Anna, would you like to exchange your shoes with mine? I would like to have shoes that everyone talk about." She smiled and handed her shoes to me. Luckily, we wore same size and they fit fine. The room remain silent and the teacher entered the room. A minute later, I felt slight regret of giving my favourite shoes away, thought, I felt proud of my action.After school, Anna came to thank me and I told her,"Your shoes are more comfortable than mine, I hope you don't regret for giving them away." We walked back home together and since that day we became best of friends.
    My unexpected reaction is a living part of my life because it permanently impacted my personality bringing me an amazing friend. If I had not had that experience I wouldn't be as understanding as I am today.
     
  7. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2018

    My test date is getting closer.I am nervous and insecure. Can somebody please review my essay above and point out my mistakes.I am non native speaker wich doesn't help.I have a feeling, the more I study and practise- the worse I become.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 22, 2018

    Your story is organized, developed, and supported well. I was hoping someone else felt like stepping in.

    Here are some things that scorers will notice in your writing. I'm explaining them at some length because they are issues in many people's writing.

    1. Indefinite pronouns, at least on first reference, are always singular in English: that is, it's "what bothered me was..." and "that everyone talks about."

    2. The verb "remain" has a regular past tense, "remained". (Yes, we sloppy speakers don't always pronounce the -ed; it tends to get assimilated into the previous -n.)

    3. While "to class" is idiomatic English, it refers to a generic class. Once it's modified with "same", however, we're dealing with a specific class, so use the definite article: "to the same class." (It would be somewhat more idiomatic to use "was in the same classes as I was" or "was in the same grade as I was.) Similarly, it's "wore the same size" and "the best of friends." Classes are also expected to have teachers - it's part of the schema of a class, along with physical features like desks and whiteboards and doors - so use "the teacher", not just "teacher". For a feature that isn't part of the normal schema, however, use the indefinite article: unless you've already told the reader to expect that voice from the back of the room, use "a voice", not "the voice".

    4. "High school" is two words. For the sense you intend in your first sentence, use either "during high school" or "during my high-school years".

    5. While "regret" as a noun can take a prepositional phrase, it doesn't take "of". Let me recommend, instead, a subordinate clause: "I felt a little regret that I had..." or "I felt slightly regretful that I had..." In contrast, "regret" as a verb can take a participle without a preposition: "... you don't regret giving them away."

    6. The sentence that begins "Unfortunately, ignoring the situation didn't help" clearly gave you grief - to be precise, the rest of the sentence did. I could walk you through several ways to fix it - but that part of the sentence doesn't contribute anything that you haven't already suggested, so for purposes of taking a timed test you'd be justified in simply ending the sentence at "didn't help". (The overall rule: If a sentence just isn't working, sometimes it's wiser to abandon it than to try to fix it.)

    7. Your "since that day" sets up a span of time from then to now: the correct verb form is present perfect: "since that day we have been the best of friends." ("On that day we became the best of friends" would work: "on that day" sets up a point in time and allows the simple past.) If you are being truthful that being best friends didn't develop right then, you could go with "soon we became the best of friends", or you could be untruthful. The scorers don't care, provided the story makes the point that it's supposed to make.
     
  9. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 22, 2018

    Thank you so much for taking the time and pointing my mistakes. I will try to work on it. If you don't mind, I would like to post another essay soon. This time argumentative one.I hope you will have time to review it. If you have any websites to recommend please do so. Maybe the ones that reviewing essays and pointing out mistakes like you did. Thanks
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 22, 2018

    I hope someone else steps up. It takes longer to analyze and explain mistakes in this way than people think it does.
     
  11. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Mar 22, 2018

    I believe. Thank you. Do you know any websites?
     
  12. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2018

    I took my writing section today. I don't know where I read it, but I am pretty sure I did somewhere that after period we need to put two spaces and after comma one space. Is this true? Could this affect my score?
     
  13. Lou

    Lou Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2018

     
  14. Lou

    Lou Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2018

    What were the prompts about
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 16, 2018

    New essay prompts are developed with some regularity, Lou, so the chances of you having exactly the same essay prompts as some other test taker are pretty small. In any case, the test companies tend to take a very dim view of people who share actual specific test questions.
     
  16. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2018

    OMG, I passed with 39 on my writing,total of 125. I am so relieved. Honestly, I didn't think I would pass writing because I wasn't happy with my writing after exam. During exam I had a migraine and after exam I realized how many mistakes I made. Definitely, didn't expect pass. My advice to everyone is to not stress too much, and write with simple English. Do not try to use high vocabulary if you don't feel comfortable with it. I wrote with basic simple English and I pass thanks God. Wish you a lots of luck!
     
  17. aida

    aida Rookie

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    May 18, 2018

    Its been a while since I wrote in here. Althought I passed everything on time and submitted my application on time and they confirmed that everything is fine I received an email yesterday saying that I am not accepted in ARL program. Prior to this I had an online interview. Wondering why did I not get accepted... So stressful that they put us through all this and then not accept us.
     
  18. Dedelovee

    Dedelovee New Member

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    May 24, 2018

    I got a 39 on my written test, and passed the CBEST overall. I’ve discovered that some programs actually want to see the scores of the written exam to verify passing that, whether it’s with the CBEST or CSET exam, so I just finished taking the written exam again this past weekend...
     
  19. aida

    aida Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2018

    I have provided them with all of my scores and I accomplished all of their requirements and I am not accepted into ARL program.xxx what could it be? They won't tell me the reason.
     

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