Best study guide for CBEST?

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Maggie1999, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2017

    Hi, I am scheduled to take the CBEST in little over one week...I've been working with the online practice test and struggling to understand concepts either didn't learn or have not practiced in 35 years. I've been using the Princeton/Cracking the CBEST.
    I've just read some reviews of this book...many say it saved them, but a few people say that the book way oversimplified many math concepts and problems much harder when it came to many concepts. So now that I have one week left, I'm ready to do a quick Amazon.com order and try a better book....I'd really love to hear others feedback on what books helped them....keeping in mind I am not recently out of school and so really need step by step instruction and simple but also rigorous study problems (again, some reviewers complained that the Princeton book math review way oversimplified). Thank you so much!
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Nov 4, 2017

    I think you are overthinking this. I didn’t study for the CBEST besides doing the practice test provided by the CTC and that was enough. I think the only thing you should brush up on are Algebra topics since you said it has been 35 years since you’ve done it.

    Edit: Practice writing essays since you are out of practice. The evaluators are looking for a standard essay, but they also grade you to a certain extent on correct usage of grammar, punctuation, spelling, verb tense, etc. if I remember correctly, 3-5 paragraphs will suffice on the writing portion of the exam.
     
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  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 5, 2017

    The Princeton book is a good choice for many test takers, but that doesn't mean that it - or any other book - is the right choice for every test taker. I'm not sure I'd recommend changing books with just one week to go before the test, however.

    If you are set on getting a different book, and if there's a Barnes & Noble or something like it within striking distance, let me recommend looking at the available books - and I mean actually spending some time with the books - to see if anything else better suits your needs.

    If the issue is math, you might also work through the relevant topics in math on Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org. Start with a topic you're quite sure you know. If Khan's little videos don't work for you, try Math is Fun, www.mathsisfun.com.
     
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  5. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2017

    Thank you. I appreciate your confidence in me! however do not share it. Partly reading how many (when ordering my cbest book) failed the test - or portions...but the one's who had a hard time with math most often listed the Princeton as feeling let down. I also read feedback, and met some prospective teachers trying to get into the same program as I....worrying a lot about the math, studying a lot, passing the math and being shocked they failed the reading portion! So now I'm reviewing reading as well.
     
  6. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2017

    Hi Teacher Groupie,
    I really appreciate your reply - good common sense...I will try khan again...to be honest it confused me a bit at first but will be interesting to go back as am getting a better grasp of math now. I'll check that out as well as the 2nd link you provided.

    ADDITIONAL QUESTION that has come up....I believe the cbest is 4 hours...I was figuring do the math first giving it 2 hours, 1 hour each for reading and writing. However now I am second guessing taking all at once as read reviews of people failing and it often was just not quite enough time to really focus and do well in each area. Have you seen a pattern of this?
    I know everyone is different. I really want to pass this test...not just to sub teach, but to get into a program. If I don't pass it this time, I will literally lose out of program altogether as this may be the last time they offer it.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 9, 2017

    The test duration is four hours, yes. Some people struggle to finish, others finish with an hour or more to spare; one tends to hear much more about it from the people who struggle than from the one who don't. It is good to have a plan for the time, and it is good to be able to adapt that plan if the actual test poses either pleasant or unpleasant surprises. I might recommend budgeting a bit more time for the writing: for one thing, it's wise to proofread each essay.
     
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  8. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Thank you so much...good perspective. I'm just worrying away over here. Started looking at Reading section last night and realized I need major brushing up. Not much time with the math. Same with writing...writing is by far easiest for me....yet again don't know many topics! Bottom line, wish I'd started studying a lot longer ago. I'm scoring high 30's to low 40's on reading and math section...partly as if keep working with them learn correct answers...the real test will be much more ambiguous I learned taking the CSET's (which I made sure to only test on one subject at a time, and passed). Already forgot a lot - cause I crammed. Guess I'm learning a lot about how I study. Well...I tried calling ctcexams today to discuss how to break out exam times but could not get a person and tomorrow Veterans day so things will need to play out. If didn't need this for program wouldn't be so much pressure....if fail, no program...thanks for responding
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 10, 2017

    What the Pearson people will tell you is that the test session is four hours and it's up to you to decide how to allocate the time. Nothing in the test session will tell you when to do this question or that essay.

    I'm beginning to think that you're worrying more than you need to. Breathe, please.
     
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  10. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 10, 2017

    Hi, there is no doubt I'm worrying...there are basic math problems I'm still just not getting. BUT...I'm just starting to use the websites you suggested.
    Just for clarification, I wasn't calling the test center to tell me what to do...was going to discuss logistics of separating out the reading without losing my exam on Tuesday for math and writing. I'm not breathing (lol) because so much at stake. I wish I could be more chill about this...perhaps part of this weekend will be finding someone - like a high school student, to help me. But its Veterans day and places are closed. Good thinking too late.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 10, 2017

    Oh, the logistics are simple. Just don't bother attempting any part of the reading section, and it won't be scored. Not that it would matter if it were scored: a test taker's score of record on a given section of CBEST is that test taker's highest score ever, quite irrespective of what happens before or after, and the fee is the same irrespective of the number of sections taken.
     
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  12. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2017

    Ok, this is getting interesting. Please bare with me. So it takes 123 minimum score to pass the CBEST....how do I do that if I skip the reading? I would like to skip the reading...I am assuming your point is I skip the reading...the CBEST gets graded according to the sections I answer, and then I just sign up to take the reading portion of the CBEST....not a bad idea..would just love that clarification...thanks for hanging in with me here.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2017

    You can't do it by skipping the reading altogether, no. I thought you were asking whether you'd need to change your registration for your upcoming test if you wanted to focus on two sections this time around rather than tackling all three in one go.

    Here's how CBEST scoring works:

    Rule 1. You have to score at least 123 scaled points overall.

    Rule 2. You can't score fewer than 37 scaled points in any of the three sections. ​

    Can you pass with 37, 37, and 49 or more, in whatever order? Yes. The total is at least 123 and the lowest section score is at least 37.

    Can you pass with 36, 37, and 72, in whatever order? No. The total is over 123, but one of the section scores is below 37.

    Can you pass with 37, 41, and 43, in whatever order? No. The total is below 123 even though all section scores are 37 or greater.
     
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  14. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Thank you for the break downs...that was very helpful.

    Much as I don't wish to, I am going to call tomorrow to get help if can keep current scheduled test, and yet separate out/schedule a different test session for the reading. I can tell the time thing is just too much stress/pressure for me - already have test anxiety in general and a lot more with the math. It shall be interesting...my exp. so far is may need to ditch entire test and start from scratch with scheduling which I'm not able/willing to stretch out that far in time....so will start studying also for reading more.
    Thank you for your constant feedback to me, its been very helpful and reassuring.

    Btw...met a woman in passing studying at cafe today..."a friend" of hers passed CBEST and is sub teaching...she has managed to slip into a full-time teaching position just from sub teaching!!! Wishful thinking...I'm sure that does not happen to many...would alleviate my needing to get in program right away, which I would like.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Save yourself a phone call. The rules for retaking CBEST computer-based are here: http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/TestView.aspx?f=CACBT_RegistrationPolicies_CBEST.html. The short version is that it doesn't matter how many sections of CBEST CBT you attempt or sign up for: you can't retake (any of) CBEST CBT until 45 days have elapsed after your previous attempt.

    There is, however, an odd workaround. CBEST PBT - the paper-based test, with exactly the same structure as the CBT - has a test date coming up on Saturday morning, Dec. 9. It should still be the case that taking CBEST CBT doesn't reset the clock for CBEST PBT and vice versa. You could sign up for Dec. 9 in addition to whatever your CBT date is. For many people, PBT works well for multiple-choice sections because the test booklet is your scratch paper, which means it's fine to mark up the passages and scribble all over the math possible answers; and CBT can be less annoying for the essays, because PBT requires that essays be written out by hand in #2 pencil, and that can be physically challenging. Your mileage may vary, of course: people who just don't like typing may be happier doing the essays as PBT.
     
  16. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Thank you. That is so kind of you to research that for me. It sounds ideal, almost a perfect solution except I am taking a rare vacation and return on Dec. 9 - otherwise I'd probably do just that....
    You have been so helpful, I cannot thank you enough. Well, thanks for the save of a phone call. After reviewing the reading section I am feeling better...I do find it a bit tricky...and would prefer to have separated out my cbest tests...but will just have to find a way to hopefully pass this all in one shot. (or not). Wish me luck!! Thanks again.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2017

    That you're "feeling better" after reviewing the reading is promising; instead of wishing you luck, let me wish you good hunting.
     
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  18. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2017

    Hi there,
    I just finished the Cbest....I scored 57 on Reading, 39 on Math, and of course the Reading section I have no idea. What was difficult is I left the writing til the end - my easiest subject...and though I had opinions and some good points to make in general I could have done a much better job with organization in the essays...as well as some punctuation in some parts (no spell check there!).

    Bottom line, I'm writing in a brain dead state....but trying to figure out the scoring and what I need to make on the writing to pass the exam. I know I'm technically 2 points under in the math...and that overall I need a 123.

    Sorry for bugging you with this...perhaps I could have googled this online, but thought about posting here as soon as I got home. Thanks for your help! (to anyone who chooses to respond)
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2017

    You have two scores over 37 in hand, and you have a total of 96 points in hand. To make 123 points overall you'd need 27 points - but 27 is not a CBEST section-passing score, so the least you can score on the writing section and pass CBEST overall is the minimal pass score of 37.
     
  20. nila

    nila Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2017

    please let us know if you pass the Cbest writing section. I took writing section twice and couldn't pass it first time I got 33 and second time it was 29. I feel very disappointed and sad. I am also out of touch in writing may be 20 years have not written anything also English is not my first language.
     
  21. nila

    nila Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2018

    Hi!
    have you passed the writing section?
     
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