Can't Pass the CBEST!

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by o_f316, May 21, 2006.

  1. o_f316

    o_f316 Rookie

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    Hello,
    I'm new to the forum. I've taken the CBEST 10 times and I can't pass it. My highest scaled scores are: 35 for Reading, 34 for Math, and 39 for Writing. I've taken the CBEST Practice Tests from the CBEST website. I've taken CBEST Prep Courses. I don't know what's wrong. Any advice you may want to give me would be greatly appreciated.


    Thank you!
     
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  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Can you complete everything in the time alloted and not feel pressured for time? Or do you feel like you need more time to do your best job? If you feel like you could use more time, then IIWY I would figure on letting my 39 in writing ride and concentrate on raising my reading and math. Although 41 is the "passing" score for any section, a 37 or better will do as long as your total for all three sections is 123.

    Do you think the problem is with your level of knowledge and skill in the tested areas, or with the test itself?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    o_f316, do you generally test well? How far did you get in math in high school/college?
     
  5. o_f316

    o_f316 Rookie

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    I think it's pressure for time. I'm thinking about spending four hours on just the Math and returning for August to do the Reading part. What do you suggest? I spent 2 hrs and 15 min with the Math last time I took it ans spent the rest with Reading. I didn't do good, obviously.

    What do you suggest I should do in the next CBEST?
     
  6. o_f316

    o_f316 Rookie

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    I do pretty decent in tests. My highest Math course in college was Math for Liberal Arts Students. It was a little of everything from algebra, college algebra, statistics, etc.)
     
  7. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Passing the CBEST

    You mentioned taking one part and then going back to retake the others. I did this only because I passed the essay right off and I failed the math section by a couple of points so I went back and retook the math and the language sections and I knew before I went what I needed to score in order to pass the test. I studied and took notes and I went back and passed it..I found that we all don't test the same way. I am learning to deal with test anxiety which I believe I have had all my schooling years. However, this past weekend has proven to me that I can do this and just remember that YOU CAN DO THIS...IT IS POSSIBLE. It is okay every now and then we need to be reminded that is why I come here to get support and encouragement. Teachergroupie is great in this area!!
    We all want the best for each other. So good luck:angel:
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    o_f316, you've had more than enough math for what's actually tested on CBEST: either something hasn't clicked for you, or you're second-guessing the test because you think it "can't be that easy". That second-guessing is more common than you might think. Do you tend to change answers?

    If you find you're running out of time, it makes perfect sense to divide the test up and tackle just one section on your next go. That's especially good advice on reading or essay for those whose first language isn't English, or on math for those who are nervous about math.

    Your score report should contain performance diagnostics or indicators (those plus marks following headings such as "Estimation...") that can help you refine your approach.
     
  9. o_f316

    o_f316 Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to spend 4 hours on the Math. I'm motivated this time around because the principal at my school is patiently waiting for me to pass the CBEST so I can start subbing for his school and then possibly becoming a teacher there.

    Are there any good CBEST practice websites out there?
     
  10. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    o_f316

    I was a HUGE answer changer especially when I took the CBEST for the first time. I had to force myself not to change an answer when I took it again. What TeacherGroupie suggests about looking at the diagnostics is correct...I did just that and I focused on those areas. Mine were probability and something else but I focused on those when studying.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Instead of Web sites specifically for CBEST (of which, aside from the official one, there probably aren't any), try looking for workbooks for math tests up through about 8th grade level. The big bookstores carry lots of these among the education books. Look for a book that gives the correct answer AND EXPLAINS IT.

    And again - pay attention to what your score reports say.
     
  12. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    As far as web sites I usually use them to clarify something that I don't understand in the book. One of my favorites is www.mathforum.org. You can email a question and they will explain it to you or you can read past posts.
     
  13. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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  14. ICANDOIT

    ICANDOIT New Member

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    What is happening to my skillz?

    I have taken the CBEST at least 4 Xs and I have passed the writing part with a 41. I don't understand the math and reading part because I have gone through a workshop and studied like a madman. The questions seem rational enough but when I received my score I did worst this X than ever. I am thoroughly embarrassed by the time and money I have spent. I have a BA and and AA in english and this test is the most difficult test I have ever taken. It seems you have to be an Attorney to decipher the questions in the reading part. I am beginning to get really confused as to what you want as I had 4 hours to finish the math and reading this last time and still I made the lowest score ever. I don't want to surrender because then I would be defeated. Am I reading too much into this test or what? This is really not funny because I hear the same thing from others. I am not a genius but do you have to be a member of mensa to finish. I am going to post grad school to become a school psychologist and I have a 3.8 GPA but still this test is tricky. What is wrong?
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You're almost certainly overthinking it. The test's name says it all: "California Basic Educational Skills Test". The math, with the exception of the questions on test score interpretation, is at the sixth- to eighth-grade level at best. The reading comprehension is perhaps a sliver more sophisticated - but the obvious answer is likelier to be correct than not.

    In my experience, deciphering the questions as though one were an attorney leads only to second-guessing and confusion.
     
  16. surferpaul

    surferpaul Rookie

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    I know that feeling, "ICANDOIT" I too fall short of the cbest and I am only 5 classes away from my teaching credential but I need to pass the cbest to move forward. Hang in there and don't give up.
     
  17. TeachCandidate

    TeachCandidate New Member

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    39 score for writing is good for you. I took the writing portion and failed for 12 times. I got reading at 38, math at 51, and 33 for writing. I am second language learner. Can anybody give me suggestion to pass the writing CBEST?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What have you done to prepare, TeachCandidate?
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I suggest a college writing class to help you prepare for the CBEST.
     
  20. pink2197

    pink2197 New Member

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    Hello,

    I am struggling to pass the cbest test. I have passed the writing portion but don't know where i'm going wrong with math and reading section.
    Did you ever find a good solution on how to conquer this test?
    anything would help!
     
  21. pink2197

    pink2197 New Member

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    question


    -I have a question. The workshop i have gone to recently the teacher told us that the if the answer seems obvious it is mostly likely not the answer. She made me think that there's also pretty much two steps to solving the problems for the math section. what do you think I should do? go with the obvious answers or not.
     
  22. pink2197

    pink2197 New Member

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    -DId you ever overcome this exam if so how? plz help me :)
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It is certainly true that all tests of this type use "distracters" - answers that look plausible and that one can arrive at by making one or more fairly common mistakes with the math - but the claim that "the obvious answer is almost always wrong" is odd, in my experience.

    How far did you get in math in school?
     
  24. SpanishTMttc

    SpanishTMttc Rookie

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    Hi,
    I dont know what to do anymore I have studied for the cbest many times and now I am nervous because I have to take the reading section in order to finish my teaching credential. I have scheduled the test for this thursday and I hoping I will pass at least with a 38 since I passed the math with a higher score. What should I do to pass this test? I am just getting tired of not knowing what's wrong.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, SpanishTMttc. How are you generally as a taker of multiple choice tests?
     
  26. SpanishTMttc

    SpanishTMttc Rookie

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    I am not a good test taker of multiple choice exams. I hate multiple choice test. I need help!!!
     
  27. taylornathaniel

    taylornathaniel Rookie

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    Just took the CBEST. Reading 37, Math 38. Just waiting for the writing to determine which section I am going to retake to get a higher score on. Sillly question, is 45 the highest you can get on each section? I am aware the mim. is 37, as long as your total score is 123.
     
  28. SpanishTMttc

    SpanishTMttc Rookie

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    Hi,
    I think the higher you can get is 80. I don't know how the scores work but you only need to get a higher score(48) in the writing portion to pass the cbest.
    Good luck.
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Scaled scores on each section of CBEST run from 20 to 80. A full pass is 41.
     
  30. taylornathaniel

    taylornathaniel Rookie

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    Thanks for the feedback. Lets hope I scored high on the writing. Since my degree is in general/special education, I assume I would have to take the CSET exam next. However, if I wanted to teach in a general education classroom due I have to take a particular exam? I intend to move to CALI. I am also keeping my option open for GA. I dont have to take the GACE exam because I passed the LAST exam in New York. I hope I dont have to take a Special education exam since I passed Students with Disabilitie exam in New York also.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Much depends on whether you have a valid New York license. If you know to which county in California you intend to move, try getting in touch with the credential analysts at the county office of education: they're good at assessing what you have and telling you what you need.
     
  32. taylornathaniel

    taylornathaniel Rookie

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    No, I do not have my certification in New York. In regards to your response "Much depends on whether you have a valid New York license". Will this determine my exemption from taking the GACE, as well as an exam for special education in ATL? Or, will my credentials for the LAST and Disabilities be sufficient enough?
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think no state extends reciprocity for a license that hasn't been earned, and few if any states grant a teaching license solely on the strength of passing professional-practice or subject-matter tests. If you don't hold a valid teaching license from some state, you might manage to have the basic-skills requirement waived on account of your testing in New York State, but if you want a California credential, the rest of your preparation will need to be Californian. I can't speak to Georgia's requirements, though the chances are pretty good that they're the same.

    Credential programs in California are almost invariably post-bachelor's - for everyone, I mean - and last a calendar year if full-time or more if part time. Programs at branches of California State University (CSU) generally are most affordable, though you'll have the considerable disadvantage of not being eligible for in-state tuition. All CSUs, most branches of the University of California, and some of the better-known private programs require passage of the basic-skills and subject-matter requirements before entry, though state law doesn't mandate passage of those tests before student teaching. There's good news, though: the credential program coursework will satisfy California's requirement that you be equipped to teach English learners (students who aren't yet academically fluent in English), so you won't have to take the CTEL exam after all. Student teaching is required.

    Special education is a bit of a gray area, subject-matter-wise: for special education in a self-contained classroom, the required test is CSET-Multiple Subjects (and in that case you'll also need RICA, the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment, but it's wisest to hold off on that one till after student teaching), but there is or was some question as to whether teachers of secondary special education need to pass one or more secondary subject-matter tests as well.

    Do please get in touch with the credential advisers at your chosen county office of education to find out what you need.
     
  34. LaurenwillpassCBEST

    LaurenwillpassCBEST Rookie

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    Hi, I am a Chinese, I have failed my cbest writing three times, and I am shooting for my fourth try. It has become a stumbling block for me to get into this year's teaching credential program. I am seeking for some tips and help on Usage, Sentence Structure and convention. I really want to pass!!!I have practiced many essays, and received corrections from an English professor, but what she corrected me the most are grammar and sentence structure. If anyone who have passed the writing could give me any suggestions, please.
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, Lauren.

    How close are your scores to passing?
     
  36. Paru

    Paru Rookie

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    Hi all,
    Sorry pink to barge in. But I do have a question which you guys can help. I passed the maths and reading section. When I registered to Cbest, I was not given any options to chose just the writing portion. When should I let them know, that I am going to take only the Cbest writing and reading portion. Since I got low passing score in reading,
    Iam thinking to take reading section as well. Please let me know what are the best options for me.

    My scores:
    Reading 37
    Mathematics 67
    Writing 29.

    Any tips on my writing skills also appreciated.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You need 37 points on writing to pass. You simply take the writing section. Any section that isn't attempted isn't scored, but your highest score on a section is always your score of record.

    What's your first language?
     
  38. Paru

    Paru Rookie

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    Hi teachergroupie,
    Thanks for the reply. I am not a native English speaker. Is that a problem to pass writing portion of Cbest?
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Will CBEST's essays be impossible for you to pass? By no means. Will you struggle in ways that a native English speaker won't? Quite likely, and the areas of English grammar that give you the most grief are likely to be those that your first language handles differently or not at all.

    Your posts today make me think, for example, that your first language is one that makes little to no use of indefinite and definite articles (a, an, the). Such an issue is likelier to be problematic for someone writing under time pressure. Let me recommend working on this issue with Using English, www.usingenglish.com, then making a point of proofreading for it after you have finished writing your essay.

    In other threads I've suggested other resources and practices that can help. (Sorry. I'm still a bit ill.)
     
  40. Paru

    Paru Rookie

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    Thanks for the information. Really appreciate it. Take care.
     
  41. Tiera

    Tiera New Member

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    Hi I have taken math cbest once and got a 25......I passed the writing with a 39 and Teasing with a 50. I really need help with the math section. Math was my least favorite subject. Im really do not like math. I am a teacher in Virginia trying to pass test to relocate to California . I really really need help. Any suggestions with math part ? I need to pass soon.
     

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