Can't Pass the CBEST!

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

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 6, 2017

    Hugs, Tiera. If money permits, find a tutor. If not, there's help online. Try working through the math videos on Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org, starting with topics in which you're fairly confident. Each video is short, so you can start slow if that helps you build up stamina. If Khan doesn't work for you, search Richard Byrne's blog Free Technology for Teachers, www.freetech4teachers.com, for other options.
     
  2. Tiera

    Tiera New Member

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    Feb 6, 2017

    Thank you very much ! I need all the support I can get. I will definitely try these resources. I have a math teacher who is my co-worker who has been helping me out with tutoring. I haven't picked up much from the tutoring as of yet. We have met 6 times for an hour and a half session over a course of three weeks. I'm really just freaking out because I would like to pass the test before the end of this school year so I can do a summer transition.
     
  3. Tiera

    Tiera New Member

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    Feb 6, 2017

    Math is like another language for me.
    Thanks again
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 7, 2017

    Make sure the math teacher pays attention to what CBEST math covers. You might also find the Khan videos helpful between meetings with your tutor, because you can pause them and play them over again to your heart's content.
     
  5. e2sucess

    e2sucess New Member

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    Feb 8, 2017

    Hello there,
    Iam so frustrated!! I have taken cbest writing 5 times already. The last time I took i passed one essay and the second didn't :(. I get dinged for usage and structure and conventions. The school district where i volunteer they want me to be a substitute teacher. I passed the English and the mat
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 8, 2017

    Problems in structure & conventions and usage are quite common. If you're coming up short on the persuasive/analytical essay but not the personal narrative/reflection, try writing a little more formally (so you control punctuation and syntax a little more closely). In addition, think about the personal narratives you've written and the words you've chosen to describe: you may be using or even overusing some words, and it might be wise to find some synonyms that will convey your meaning more vividly or more specifically. For instance, "he said" is really generic, but "he complained" is a little more specific, and "he muttered", "he whispered", "he lisped", "he panted", "he whined", "he moaned", and "he bellowed" are all both more specific and more vivid.

    Let me add that it isn't necessary to use more vivid language at every opportunity or even in every sentence - but sprinkling a couple of more specific usages into your essay is enough to satisfy the scorers that you could do more with more time.
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 19, 2017

    Elsewhere on this site I saw a recommendation for Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day. I gave the pre-test to my senior students, and it really zeroed in on the areas with which they’re having difficulty. If you’ve got the discipline to work through the book, I think it would be a great help.
     
  8. ZeenuK

    ZeenuK New Member

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    Oct 25, 2017

    Hi there, I took my first Cbest exam, maths - 52, reading - 25, writing - 26(which i didn't attempt). Its really hurting when we don't pass. Please suggest site for reading and writing.
    If possible, please share the type of question asked in writing.
    Thank you!
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oct 25, 2017

    Is English your native language? And nice job on the math section!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oct 25, 2017

    You are not allowed to discuss specific test questions. You can talk about topics generally that you saw on the test; for example, analysis of classical works, but you cannot elaborate on specifics. To demonstrate, this is something that would not be allowed (fictitious example): “I saw a question that asked you to compare and contrast ability grouping and heterogeneous grouping of elementary school students and their effect on the learning process.”
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 25, 2017

    Welcome to A to Z, ZeenuK! It's fairly common that people don't pass basic-skills exams like CBEST on the first try. Here's some good news, thanks to your having scored 52 in math: (a) You won't have to retake the math section next time, so you'll have all four hours to devote to the other two sections; (b) Your score of 52 in math means that you can pass CBEST as a whole once you score just 37 in each of the other two sections, rather than 41.

    CBEST reading comprehension passages tend to look fairly random, because they are: the point of them is to explore a test taker's ability to extract information and draw conclusions based on a passage whether or not the test taker knows anything about the content. You'll need to deal with literal interpretation (what the passage actually says), inferential interpretation (what it implies, or how you could apply what it says), and critical/evaluative interpretation (how the passage accomplishes what it accomplishes, which includes point of view, tone, diction, control of topic, quality of argument, and more). If you're less than confident here, LearningExpress publishes an excellent book, Reading Comprehension Success in 20 Minutes a Day, in both paper and pdf formats.

    The CBEST writing section consists of two essay prompts. It's nearly always the case that one prompt invites some kind of personal reflection based on one's own experience: this can take the form of describing a favorite (or un-favorite) thing or person, or it can be a narrative or story that makes the point that the prompt specifies. The other prompt nearly always sets out an issue that the test taker is to argue for or against, though recently some analytical prompts have surfaced, in which the test taker is to look at both sides of the issue. In all cases, scorers want to see essays that do all of these things:

    - State a clear thesis or main idea and stick to it
    - Exhibit decent organization: a narrative needs to exhibit good story structure; a persuasive or analytical essay needs to flow logically from paragraph to paragraph (and if you haven't encountered the term "five-paragraph essay" before, let me recommend that you look it up: the format doesn't always lead to interesting writing, but by golly it enforces organization).
    - Support the thesis or main idea with details (in the case of the narrative) or with appropriate facts (in the case of the persuasive or analytical essay)
    - Shows a decent command of English usage; I've discussed this at least once in this thread
    - Shows a decent command of English sentence structure and writing conventions; see my post #46 in this thread plus earlier posts
    - Relates the narrative or makes the argument or analysis in a style that's appropriate for the audience that the prompt specifies, or (if no audience or set of readers is specified) a style that's suited to an audience of college-educated adults. ​
    LearningExpress publishes both Write Better Essays in 20 Minutes a Day and Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, and you might find either book or both helpful.
     
    ZeenuK and futuremathsprof like this.
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Futuremathsprof is correct that we discourage discussion of actual specific test questions on A to Z. Each test company can and does monitor sites like this to ensure that actual specific test questions aren't being shared, and each company can and does take action against test takers who reveal those questions, up to and including revoking a passing score. (How can the test company do this legally? That's an easy question: each test taker agrees to the test rules both when registering to take the test and when signing in at the test center.)
     
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  13. ZeenuK

    ZeenuK New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Thank you all for your reply! And sorry, if my question offended. English is not my native language.
    I just want to have general idea on reading and writing part, which TeacherGroupie has replied it clearly #51, Thank you once again.
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Oh, no worries! I just wanted you to be made aware of the rules so the test makers don’t cancel your test results — you passed the math section so all you have to focus on now is the English sections (reading and writing). Good luck studying!!!
     
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  15. ZeenuK

    ZeenuK New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Thank You!
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2017

    You didn't give offense, no, ZeenuK.
     

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