CBEST First timer - Need Help!

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by californiagal, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. californiagal

    californiagal New Member

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    Feb 8, 2010

    Hello everyone,

    I'm taking the computer based test for the first time at the end of the month and have a few questions.

    1.Since we cant take a calculator, will there be paper that we can ask for to do calculations on...?

    2. I just started my test prep and while doing a practice test yesterday I found that though I'm getting a lot of questions right I'm taking too long. Whats the approx time you should take for each section..?

    3. Any free websites that are your favourites for test prep...?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
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  3. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Feb 8, 2010

    Hello californiagirl and welcome.

    I passed the CBEST a while ago, but I think I can still give you some tips.

    1. Yes you will receive paper to do your calculations in. Though, think of this in a positive way. The math problems are so easy (mainly algebra in word problems) that you do not even need a calculator.

    2. I took each subtest one at a time. That way I had the entire 4 hours to carefully work on just one. I recommend this strategy if you are anxious about completing them all in time.

    3. The CBEST website has a wonderful practice test that is similar to the kinds of questions you will find on the test. There are also great test books out there. Find one that works for you.

    Best of luck californiagirl! The test is doable.
     
  4. californiagal

    californiagal New Member

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    Feb 8, 2010

    Thank you myownwoman for the advice.

    I wish I could register for each section separately but unfortunately I have a admission deadline for a teaching credential program and I need to finish everything at once.

    How hard will it be to do this...?

    Thanks again!!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think in fact that for the CBEST-CBT you won't have PAPER for your calculations and notes - instead, I think you're given a whiteboard, and when you fill it it's taken away and replaced with a clean one.

    Plenty of people pass CBEST in one go.

    Which of the three sets of skills tested (reading comprehension, math, essay writing) has you feeling most nervous?

    Where did you find your practice test?
     
  6. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Oh my apologies for not being accurate. I took the paper test, so that's why we were offered scratch paper to use.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think perhaps the CBEST-CBT might have started with paper and then switched...
     
  8. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Yes that's how it was at first.
     
  9. californiagal

    californiagal New Member

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Thank you TeacherGroupie and myownwoman, you've been very helpful.

    I did the online Cbest website practice test and the one from the Kaplan book. Like I said, I'm doing okay with the actual test but need to get better about time management.
     
  10. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Feb 12, 2010

    Good luck californiagal!

    If you have any more questions feel free to ask away.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 12, 2010

    So what in CBEST has you most nervous?
     
  12. tessv

    tessv New Member

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    Feb 21, 2010

    1.There is an erasable pad supplied.

    2. I did the test today. I aimed for an hour for each then with a couple of restroom breaks it gives around 50 minutes to go back over the essays and for me the reading section as that is what I was least confident with.

    3. I went to local libraries and borrowed books. They were very helpful. For reading, I especially liked one which was titled something like "how to crack the CBEST".
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sounds promising, tessv.

    The book you mentioned is most probably Princeton Review's Cracking the CBEST.
     
  14. tessv

    tessv New Member

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    Thanks TG.
    Yes that sounds like the text.

    I like the instant feedback from the computer tests. It is good to know I have passed those 2 sections already.

    I am reasonably confident with my writing section, although being new to America added some challenges; to ensure my examples were appealing for an American audience. I also had to be aware of using American English spelling and grammar...
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Awareness is more than half the battle, tessv. I look forward to good news for you.
     
  16. tessv

    tessv New Member

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    Hi TeacherGroupie.
    I got my results today and passed with a strong score. Now I am thinking of the CSET, not sure though, there is no way to find out how my experience and degrees match up without paying a couple of hundred dollars and I don't want to work fulltime, so I may stick to emergency teaching.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In fact you can tackle CSET subtest by subtest, tessv: you pay just for the subtests you take on a given test date.
     
  18. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    I am taking the CBEST too. I did pretty good on my previous practice test, so I am just doing a practice test each week to hone my skills right now. Congratulations tessv!
     
  19. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Here is the tip for writing part. Get a CBEST practise book - got to a book store, you don't even have to buy - and follow the direction for things liks to start the first sentence with the topic title and ending it with the topic title. Secondly, pretend that you like the topic choices. I had problem (personal level) with both of the choices given where you're forced to take a certain position on the issue. I think they do it to make it easy to grade rather than given weight to individual thinking. May be that's why CA is called Socialist State of California.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    People have complained about CBEST on a great many grounds, but calling it "socialist" is a first - or so I hope.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Complete the writing section first!!! The writing portion isn't difficult; however, you have limited space so you really have to keep your thoughts clear and concise. You can definitely pass all three sections on the first try! You may be a little pressed for time, but you can do it!
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dunno that one needs to finish the writing first - but it certainly makes sense to look at the writing prompts first thing, so one isn't trying to write and think from scratch in the last half hour of testing time.
     
  23. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Sometimes, writing takes such a long time. Wouldn't it be easier if we took on the reading or math section first?
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That could vary from test taker to test taker, uncleal.
     
  25. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    I just took the CBEST on Saturday. It was not supremely difficult and I was very thankful for that. I truly hope that I passed. I felt that I passed.

    My best advice is start with the easiest section. Even though I am an English major, I found the math section easiest to do for me. Then, i went to English and I wound up doing the writing section last.

    Presuming that I passed the test, I now have to get ready for CSET I and III, which are in 23 days, so I'll be lurking in another message board!
     
  26. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    I PASSED THE CBEST! And this weekend, I take the first two CSET Multiple Subject Credentials, so there is little time to celebrate, but I am very pleased with the results. Thank you for your support everybody
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Good luck on the CSETS. You might want to check out learner.org to study for the history part. It was helpful to me because it meant less reading.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, uncleal. I'm very not surprised - and I think you'll find your CBEST math prep helpful for CSET-MS Subtest II.
     
  29. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Thank you TeacherGroupie and TamiJ.
    @TamiJ. I went to the web site but I can't watch any of the videos. Bummers. I do have BrainPop.com, which surprisingly has some of the topics on history, art, and P.E. that I have been studying for in the CSET.
    @TeacherGroupie- I'm taking Subtest II in July. I and III are this Saturday. Eeep.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One needs to sign in on learner.org, uncleal, but my recollection is that it doesn't cost anything, nor does it expose your contact info to anything regrettable.
     
  31. karimorgan

    karimorgan New Member

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    May 31, 2010

    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here on the forum but I've used this great website for years as a resource while homeschooling my kids.
    I recently took the cbest test and was 2 points short of passing the math section. I thought the math would be so easy I saved it for last but got a little carried away in my writing and didn't leave myself enough time and was rushed for the math. There were a few areas in the math section I wasn't totally familiar with like several problems with stanine score tables. So I'm scheduled to take the test again on the 12th and this time I'll have the whole 4 hours to concentrate on the math.
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated! I had college algebra and statistics and never had any problems, I guess it's just been too long lol. (15 years)
    I'll keep y'all posted on my results! :)
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to our playground, karimorgan!

    It's not uncommon that a first-time taker of CBEST comes up short on one section through misgauging the time.

    Stanines on the level of CBEST aren't terribly complicated, fortunately. Take a bell curve and slice it into nine segments, of which the middlemost (number 5) is the largest and the rest decrease in size as they get farther from the middlemost, and you've got stanines. (The name comes from standard, as in standard deviation, and nine.)

    You'll also want to know about grade-equivalent scores, which give us a rough sense of how ahead or behind grade level a given kid is. The short version is that a fourth grader with a grade-equivalent score of 2.5 on a standardized test for fourth grade got the same score as a group of very average kids in grade 2, month 5 of the school year, and we should be distinctly worried; another fourth grader with a grade-equivalent score of 6.7 did as well as average kids in grade 6, month 7, and whether we do much for this kid is likely to depend on how far our school is from making its AYP goals. (Forgive my lapse into cynicism.)

    The material on test score interpretation was added to CBEST during the 2002-2003 testing year; most decent CBEST prep books issued after that date should give a decent explanation.
     
  33. karimorgan

    karimorgan New Member

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    Thankyou!!!!! Lol I didn't realize how simple that was. It wasn't in my study guide (Princeton Review) or if it was I somehow overlooked it. :/ I'm fairly certain if I understand these things I will do ok. Then on to cset and rica whooop whooop!!!
     
  34. karimorgan

    karimorgan New Member

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    Lol @ your remark regarding the grade equivalent scoring...
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Let's just say I come by my cynicism honestly. But you're more than welcome.
     

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