CBEST reading section - HARD??

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by dandoosha, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. dandoosha

    dandoosha Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Hi,

    I am studying to take the CBEST and did a practice test yesterday (reading section only) which I failed horribly. I guess I wasnt quite sure how the test worked so some answers that seemed right were not the "best" answers. I'm wondering how hard the actual test is and what tricks should I know to easily pass the section. I am a very proficient reader and have no problem analyzing information which is why I am so baffled as to why I would have such a hard time.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Dana.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Where did you find the practice test?
     
  4. dandoosha

    dandoosha Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2009

    It was in a book I borrowed from the library. I dont have the name of it here, but Ill get it for you.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 31, 2009

    Ah. Have you tried the practice test that's on the CBEST Web site?
     
  6. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Don't take it personally: just try to make sure you improve what you can. I think these tests are absurd, particularly when testing subjective things. The advice from book to book often varies.

    I'm partway through an English MA in English and have worked at a college writing center. I've also worked as a freelance copyeditor for years. I'm still bombing about 6-8 questions per test (I've taken 8 or so practice tests now) so I share your confusion. Do your best and try not to get upset at the test: the answers don't always make much sense.

    Had to take the GRE a few years ago and it was the same feeling.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 10, 2009

    amaryllis, if you did fine on GRE, you should have no trouble with CBEST.
     
  8. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2009

    That's what's so frustrating: I did fine (at least on the Verbal and Writing, which is all I had to take)... and yet I'm still answering practice questions wrong all over the place for the CBEST!

    Mainly concerned about my math. Haven't taken a math course in, oh, you know, *blush* 15 years. Once upon a time I took Algebra I (over 20 years ago). The terms are coming back to me just now, but only with a lot of study.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 11, 2009

    "The terms are coming back to me" is always a good sign, actually, amaryllis...
     
  10. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I feel like I've hijacked this thread: if so, big apologies. But I wanted to write again because I just went through the worst panic of my life. I've been studying with the Princeton Review book, most recently, and had run out of practice tests. So I went and bought the Kaplan CBEST book. Suddenly my math skills went from missing maybe 8 out of 50 to 27 out of 50?!

    Okay, I haven't taken a math class in a long, long time, and don't think I have much more than a basic grasp on Algebra and Geometry. Perhaps that will improve. Perhaps not. I plan mainly just to substitute, hopefully in English and Social Studies, for the next few months until I go back to school to finish my credential in Single Subject English (no math again, thank goodness, not phobic, it just isn't very interesting to me).

    So I went to the CBEST site again and saw that THEIR math recommendations look nothing like Kaplan's! Kaplan's is REALLY hard!!! Symbols I don't recognize, terms I don't think I learned the first time around, all sorts of shenanigans.

    Has anyone else noticed this about the Kaplan book?

    And on that note, does anyone have any thoughts about the Princeton Reviews representations of math test questions on their practice exams?

    I need this right now, to pass this test, on Saturday, or it will push back my ability to substitute (and thus support my family) and have been studying for quite awhile only to have the Kaplan book scare me. I planned to study for one more day and that was it. Now I'm wondering if I can even go out on my birthday (the day before the test) or if I should just stay in and study?

    Unrelated but so excited to be going into education that I decided to get more involved with my son's school and am now the Chair of this year's Friends of his school Fundraising Committee! The economy is so awful here (and presumably everywhere else) that the kids are in portables and teachers bring their own staplers. There aren't enough textbooks so they get photocopied or sometimes shared, sent home with different kids on alternate nights. It's deplorable, IMHO. I'm proud not only to be going into education but also to do what I can until credentialed to keep helping other educators and children alike. Wish me luck on the CBEST math and luck as the new Chair.

    And PLEASE let me know what you think of Kaplan and Princeton, etc.

    I seem to have missed 9 on the CBEST math portion from their site. Is that a possible pass? I know I will pass the writing portion without much damage (my husband grades a major essay test and I will cry if I can't pass this one handily). I'll get out of the reading comprehension portion without too much trouble, I think, although the test structure messes me up here and I suspect I may perform worse than I did on the GRE because of this.

    Thanks for your math feedback! I need to get a lot better at math (maybe) in 5 days. Or else I need to relax and think Kaplan is crazy :)
     
  11. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Sorry that was really...

    ...embarrassingly...

    ...long!
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Have a hug, amaryllis. And for heaven's sake DO go out on your birthday - going out the night before the test is generally to be recommended, provided one exercises a modicum of discretion in the extent to which one parties. (In other words, it's the wrong night for Long Island Tea or a Fog Cutter, but a margarita of modest proportions probably wouldn't be amiss.)

    Given a choice between taking Kaplan's word for what's on the exam and going by what's on the CBEST Web site, I'd go with the CBEST Web site.

    As to whether 41 correct out of 50 is passing, do a little (relevant) math for me, please: what percent would that be?
     
  13. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    82%...

    What % does it take to pass?

    Thank you for replying so promptly. I am, indeed, anxious. Your advice to have a margarita on my birthday sounds like a darned good one.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Okay, so you've got 82% correct (and, good that you can do the math).

    Now, then: each section of CBEST is scored on a scale from 20 to 80. A full passing score is 41. Does this suggest that you'd need in excess of 82% correct in order to pass, hmmm?
     
  15. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    I'm still confused. Unsure still if I'm on the brink of passing or well over it. The term "scale" is throwing me, perhaps. I don't understand this part --

    Does the "41" passing score mean correctly getting:

    - 41/50 questions (which makes a passing grade at about 80%)
    - 41% of the total questions (which makes a passing grade at 41%)
    - 41 on a scale of 20 to 80 (which makes a passing grade at about 50%)

    See why I'm confused! Big difference between needing 41% and 80% right. I'm a POOR test taker and always realize that my performance is lower than my ability.

    Thank you again if you can help out with the above question! I just cannot find an answer anywhere online about this one. :eek::thanks:
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Now, now, amaryllis. What did I say above?

     
  17. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    So that's about 50%?

    Yes?!

    Hot? Cold?

    Why don't they just score it at 1 to 100? How aggravating, laugh. I think you should pass if you can figure out how they score the test ;)

    I'm still straining my brain on this one. I know, it seems like basic math... it IS basic math. Did I get it right?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Close enough, amaryllis, though the exact twists and turns of the scoring are closely guarded, for reasons some of which are actually fairly compelling. Once you've tried writing two test questions that are exactly equivalent in difficulty, this will make a little more sense.
     
  19. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Thank you so much!

    I feel ready and eager to test! Much more relaxed.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    (purring audibly)

    Excellent!
     
  21. spitfire

    spitfire New Member

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    Dec 22, 2009

    Hi,

    I seem to be having trouble passing the Math section of the CBEST, I have taking it numerous times, & my score stays below 30.

    I just took it 12/5, & my score just stayed the same as the time before & I had a student who is a 7th grade math teacher, who is working on her Masters tutor me for 2 hours every Saturday since August.

    I am so ready to call it quits, I don't know where to turn. All I want to do is be a Special Education Teacher, because I do have a learning disability & it happens to do with math.

    I don't know if anyone onboard remembers the Modern Math during the 60's? If not ask some of the older teachers, they will remember. That is where my problems started, I am also a product of the Public School System thru 8th grade, then a Catholic High School for high school, so I am all messed up.

    One of my girlfriends who passed it the 2nd time, is willing to tutor me, every night for 1 to 2 hours, 1 month before the next test.

    Any advice would be helpful.

    Thank you.
     
  22. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Dec 22, 2009

    spitfire please do not worry so much about the CBEST. The math section only tests you on algebra, nothing more advanced than that. There were some story problems, but nothing too difficult. If algebra is problematic for you, then I recommend devoting most of your studying towards this matter.

    Best wishes!
     
  23. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Dec 22, 2009

    Here's a Math problem that ought to do it for you right now:
    If you need 6 1/2 hours of sleep in order to pass this exam, what percent of your day should be dedicated to this luxury, in order for you to pass the exam?:D
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 22, 2009

    spitfire, what materials have you been using? And what do your score reports say (look on the left side of the page) about where you're coming up short?
     
  25. GG7788

    GG7788 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2017

    Since this post is rather old, I am going to pose a similar question in hopes that someone who has taken it more recently can answer!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm taking the CBEST this Saturday. I've taken practice tests from the book Cracking the CBEST and the one provided on the CTC Exams website but I'm worried the questions on the actual test will be a lot harder than these. So does anyone know if the practice exam from CTC is in fact the same difficulty level as the actual CBEST? Any help would be so greatly appreciated by my anxiety! HA!
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 15, 2017

    How are you generally scoring on those practice tests?
     
  27. GG7788

    GG7788 New Member

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    Dec 15, 2017

    The last one I took from Cracking the CBEST, I got 7 wrong on the math and 4 on the Reading.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you can write a standard five-paragraph-type essay that stays on topic, you're going to do fine.
     

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