CBEST retake feedback

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by rarecreature, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. rarecreature

    rarecreature New Member

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    Jun 12, 2020

    Hello everyone,

    I took the CBEST-RMW (CBT), and so far I earned 43 in Reading Comprehension, 39 in Mathematics, and I must earn at least 41 on the Writing portion of the exam in order for me to pass. Thinking of the possibility I might not have passed it, the soonest I can schedule the retake is July 26, 2020.
    I have a vibe I did much better on the personal experience narrative prompt than the first persuasive prompt. I want to get feedback from anyone who is familiar with the scaled score grading of the CBEST to provide any guidance on how I should proceed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 13, 2020

    Welcome to the A to Z zoo, rarecreature.

    For your previous attempt, what does your score report show by way of diagnostic indicators?
     
  4. rarecreature

    rarecreature New Member

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    Jun 13, 2020

    This was my first time taking the writing portion of the CBEST. I will make sure to post the readers' diagnostic indicators in this thread once I receive the report. Thank you for your response TeacherGroupie! It means a lot to have received a comment/question/follow-up.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 15, 2020

    You're welcome.
     
  6. rarecreature

    rarecreature New Member

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    Jun 20, 2020

    My earned only a 33 for the writing portion and it showed the following on my score sheet:

    Your topic 1 essay showed a need for improvement in the following areas:
    - Support and Development
    - Usage
    - Structure and Conventions


    I passed only topic 2 as it states I met the minimum standard.

    So far I studied from the following list of books:
    978-1949282092, 978-1508432241, 978-1635303827, 978-0525568827, 978-1628456547

    If you have any more recommended books to study, especially for the math and writing portions that requires me to retake in order to pass, please let me know.
    Due to working in an unrelated field and not having any daily writing practice, I seem to have forgotten how to write persuasive/two sided controversial essays. Would taking a writing course help me, or how can I better prepare for my next attempt? What additional advice do you have for me?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 22, 2020

    Here are the rules for passing CBEST:

    1. Your total scaled score must exceed 123.
    2. No section score can be lower than 37.

    At the moment you have 117 points (39+43+33). If you can get your writing score up to 37, you're done. While you COULD retake the reading comprehension, doing so will make a difference to your score but will not affect whether you pass. By the way, you should get all four hours of testing time.

    The people who score CBEST essays aren't looking for great writing; they're looking for adequate writing. You seem to have done all right on stating your thesis and sticking to it and on organizing your essay, but whoever assigned the diagnostics thinks you needed to support your thesis better: this could mean that some of your supporting topics were a bit weak, or it could mean that you needed to provide a bit better evidence for them. You also came up short on usage - that's vocabulary and how you deploy it - and on structure and conventions, which is to say grammar (correct and idiomatic writing, including good subject-verb agreement) and mechanics (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc.)

    I have an appointment shortly, so I'm not going to look up those ISBNs. If they're all CBEST-preparation books, let me recommend instead finding resources on writing timed essays (or on "writing on demand"). Books for SAT preparation will overprepare you, but that might not be a bad thing.

    "Usage" is a very common problem area for writers of CBEST persuasive essays. It can mean that a writer has misused one or more words, but more often the writer has either overused some words or has used quite informal language where somewhat more formal diction is called for (using "get sick" rather than the more formal "become ill". Try setting a timer and writing some essays, then looking them over and highlighting terms that appear frequently and all uses of "get". Then look up more formal substitutes for those terms. Choose A FEW of those, and start working on incorporating them into your vocabulary. If you're not sure you're using them correctly, you can ask here, or you can type them into a word processor that includes a grammar checker or into Grammarly.
     
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  8. GoaltoSuccess

    GoaltoSuccess Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2020

    - Buy Grammar review books
    - Sign up for Teachers Test Prep zoom classes
    - Ask a friend who can proofread your essay for them to rate it/give you constructive criticism
    - If you still plan on re-taking the math, try Amazon self-review books in Developmental Math and Pre-Algebra
    - Read examples of high scored "4" essays, compare those essays scored "3." Make observations of each essay, compare how the higher scored essay has the higher score. From there, just keep your head held high. Each time you're given a prompt, it'll be different. You make sure you re-read the prompt at least twice to make sure you know what the topic is asking you to do. Make your cluster/cloud webs [BRAINSTORM Map] (if necessary) to organize all thoughts and organize which supporting details belong where, etc.
     
  9. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Oct 19, 2020

    Looks like 115 is the current score, and 37 instead of 33 would bring it to 119. To get to 123 with just the writing section would take a 41 there.
     
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  10. GoaltoSuccess

    GoaltoSuccess Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2020 at 11:27 PM

    You pay special attention to details. I didn't catch the calculation until you pointed it out. This post will help me know how much closer I am to the ideal 123 points I strive for.
     
  11. GoaltoSuccess

    GoaltoSuccess Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2020 at 11:30 PM

    Thank you for breaking down specifically what components make up great usage and which components make up structure and conventions in the grading system, as these are also the top two reasons for why my essays still don't meet minimal standards yet.
     

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