CBEST writing how to pass it (urgent)

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by mmafan007, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. mmafan007

    mmafan007 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 7, 2008

    Hi, I just took the CBEST Saturday December 6, 2008. I was wondering does anyone know how is the CBEST scored on the writing portion. Because I have gotten a 26, 33, and now its dropping to a 29 from my last three attempts. My weakness is usage and structure and conventions. I have work with a education professor with my writing. Compared to using the Jane Schaffer format I learn from High school. But he taught me the basic paragraph sturcture. the intro has 3-4 sentences, then the 3 bodies have 5 sentences each and then the conclusion has the same amount of sentences in the intro. Because I used the professor advise and he told me maybe that's why I have not pass the CBESt test. Should I take the computer test based and pay 106 dollars or just wait for my results. Undoubtly I will probably geta 29 AGAIN.:(
     
    Special-t likes this.
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Dec 8, 2008

    CBEST essays are scored by two scorers on a scale from 1 to 4. The scorers are looking for evidence that you can

    - state a clear thesis and stick to it throughout the essay

    - organize your thoughts logically and coherently

    - give evidence to support your argument

    - use vocabulary that is appropriate to your topic and to your audience, and use it correctly

    - spell and punctuate correctly and use correct Standard English grammar

    Your email suggests to me that you're still having difficulty with conventions of English: I'm seeing sentence fragments, incorrect punctuation, incorrect form for embedded questions, incorrect capitalization, and incorrect verb forms, including some errors with tense. If the education professor was not working with you on all these issues, you should look for someone who can and will.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  4. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 8, 2008

    I think you need some tutoring classes on how to properly write an essay. Maybe take some classes on how to construct an essay, as well as how to improve your grammar. I think that will help you immensely.

    Best wishes!:thumb:
     
  5. mmafan007

    mmafan007 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 9, 2008

    Question on CBEST computer (January)

    I was wondering if the computer based CBES test, how long does it take to get your score for the writing, but the reading and math are given to you at the end of the session. So do you know how the writing is given on microsoft word or rich text format. The education professor said that I need to read my paper closely, and my thesis was different from the body paragraphs I wrote. To me this is important, I graduating this year in mathematics and got accepted into a Teaching cred. but I am on probation. Which means I have until February to March to complte and PASS the CBEST writing. I was wondering if I should take the CBEST writing on the computer instead wait for the paper results to come in. Thanks :(
     
  6. mmafan007

    mmafan007 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 9, 2008

    Need Help

    I can't afford a tutor because I have to pay my tuition fees for this semester in college. I have gone to different people in helping me with my writing. I know how to costruct an essay, I think its my grammer. When I read over my paper I think its right and flows correctly, but others always critisize my writing and always pauses. Is there any suggestions? Thanks :help:
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Dec 9, 2008

    You've mentioned tuition. Are you an enrolled student? The chances are fairly good that your college or university has some sort of writing lab or writing program. Use it: submit an essay for evaluation, and ask the evaluator to find all the errors but also to choose one or two really important kinds of errors for you to work on. Then make a point of getting those things right in your next essay.

    Or it may simply be the case that you HAVE to find the money for a tutor.
     
  8. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 9, 2008

    Hey can you ask some of your professors to look over your writing? They may be able to provide some tutoring assistance for you. It does not hurt to ask.:)

    I hope everything turns out well.:thumb:
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Dec 9, 2008

    myownwoman, I think mmafan007 DID have an education professor look over his writing.
     
  10. susanatoro

    susanatoro New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 19, 2015

    CBEST help

    I am trying to pass the CBEST but I still have not yet passed it if. Help please open to any suggestions Thank you
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jun 19, 2015

    What are you seeing by way of diagnostics - plus marks and letters, and score - on your score report, susanatoro?
     
  12. Megan2393

    Megan2393 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2016

    Does any one can help me with CBEST writing? I am looking for a tutor. My score is 29. The result says usage and structure. $30 hr. I live in south Orange county, CA
    thank you
     
  13. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 23, 2016

    same here megan.. i failed my writing test too... score 26 with, problem on usage and structure and conventions.. you should look for a tutor in your campus.. tutoring is kind of expensive
     
  14. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 18, 2016

    Good news I just passed my Cbest writing. message me on here so i can give you some tips.
     
  15. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 18, 2016

    i just passed mine I score a 41 message me if you need tips.
     
  16. e2sucess

    e2sucess New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 20, 2016

    Hi Nenyi. Can you share the tips on passing as I am having a hard time passing the written portion
    Thank you!
     
  17. e2sucess

    e2sucess New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 20, 2016

    I am feeling frustrated and embarrassed at the same time. I having problems passing the CBEST writing portion. This is my 4th attempt and still cannot pass. I always had problems writing essays while I was in college. I got B's on my English Classes. Usage and Structure and Conventions are keeping from passing the test. I bought the book writing success 20 mins a day. I wonder if that would help? and how long it would take to improve. Last Cbest score was 29 and I need a 39 to pass. Any feedback appreciated.
     
  18. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 20, 2016

    Well
    I fail 4 times, the 3rd time I passed my narrative, but I did not pass my persuasive, and the 4 time I finally passed. I used to get the same comments as you: usage and structure. I thought I needed to pick better vocabulary words but I was wrong. You can use simple English words and still pass.

    First, you have to practice sentece structure:
    Simple
    Compound
    Complex

    Practice Practice Practice! I practiced for a month everyday writing 30 sentences per day.
    Narrative means to tell story.
    your first paragrapah needs to restate what is being asked
    for example:
    What event have brought you closer to your family?
    You can start by saying:
    One event that has brought me closer to my family. It was celebrating my grandma's 60th birhtday.
    I wrote almost every single word in the question, but I added the word: "ONE" then I explained what it was.
    Then you have to begin the story
    Ask yourself:
    How it all started?
    For example you can write. I was only 7 years old when my parents decided to organize my grandmas birthday. Even though I was not looking forward to it, things changed in the middle of the party.

    and thats all you need for your first paragraph. Keep it only 4 paragraph essay
    The next paragraph (2nd) you should ask yourself
    who organized the party?
    who was all there?
    how everyone felt?

    3rd paragraph
    at what point in the party something happen that made all of you guys become closer?
    what was it? it could be a gift? or a speech someone shared? what was the event important?

    4th paragraph
    What did you learned from it?
    are you happy guys are closer now?
    how this is going to help all of your family memebers in the future?


    if you keep this structure, you will pass.

    now for the persuasive:
    You do the same thing you have to restate the question.
    but this time you used 3rd person. you can only write I when you take your position in the issue and also in the last paragraph.
    you can make it simple and you should start by asking the same question they are asking you to answer but in your own words.

    now paragraph 2nd needs to show why you are against it
    3rd paragraph needs to show why you suppor the issue
    4th paragraph you need answer why the issue you supported is the right way to go.

    if you follow this structure you should pass.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Oct 20, 2016

    Hugs, 32success. You're not the first person to struggle with basic-skills essays.

    Do you write memos at work?

    Writing Success in 20 Minutes a Day should help, yes. It is designed primarily for takers of tests that include sentence-correction questions, so the format of the practice questions won't look very essay-like - but those questions tend to focus on usage and on structure and conventions, and those seem to be your issues. Your task will then be to apply your new knowledge as you write: let me recommend writing at least a paragraph after every chapter. Each chapter of the book is supposed to take the reader about 20 minutes, but it's perfectly all right to do more than one chapter in a day.

    "Usage" has to do with vocabulary: your word choice should be precise and suited to an audience of college-level readers: rather than "got", use words like "received" (of a gift) or "obtained" (of a purchase) or "contracted" (of a cold) to express the exact meaning you intend.

    "Structure and conventions" deals with grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Each sentence must be correct grammatically in and of itself: verbs must agree with nouns, pronouns must have antecedents, and so on. In addition, sentence structure must be varied: if all the sentences in a paragraph begin with "When" or "I" or contain relative clauses, the paragraph falls into a rhythm that can make it boring.
     
  20. Worried55

    Worried55 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 7, 2017

    Hi TeacherGroupie,
    I am not sure how to ask a question without it being part of an existing thread. I took the CBEST writing test two days ago. Since I am a non-native speaker of English, I am worried about passing it. I think one of my essays was alright, but the other one not so. I read on the CTC website that the final score is a combination of the two essay scores, however, I read on the CSU Dominguez Hills website that if you fail one essay you fail the whole writing test. Could you please let me know which one of the above is true?
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 8, 2017

    Welcome to A to Z, Worried55, and breathe, please.

    If you passed the other two sections with a total of more than 82 scaled points, you can pass the essays with a section score below the "full pass" scaled score of 41. 83 points in hand would let you pass with a 40 on the essays, 86 or more would let you pass with a 37, and I'll leave you to figure out the possibilities in between.

    I'll agree with CSU Dominguez to the extent that doing badly on one of the essays makes it harder to pass. Experience suggests, however, that a weak essay paired with a strong essay CAN still pass.

    When you get your results, let's discuss them.
     
  22. Worried55

    Worried55 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 9, 2017

    Thanks a lot TeacherGroupie. My combined scaled score for the other two sections is 125. I am worried just about the writing section of the test. I think it takes about six weeks to receive the score. I hope I just pass it even if barely. I will let you know as I get my score. Thanks again. You are really helpful to a lot of people.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 9, 2017

    You tested on Thursday, Jan. 5, yes? You'll get official results by email on Jan. 13. See http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/test_info_CBEST.asp, scroll down the page to the Test Results section, and click on the CBT results dates link.
     
  24. Worried55

    Worried55 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 9, 2017

    That is good news! I really need the scores as early as possible. I appreciate your guiding me to the relevant information. You are a great resource for people like me.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 9, 2017

    You're welcome!
     
  26. Worried55

    Worried55 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 13, 2017

    Hi, TeacherGroupie,
    Just received my CBEST writing score. I passed! although not by a good margin at all. My score is just 41. But, hey, it is still a pass! Now, I hope to be able to take and pass CSET Math in the next two months. I am sure I will benefit from your advice on that too. Thanks!
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 13, 2017

    Thanks for confirming my hunch that you'd pass, and with more points than the absolute minimum you needed. I like being right, but I really like being right in someone's favor like this.

    You will find that CSET Math writing looks very little like CBEST writing. The scorers don't want to see good sentence structure and mechanics: they want to see good math. Rummage around the Single Subject Tests subforum for good advice; innovationguy's posts are fine resources.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  28. Samar

    Samar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 25, 2017

    Hi all,
    I do have the same case. Usage, structure, and conventions are what I need to improve to pass my writing section.
    Please, provide me any suggestions that would help.
    Thank you.
     
  29. Ling Zau

    Ling Zau New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

     
  30. Ling Zau

    Ling Zau New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    Hi Teacher groupie,
    Could you clarify the persuasive essay writing structure? I have learned a 5 paragraph format, 1 state thesis. 2, 3, 4 support thesis as 3 evidence paragraph. In the 4th paragraph, I need to discuss a opposite opinion and explain why I still support my position. Then the 5th paragraph is a conclusion.

    However, someone in the past posted

    "if you keep this structure, you will pass.

    now for the persuasive:
    You do the same thing you have to restate the question.
    but this time you used 3rd person. you can only write I when you take your position in the issue and also in the last paragraph.
    you can make itsimple and you should start by asking the same question they are asking you to answer but in your own words.

    now paragraph 2nd needs to show why you are against it
    3rd paragraph needs to show why you suppor the issue
    4th paragraph you need answer why the issue you supported is the right way to go.

    if you follow this structure you should pass”.

    This is confusing to me.

    I got a 29 in writing recently. The comment I received was " usage, structure and conventions". If I know exactly how CBEST expect me to structure my essay. That would be great. Thank you.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jul 31, 2019

    Welcome to A to Z, Ling Zau.

    "Structure and conventions" doesn't refer to how your essay is structured - that's covered under the rubrics "Organization" and "Support and development". CBEST scorers are not looking for one specific way to organize an essay so much as they're looking for it to be organized. You seem to have satisfied the scorers on that account.

    What "structure" in "structure and conventions" refers to is what you probably think of as grammar: whether verb tenses are correct for the meaning that the sentence intends, whether coordination and subordination are handled correctly, whether articles and determiners ("the", "a/an", "these", "those") are used correctly, whether the referent of a pronoun ("he", "it") is clear from one clause to another, whether prepositions are used correctly - that sort of thing - and, in addition, whether there's variation in sentence structure (such as breaking up a series of complex clauses with a simple sentence). "Conventions" covers spelling and punctuation.

    "Usage" is what you probably know as vocabulary or word choice: whether a word or phrase is used idiomatically, whether the word is precise or vivid ("screamed", "shouted", "whimpered", and "proclaimed", where each is true, are both more precise and more vivid than "said"), and whether there's variation in words (in what you quoted, both "need" and "show" are overused; you were quoting, and quoting from a post on a fairly conversational forum, so you're not to blame, but formal writing demands more precise usage).
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  32. Ling Zau

    Ling Zau New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2019

    Thank you so much for your explanationation. I am planning to take the test in September again, less than 2 months. Is there a book you recommend that I could use to improve on these areas? Or do you recommend get a tutor from certain organization?
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Aug 4, 2019

    For structure and conventions, try Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, published by LearningExpress; Barnes & Noble should carry it, probably in the study-aids section. If possible, spend some time with the book before you buy it, and have a look at the other options in the bookstore (or library) as well. This book is part of LearningExpress's Skill Builders series, which does also include a book for vocabulary building.

    It's more important to use words and sentence structures that you can handle comfortably and correctly than to try to deploy more advanced vocabulary and structure and fail.

    The writing lab or writing program at the local community college or university might have some leads on people who can help you with your writing. Make sure you explain that you're taking CBEST; take the sample test (with the sample answers!) to show what's expected.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Aug 4, 2019

    For structure and conventions, try Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, published by LearningExpress; Barnes & Noble should carry it, probably in the study-aids section. If possible, spend some time with the book before you buy it, and have a look at the other options in the bookstore (or library) as well. This book is part of LearningExpress's Skill Builders series, which does also include a book for vocabulary building.

    It's more important to use words and sentence structures that you can handle comfortably and correctly than to try to deploy more advanced vocabulary and structure and fail.

    The writing lab or writing program at the local community college or university might have some leads on people who can help you with your writing. Make sure you explain that you're taking CBEST; take the sample test (with the sample answers!) to show what's expected.
     
  35. Ling Zau

    Ling Zau New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2019

    Thanks a lot for the explanations and suggestions.
     
  36. TeacherGal1

    TeacherGal1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2019

    Hi TeacherGroupie,

    I took all three sections of the CBEST this evening. My unofficial results indicated that I passed both the Reading and Math sections. However, I have a few apprehensions about my performance on the Writing portion. Though I was pressed for time and kept both essays around 350 words as a result, my biggest concern is about a misspelled word in essay #2. I'm kicking myself now, but I know that in my haste I spelled "breathe" as "breath" approximately three times. My essay's thesis centered on the phrase "just breathe."

    While I am confident that both essays were well-written in terms of logic, organization, and sentence complexity. This spelling mistake has me on edge. Can you offer me any consolation regarding how hard the scorers might be on misspellings?

    Thanks so much.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Aug 14, 2019

    If the sum of your reading and math scores is greater than 85, it may not matter: you'd need just 37 points on the essays to pass, and it sounds like your prospects of making that score are fairly good.

    And if those approximately three misspellings of the same word constitute your sole errors in structure and conventions, scorers are fairly likely to be lenient. They're more concerned when patterns of error occur.
     
  38. TeacherGal1

    TeacherGal1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2019

    Thanks so much for your quick response, TeacherGroupie. My combined score for reading and math was well over 100, so fingers crossed that my writing score is at least a 37.

    The wait is maddening, but I really appreciate your help in offering me some peace of mind.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Aug 14, 2019

    Let us know how it goes, please.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. jadorelafrance,
  2. MissCeliaB,
  3. jakoridd
Total: 269 (members: 3, guests: 247, robots: 19)
test