cbest writing questions

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by humanallien, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. humanallien

    humanallien New Member

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    Jan 3, 2006

    Hi, this is my first post. I've got my cbest unofficial score from email. Reading and math scores are 55 and 67 respectively, but writing is a surprisingly low 33. As a result, I registered for the Feb 11 exam again. I am so confused with my writing score. Both essays have comments concerning necessary improvments in usage of words and organization. I tried to keep them as simple as possible. I have the thesis and the opening sentences at the right places so the comments do not agree with my expectations. I know that if I am going to do the test again, I will end up with more or less the same kind of writing. Is there any way that I can improve my writing score? By the way, I did pass my college writing courses so I don't think I am that bad a writer:(
     
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  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jan 4, 2006

    Don't feel too bad about the writing score. I consider myself a very good business and technical writer, but only got a 41 going in unprepared. The scorers have a fairly rigid idea of what constitutes a good response. Are you familiar with the five paragraph essay? That appears to be the format they are looking for. There are lots of sources of information on it on the internet, like this one:

    Five Paragraph Essay
     
  4. humanallien

    humanallien New Member

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    Jan 4, 2006

    I am very thankful to your suggestions.:) I think that I've followed the five paragraph essay structure as described in the web site that you provide, except a lack of transitional phrase as I recall. Is there any other thing that I practice on to get a better score?:confused:
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 4, 2006

    You mentioned usage. Make sure you're using words that you know how to use correctly and that are appropriate to your topic and to the audience for which you're writing. If the prompt doesn't specify an audience ("teachers" or "parents of high school students who are protesting new uniforms"), you're writing for a general audience of educated people. In your personal narrative, use words that are specific and vivid (instead of walked, use strolled or ambled or waddled or... you get the idea). Name the main characters in your personal narrative (pseudonyms are fine, of course) and cite one or two key details about them.
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jan 4, 2006

    One thing to keep in mind is that all you need to do is achieve a 37 on the writing section. There is no need to even answer anything in the reading and math sections. The scores you already have are good enough that as soon as you get a 37 on writing you have passed CBEST. So, you will have the entire 4 hours to work on the writing section and fine tune your responses.
     

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