CBEST

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by cutie425, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. cutie425

    cutie425 Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Hi,

    I needed to talk to somebody. I just got my CBEST score, I did not pass again. Just one point! I've taken it many times and everytime I received my score, it would always be 122. I do not know what to do, honestly and seriously. Writing was 41, Math was 42, and Reading was 39. Recently, I concentrated on Reading and Writing but my scores were R-39 and W-40.

    I have few months left to retain in teaching. If I do not pass the CBEST, I do not know what will happen.
     
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    How frustrated you must feel! I'm sorry you're going through this. I can only imagine how disappointed you must be. I'm afraid I don't have advice, but I wanted to say I read your post.
     
  4. cutie425

    cutie425 Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Thank you for listening.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 27, 2008

    How have you been preparing, cutie425?
     
  6. cutie425

    cutie425 Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2008

    TeacherGroupie

    Thank you very much for your reply. I'm using all the CBEST review books such as Princeton, CliffTestPrep, Learning Express, Advanced Reading, USA Today, and on-line practice tests. The problem was the reading comprehension. I thought I answered the questions from the text but my score was 39. I took the writing again hoping that it might help, the score was 41 (again).
     
  7. cutie425

    cutie425 Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2008

    Thank you TeacherShelly.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2008

    You're using all those books? All at once? Wow.

    How are you generally as a test taker?
     
  9. cutie425

    cutie425 Rookie

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    Feb 29, 2008

    TeacherGroupie

    I was not bad before as a test taker but recently I got easily distracted with different noise such as the aircon, or I could hear the person behind me reading.
    Thanks again TeacherGroupie.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 29, 2008

    Hm. Have you considered earplugs?

    You might also think about tutoring or a test prep class - sounds like you need something you're not getting from the books (and that's not all that uncommon).
     
  11. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Try taking one part of the CBEST at a time.
     
  12. live2ridemx417

    live2ridemx417 Rookie

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    hmm....I've heard that the test was extremely easy. In fact, I wasn't even planning to study for it. Your post has inspired me to buy a guide and get ready over spring break. I'm taking the test on April 12......should I only take one section at a time? I was planning on doing them all, but some of the posts on this site are beginning to worry me.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 16, 2008

    How did you do on the SAT?
     
  14. live2ridemx417

    live2ridemx417 Rookie

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    Haven't taken it. I did two years at a Junior College and transferred to a university. I had no need for the test since I didn't apply anywhere.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 16, 2008

    Then how are you generally as a test taker?
     
  16. November

    November Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2008


    Hi Cutie:

    You technically passed the writing and math subsections and you do not need to retake them. I would suggest just taking the reading subtest next time and use all the time to study that section and perform to the best of your ability. With the extra time that you have you can triple-check your answers for any mistakes. :)

    This is from the CBEST website:

     
  17. November

    November Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2008

    I would suggest taking all three unless you know that you have a deficiency in one particular area (Reading, Math or Writing). If you are deficient in one or more areas than it would probably be to your advantage to split them up. It's useful to review the content even if you feel confident. I didn't buy a guide, I just got one at the local library and went over the review sections. As a test-taking strategy, complete the sub-tests according to your subject knowledge strength and the speed with which you think that you can complete them (from strongest to weakest). I started with Math and finished with Writing. I knew that if I started with the writing section first, I would eat all my time up and not perform to the best of my ability on the other sub-tests.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2008

    cutie425, you could certain keep working on the reading comprehension score, but in fact that 39 IS a minimal-pass score given a total score of 123; getting one more point in ANY of the sections will do the job. It really does seem to me that getting help with the prep would be a good idea, since that pile of resources doesn't seem to be doing the job.

    live2ride, you'll be given all three sections of CBEST each time you take it. One strategy is to plan to focus on one or two sections but to attempt the rest if and as time allows. Some people do better working from strongest to weakest, while others do better getting the weak stuff out of the way - if you're the kind of person who just can't stand to have dessert first, you're probably in the former category.
     
  19. November

    November Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2008

    TG,

    Good point. I just thought that she seemed so even-keeled among the subject areas, that her greatest area of opportunity was in reading. You may be right that focusing on some other subject area may be advantageous to her. If I were Cutie however, I would probably not focus on the writing section because I interpret the grading to be subjective, or at a minimum not as objective as the grading of the Reading and Math sections.

    I'm sure everyone is different. My argument for completing strong subjects first is twofold: First, you give yourself adequate time on your best subjects (allowing for the highest potential score). Second, by finishing strong subjects quickly you allow yourself more time to wrestle with the tough areas. Often people get hung up on the tough questions and waste all of their time on what amounts to only a fraction of the total test score. This strategy is akin to most multiple-choice test strategies that recommend that if you come to a tough question on the test, mark it, skip it and come back to it later if and when you have time. It worked for me anyway, I took it one time and passed with good marks.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2008

    Part of my point is that there isn't just one right way to do this, any more than there's one best resource for everyone. I want people to feel comfortable with whatever routine works best for them, because ultimately that's the way that they will own their success.
     
  21. live2ridemx417

    live2ridemx417 Rookie

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    I'm normally pretty good on tests. I consider my reading/writing skills to be more than adequate for a basic competency test, but I probably need to review the math section. Fortunately, my girlfriend is a math whiz:up: If the math section doesn't rise above an intermediate algebra level, I should be fine.
     
  22. live2ridemx417

    live2ridemx417 Rookie

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    By the way, what are some possible prompts for the essay portion?
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2008

    The math doesn't really even get to an intermediate algebra level. Tell your math-whiz girlfriend to keep it relatively simple; the questions in the practice test on the CBEST Web site are pretty representative.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You'll have two prompts, typically one personal narrative and one persuasive essay. Personal narrative prompts generally ask about a person or situation that affected you positively or negatively. Persuasive essay prompts give an issue on which you're to take and defend one side or the other. In all cases the scorers want to see you make your point, using vivid language and (where appropriate) examples, and they want to see good argument structure.
     
  25. lula

    lula Rookie

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    Mar 31, 2008

    I feel the same way


    I know exactly how you feel because I am really frustrated too. I have cliff's and princeton but I need to do better on my math since I only got 29 and reading 40. Which math book do you think has helped you improve your score since cliff and princeton seem very simple for math questions. Please :help:
    It is so strange how I can pass all three sections of CSET but not pass CBEST ughhh!!
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, lula.

    Do I understand correctly that you have passed CSET-MS?
     
  27. lula

    lula Rookie

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    You are correct, I did pass all three sections of the cset multiple subjects :eek:
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Just checking - there are LOTS of CSET single subject exams that have three subtests. And congratulations.

    If you passed CSET-MS Subtest II, and if you were reasonably comfortable with the math there, it's possible that you're overthinking the math on CBEST.

    The written score report shows diagnostics on the left side, to help guide retakers as to what to work on. ++++ is a strong performance, + isn't. What do the diagnostics suggest you need to work on?
     
  29. November

    November Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2008

    Lula,

    You also may just want to try taking the CSET: Writing Subtest if you are having trouble passing the CBEST.

    You've practically fulfilled the basic skills requirement, you just need to pass the writing section. You have the option to bypass the CBEST completely.

    From the commission's website:

    With the passage of Senate Bill 1209, additional options became available to meet the basic skills requirement. Passage of
    the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) remains one of the options. New options include passage of the
    California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subject Plus Writing Examination
    and, effective January
    1, 2007, a basic skills examination from another state is also acceptable.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In lula's case, CSET-Writing might be worth considering, given that lula wouldn't have to be attempting a chunk of CSET-MS in the morning on the same day. It's not yet clear, though, whether CSET-Writing scores are good for life as CBEST scores are (which could be an issue for someone considering adding one or more single subject authorizations. And I think CSET-Writing offers less margin for error to those whose essay skills aren't that strong.
     
  31. November

    November Rookie

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    I think that it is only an issue if she doesn't earn her clear credential within the five-years that the CSET-MS is valid. According to the commission, only subject-matter competence (and not basic skill) is required for an additional authorization. I believe the possession of a clear credential is validation enough of basic skills.

    I only offered it as a suggestion based upon the current grief she is experiencing over CBEST math. I'm a math guy, so I would go the math route every time, but something tells me that lula probably favors writing.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I did say your suggestion was worth considering in lula's case, November. And thank you for it. But I think many test takers are better off with CBEST - and one consideration I forgot is that those who later want to get licensed in another state may find that CBEST plus CSET-MS will be more digestible to the other state's bureaucracy than the CSET-Writing/CSET-MS bundle will be.
     
  33. lula

    lula Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2008

    Thanks November & teachergroupie for your help :)
    During my interview for UCDavis the professor told me that cbest is important if you can't get a permanent teaching job first it will allow you to substitute and earn $ whereas if you only have cset writing some places won't pay you.
    I took the cset writing portion recently hopefully I do well this time, last time I missed it by 20 points.
    I'm also studying for the cbest now concentrating mostly on math.
    I like the learning express cbest book I bought a few days ago but I still would like to have more practice. It seems I always do alright on the practice math portion, I miss about 13/50 but I don't know how I end up doing not as well on the actual test.

    My cbest math scores indicate I need to work on estimation & measurements and numerical & graphical relationships. since for both areas I only have one +
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    State law requires that substitute teachers have demonstrated competence in basic skills. That's what CBEST is for, all by itself. But now one can also demonstrate basic skills by passing CSET-MS (which explicitly tests math and implicitly tests reading comprehension) plus CSET-Writing. It's true that CSET-Writing by itself isn't enough, but districts shouldn't be refusing to pay someone who's passed CSET-MS and CSET-Writing - that would be a good thing to take up with the county office of education and maybe with a union rep.

    Here's a really good discussion of estimation and rounding and the difference between them: http://searchwarp.com/swa49202.htm.

    After you read it, you can reuse the LearningExpress book's problems: where the math involves fairly precise numbers, try estimating the answers instead of doing the calculations. For example, if a question asks how much money you'd have if you sold 175 sandwiches for $2.25 each, you could calculate it out (175 x $2.25) and get $393.75, but if you round 175 to 200 and round $2.25 to $2, then 200 x 2 is $400, which comes fairly close.
     
  35. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Apr 8, 2008

    You know when I took the test, they sat me right by the door where everyone was going in and out, in and out and one person was tapping my chair, so right before the test was to begin I got up and asked to be moved. It is your right as a test taker to be in a comfortable place without distraction, so they moved me with no questions asked. Good Luck...:)
     
  36. lula

    lula Rookie

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    I just want to thank everyone for their support and help because I finally passed the cbest!! I'm not exactly sure what is the highest scaled on points but I think I got like a 42. I also passed the cset-ms writing portion so double whammy! I'm so happy!!
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Way to go, lula!
     
  38. tc10

    tc10 Rookie

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    May 19, 2008

    Hello,

    I am getting ready to take the CBEST. I completed the practice test on the CBEST website and I wondered if the practice test is close to what the actual test is like? Is it about 50 questions for math and are the problems like those seen in the practice test? I did really well in my math classes, but I took my math requirements quite a long time ago so I feel rather rusty. I've gone through the KAPLAN math portion of workbook and I did the test from the CBEST website, but they seem vastly different to me.

    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.





     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The level of difficulty of the math is probably somewhere between Kaplan and the Web site.
     
  40. lula

    lula Rookie

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    What I suggest is just go to the bookstore and take all the cbest test preps, to see what areas you have difficulties with. Write the questions down and review with a friend. Kaplan was decent book compared to princeton review which was just too simple. I also liked REA learning express. You should definitely go to the website because it tells you specifically what you need to know, so you can get a better idea.
     
  41. tc10

    tc10 Rookie

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    May 21, 2008

    Thanks

    Thanks for the tips. By "CBEST Test Prep," do you mean separate tests that bookstores have available? Or do you mean the Study guides like CliffNotes CBEST? I'm also signed up for a workshop a week before the CBEST. I'm hoping to get some more tips at the workshop for math CBEST.

    My plan is to complete the reading skills and writing first and then finish with the math. I think that I can do the first two areas quickly and then leave the bulk of time for the math. I hope this is a good strategy. I'm hoping the test is much like the example that is given on the CBEST website.

    One math problem that I am having trouble with is a word problem. It goes like this: If Sue can paint a room in 2 days, and Mary can paint a room in 4 days, and Tom can paint a room in 7 days, how long will it take all three of them to paint the room? Any ideas of how to figure this? I know there is some trick to figuring the answer. It will be less than 2 days obviously, but how do I figure how long? Any ideas? Thanks for your help.
     

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