First time CBEST

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Gennie, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Gennie

    Gennie Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2009

    I have just registered to take the CBEST. I have been following the discussions and useful tips but i am developing cold feet and wanting to cancel. The reason being that i am less than six months in the country and wondering if i need to take a prep class before attempting the test. Any helpful suggestions?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 19, 2009

    CBEST isn't knowledge, it's basic skills. Where were you educated?
     
  4. Gennie

    Gennie Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Nigeria
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 21, 2009

    The conventions of standard American English differ somewhat from the conventions for standard Nigerian English - watch out for words like humour and realise, which we render as humor and realize - so the essay tasks could be a bit of a challenge. If you managed math through beginning algebra, you should be fine for the math section - and it's perfectly all right to tackle CBEST one section at a time.
     
  6. artiste7

    artiste7 Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2009

    i took it in two parts, i took the reading/writing part first, to make sure i passed. i looked at the math and tried it to see what it was like, then i got a tutor and studied nothing but math at night for two months, and passed with a 52. math is not my best subject and i have forgotton most of what i studied.
    so you could take it in parts, and study for each section separately. if you don't pass you will still have to go back anyway, and you only have to retake the parts you didn't pass. all you want is that 123 score, no one will ask you what your score was.
    and yes, British English spelling is different to American, but you can pass. get a good tutor, take your time, and be positive.
    all the best
    A7
     
  7. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Sep 10, 2009

    Check out the library or online for books that can help you study.
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  8. Gennie

    Gennie Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2009

    Thank you all for your support. I am tackling the CBEST one section at a time. I arrived late for the first attempt so was only able to take the reading section and passed. I am now preparing for the maths and writing sections -I Hope to arrive early this time.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    How far did you get in math in school, Gennie?
     
  10. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Sep 22, 2009

    Most people took it in two or three parts. If I were you, I would plan for all 3 sections and then take like this: Look at the writing section and if you like the topic, take Reading and Writting using all the time. The the next time, take Math.

    Though I have been in this country for a long time, I am originally from a foreiggn country and so I belive that you have the Math skills already. The issue is the time to do all three parts. It is better to take your time and do it well instead of haviugn to rush like I did. So, my suggestion is based on my experience.
    What happened with me was that I hated the essay topics because I didn't believe/agree with the position I was supposed to take in writing it. I have my view on things, you know:) So, I wrote minimum and failed that section and hence to retake it. But because I had to make time for the writing part, I rushed through the Math part; though I passed, I'd have much gotten better score if I didn't; after all, I have a master's degree in Chemistry.

    So, I had to retake the writing section. Luckily, I like the topic enough and that I could use the strategy I learned form CBEST preparation book wrote it. If you know how to make sentences, the rest is basically formatting it.
     
  11. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Sep 22, 2009

    If you are good in Math, do as you have planned. Otherwise, take Math and writing separately.
     
  12. alexis1318

    alexis1318 New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009

    CBEST Help please.... I have taken the CBEST 3 other times and on my reading have only gone up 1 point. I scored a 36 and need a 41 to pass. I scored lower in the in the Critical Analysis and Evaluation section. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have been using the Barron's test prep book as well as other online resources and articles.
    Thank you.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 26, 2009

    "Critical analysis and evaluation" has to do with how the author accomplishes what the author accomplishes: point of view, tone, attitude, argumentation, and the like. You might find it helpful to go through some of the exercises in the LearningExpress books Reading Comprehension in 20 Minutes a Day; LearningExpress also has a book of reading comprehension questions that are good for practice.

    As for the essay, it's generally not the case that there's only one right side for a writer to take: rather, the scorers are interested in how well you take and defend the position you choose. In some cases it's wise for a test taker to choose a point of view opposite to the one she really believes, in order to gain enough emotional distance from the topic to be able to write on it clear-headedly.
     
  14. Gennie

    Gennie Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2009

    My math is very poor. Where can i find a good math tutor. I passed the reading and writing sections of the CBEST remaining math.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2009

    One possibility is to ask around at the nearest college or university for someone who's patient and skilled and a good explainer.

    where, approxomately, are you located?
     
  16. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2009

    I just found out that I need to take the CBEST Dec. 5 (in two days) I have not studied for it and plan to study all day tomorrow. It is only one day of studying but I did just take all sections of the CSET Nov 7 and passed them all. Should I be somewhat prepared for the CBEST with all of these factors in mind? Thanks!
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    For the math and the reading comprehension, yes. The writing tasks are very different, however. In CSET-MS the important thing is the information rather than the delivery, whereas for CBEST what's important is the delivery - how you say what you say. If you're good at formal essays, you should do fine.
     
  18. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

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    Thanks TG! I was an undergrad creative writing major so my writing is okay. But my formal essay writing skills are not strong at all. I have never been good at the formal 5 paragraph essay for instance. Are there any websites you know of that would help me prepare?
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's not that hard, really and truly - all it takes is obsessive organization. Let me explain it a little differently than I do in my workshops:

    Paragraph I is the introduction. It contains the thesis statement - what you're arguing for, stated forcefully but without rudeness - and briefly lists the reasons with which you'll make your case: Reason A, Reason B, Reason C,... (There's no principled reason why one should stop at three, except that these essays are short and so is the testing time.)

    Paragraph A spells out Reason A, beginning with a topic sentence that flows not too abruptly from the paragraph that precedes it. It gives evidence that backs up Reason A.

    Paragraphs B through... um, C follow suit.

    Paragraph X (or ∞, which I intend to be the "infinity" symbol) restates the thesis statement and briefly recaps the evidence.

    If you can come up with them (and I bet YOU can, given your resume), Paragraph I begins with a "hook" - a sentence, aphorism, anecdote, question, or other rhetorical flourish that's intended to capture attention and draw the reader into the essay's little world, and Paragraph X ends with the reverse of a hook (a slice? a jab? sorry, wrong metaphor) that's intended to send the reader back out into what passes for reality. If you can't come up with any, don't worry.

    This format can produce rather dull, formulaic prose - but it does make for organized prose and it can be executed relatively quickly, and there's a great deal of room in a teacher's toolbag for a tool that can speed up the extrusion of dull but highly comprehensible text.
     
  20. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

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    Great, thank you so much for that breakdown!
     
  21. tinman

    tinman Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Greetings, everyone.

    I recently took the CBEST and found out this afternoon that I passed. One thing that sort of bugs me, though, is that I received a score of 47 on the writing section, and I scored higher on the reading and math sections. Writing is my strength, and I'm surprised that I didn't get a better score. Does anyone happen to know if the scorers prefer brevity over 'meaty' paragraphs? I stuck to the five-paragraph high school essay format and made sure that each paragraph was rich with detail. Maybe I went a little overboard with the details, I dunno...
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One hears reports like this with some regularity, tinman. Have you gotten the official score report with the performance indicators down the left side of the page?
     
  23. tinman

    tinman Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2009

    I received my unofficial scores via email today, but not the official score report. I'm guessing that I'll receive that tomorrow or sometime soon. I'll take a look at the breakdown of the scores and see if it makes sense to me.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Send me a private message if you like.
     

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