Help! Do I really need to study for the cbest?

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by fidoprincess, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. fidoprincess

    fidoprincess Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Is it true there is NO geometry on the cbest? This is one of the areas I don't remember and seem to be struggling with.

    I am a stay at home mom who has been out of school for more than 20 years. I want to sub in my kids school so "spur of the moment" I signed up to take the cbest on 2/10. Seemed like a nice idea but after reading so many of these posts, I am in a panic!

    I took a practice test from an old old Cliffs cbest prep guide and got 5 wrong out of 50 on the math (most in geometry) and 3 wrong out of 50 on the reading. Would these scores indicate that I could most likely pass the CBEST with just a little more practice? (I was always a "great" test taker way back when and really enjoyed these type of standard tests but that was a long long time ago!)

    I have such a limited time to study and practice and now am wondering if I made a mistake thinking I could do this. The reading "seems" easy but the math is rusty. Writing is my forte so I have not even thought about that part yet.

    What should I do? Get a newer book and practice more? If there is no geometry, I won't worry so much but I hate to spend any more $ on newer books. Thanks so much in advance for any of your thoughts, tips or opinions!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Relax a little, please, fidoprincess.

    Many people end up taking CBEST more than once; there's certainly no shame in that. Many other people pass it on the first go, too.

    I wouldn't say there's no geometry in the math section; but I would say that it's not geometry in the tenth-grade-math, proofs-and-cosines sense. You're probably panicking more than you need to.

    How old are your kids? Whereabouts are you located? Have you looked at the practice questions on the Web site, http://www.cbest.nesinc.com?

    As to the writing, beware, but just a little. The CBEST essay is a pretty specific task, most closely related to The High School Essay. If your writing skills are strong, be conservative.

    This is a skills test, not a knowledge test: if you're prepping for February, you've got plenty of time.

    And go have some chocolate, please.
     
  4. fidoprincess

    fidoprincess Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Thank-you TeacherGroupie! I am taking a nice deep breath now but must get my hands on some chocolate soon.

    It (2/10) does not seem far away to me. I counted the "open" days to study and it comes to 15! I was not very nervous until I starting reading about how so many people are having trouble.

    My kids are 11 and 7 and we are in California between SF and Carmel/Monterey. I spend so much time at school, I thought it would be nice to be paid for a change. Last year I taught classes 2 hours each week(as a parent volunteer) and the teachers HAD to stay in the class and could not take a break because I was not certified. It would be nice if they could take a break while I was in the class but I would also welcome the little extra pocket change. My child's teacher encouraged me to do it and says they are desperate for subs.

    I've read everything that you have posted about the essays and know to keep it conservative and follow the 5 paragraph structure. I am taking all of your hints and tips to heart and am not worried about this part at all.

    I was very unsure until I read more about my scores on the practice test hence the question: "I took a practice test from an old old Cliffs cbest prep guide and got 5 wrong out of 50 on the math (most in geometry) and 3 wrong out of 50 on the reading. Would these scores indicate that I could most likely pass the CBEST with just a little more practice?" Now I see that maybe this is a good first effort and even if I don't really get much more practice time, I could probably pass, right? Mostly it is the math that I can not remember but I did take the test on the official website and missed 8 out of 50 of the math problems as opposed to only 5 in the very old cliff book. Would that be passing?

    I missed 3 on the reading so I think that is okay and am not going to worry about that part. I especially liked your hints about reading up on stanines and such, I would not have done that so thank-you! Thanks again too for your reply and saving me from my own self-imposed panic!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2007

    As to whether getting eight questions wrong out of 50 would yield a passing score, let's do a little math here.

    First, note that ten questions in a CBEST multiple choice section don't score; these are questions that are being tested for inclusion in future versions of CBEST.

    For a worst-case scenario, then, let's assume that all eight wrong answers are among the 40 that score.

    Now suppose you tell me how many questions you'd then get right, and what percentage that would give you.

    I'll wait...
     
  6. fidoprincess

    fidoprincess Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Oh, so sorry to keep you waiting, kids home from school, dinner, shopping for chocolate, etc.. I know you were in suspense just waiting for my reply-lol!

    80%, so I guess that is good enough but I can do better if I just spend some time reviewing the math and then I probably will not be so nervous. Is it true that one must get 75% to pass?
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 19, 2007

    No worries, fidoprincess - I had other things to do, too.

    80%, yes. Plenty good enough to pass, believe me. Bear in mind that the scoring scale for CBEST subtests is 20 to 80 and that a passing scaled score is 41.

    There are one or two districts, according to rumor, that care whether one wallops the CBEST as opposed to barely squeaking through - but only one or two, so your concern about trying to Do Well is probably a bit misplaced.
     

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