Preparing for Cbest

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Kwanx, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Mar 19, 2016

    hi all.. I am from Indonesia and I have read most of the post regarding people experience with Cbest writing exam. I just started with my study using "cliffsnote Cbest 7th edition" and finished one essay. It took me 1 h and 4 minutes to finish this essay with 475 words. I am wondering if there was any more efficient way in studying Cbest (especially on writing section)?? should i take the test separately on different day?? will i have longer time to complete each section by doing so? Thank you all. Any suggestion and advice will be so helpful..
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 19, 2016

    64 minutes for an essay of 475 words, especially by someone who isn't a native speaker of English, is actually rather good: if your math and reading comprehension skills are sharp, you should have enough time to manage all three sections.

    What would probably do your writing the most good would be for you to find someone who knows CBEST writing and knows writing generally, and have that person evaluate your practice essays and help you identify problem areas to work on.

    If you're taking the paper-based CBEST, which is next offered on April 23, you simply sign up for the test and get all four hours, no matter how many sections you take; any section that you don't attempt at all simply doesn't get scored. If you take the computer-based CBEST, you sign up for specific sections, but as of the last time I checked, the test session was still four hours, and I'm fairly certain that it works the same: if you signed up for math and essay and then spent all your time on the essay without answering any math questions, your math result would be reported as if you hadn't signed up for math at all. (Your highest score on a section to date is always your score of record.) If your math skills are fairly sharpMost takers of CBEST's writing section get the greatest good from writing practice essays and getting feedback.
     
  4. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Mar 20, 2016

    Most takers of CBEST's writing section get the greatest good from writing practice essays and getting feedback ---> do you mean there is a writing practice I can try and receive feedback from it?wow.. how do I get that help? i plan to take computer-based exam. My hands writing is horrible.So, If i take math and reading sections first, and then take the essay next time, do i pay double?is it gonna be cheaper if i take 3 section at once? or is the price going to be different depending on how many section i sign up for? sorry for the silly question.. i am just trying to make a good arrangement for the test...
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 20, 2016

    Paper-based CBEST costs $41 every time you take it, no matter how many sections you take; you get the whole printed test booklet every time. Computer-based CBEST costs $41 plus $60 (I think it's still $60) every time you take it; you will be presented only the sections you signed up for, but signing up for more than one doesn't increase the fee.

    I don't know of a free service that offers feedback for CBEST essays specifically. If a friend of yours is a reasonably good writer, perhaps you can talk that friend into reading the essay specifications for CBEST and then looking over your essays and giving you feedback. If you're currently a student, your college or university probably has a writing lab or tutors that help with writing. At worst, the local college English department might be able to suggest someone who won't charge you a lot of money.
     
  6. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Mar 20, 2016

    Thank you.. i get the big picture now.. i really appreciate your time sir..
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 20, 2016

    You could certainly take CBEST on computer primarily for the essay section and take the two multiple-choice sections on paper. Unless the rules have changed, you won't need to wait the usual 45 days from taking one form of CBEST before you can take the other - that is, if you started with computer-based CBEST and wanted to stick with that, you'd need to wait 45 days before retaking, but if you were to sign up for the April 23 paper-based test date (for instance), I think you could also sign up for the computer-based CBEST without having to let 45 days pass between one test date and the other.
     
  8. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Mar 20, 2016

    wow.. this is a very nice idea.. i am not too worry about math and reading.. having those 2 sections in paper based and essay on com based sounded like a good idea.. thanks for the advice.. i am currently still waiting for my university writing center to respond my email, wondering if they will be able to help and give feedback for my essay.. Considering CBEST is not part of school program, not sure if they will be able to help.. But thank you again sir.. your input is really helping...
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 20, 2016

    You're welcome. (For the record, I'm not male.)
     
  10. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Mar 22, 2016

    My apologize mam.. i thought that i read from one of the post people call you sir.. but i might be wrong.. my memory might get mixed up with the other forum..
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 22, 2016

    No worries, Kwanx.
     
  12. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

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

    Apr 25, 2016

    Hello,
    I am taking the CBEST writing portion this Thursday. I am very nervous because I have failed twice. Hopefully, I pass and maybe I can give an advice of how to study. Wish me luck! :)
     
  13. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Apr 30, 2016

    Hi Nenyi.. i just got my result back tonight.. i failed my writing.. 26 points.. problem on usage, structure and convention.. pretty common problem or feedback from people that had english as second language.. I pretty much expect this, so it was not really surprised me.. i passed my reading and math though.. 44 for each.. I hope you passed.. share with me some tips and suggestion if you have time.. would like to know..^^.. thank you for replying Nenyi
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Apr 30, 2016

    Hugs, Kwanx. Usage and structure-and-conventions are the two most common problems for CBEST takers overall, not just for people whose first language isn't English.
     
  15. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Apr 30, 2016

    Thank you teacherGroupie. I feel blessed to know you and this website. At least i have a place and somebody to share this feeling. I am just about to get ready for Cset, but it seems that i have to change plan. I am gonna focus on my school's courses and take break from Cbest or Cset. Saving the fight for another day. It took me a month preparing for Cbest, at least i passed math and reading sections. A slow progress still a good preogress i guess. Anybody who had good tips on Cbest writting please share with me. Thank you
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Apr 30, 2016

    Try this: Ask someone trustworthy - a professor, or a fellow student in your classes who speaks and writes well - which of your course readings are best written. As you read and study, carve out a little time here and there to examine the choices that that author makes in what we call Tier 2 vocabulary (that is, not the technical terms that one needs to use for that specific discipline - those are Tier 3 - but the words and phrases that make the writing of educated people sound, um, educated). Choose a word or phrase that you like the sound of. Look it up in an online or print dictionary that gives examples of the word being used. If you still like the word, and if the examples suggest that it's in fairly wide use, adopt it: make a point of using the word in writing and, if it's appropriate, in speaking. Ask for feedback from people who use words well; you could post practice sentences here, for example.
     
  17. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Apr 30, 2016

    Do you mean borrowing other people's works and write down the vocabularies they used that sounded more educated? and then adopt it on my essay?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Apr 30, 2016

    No, though that's another approach. I intended a smaller-scale approach: as you're reading for your courses, you might notice that Author X uses the word "mellifluous", which sounds wonderful - but you look it up and discover that it's pretty much limited to speaking voices, so you decide not to acquire it for CBEST; at the same time you notice that Author X uses the word "advantageous", and when you look it up you realize that it can be used fairly widely as a Tier 2 substitute for "good" AND that adding the prefix -dis makes it mean the opposite: that's a highly practical word, so you decide to add it to your Tier 2 vocabulary and you make a point of using it in both writing and speech. You might encounter a different useful word in the writings of Author Y.
     
  19. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Apr 30, 2016

    Understood. I will try that then. I haven been working with one of a writing course mentor that my school provide. She always give me good feedback for all my essays. I might also need to request someone else that are more strict with essay.. Thank you mam for your suggestion..really appreciate it
     
  20. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

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

    May 2, 2016

    As soon as I get my results, I will let you know :). I just pray and hope I pass. I am keeping my fingers crossed!
     
  21. nenyi

    nenyi Rookie

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

    May 9, 2016

    I did not pass, My score was a 33, I only need a 37 to pass. But I pass my narrative essay, however I have to do both of them went I go back. For the narrative re state the question they are asking you in the beginning of your paragraph, then practices simple, compound, and complex sentences, and you should be fine. If you memorize the structure of the sentences this will help you pass. I am going to study on the argumentative essay, and I am very confident the next time I will pass. If I do pass, I will give you advice of what sentence structure to study and how to start the essay.
     
  22. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    May 22, 2016

    Hi nenyi.. thanks for responding back. I hurt my back 2 weeks ago.. barely can sit on a chair.. it is getting better now. Thank you also for sharing, i have been waiting for your news.. In June and July i have to take Cbest writing, Cset and Praxis 5001, so yes.. i am kind of overwhelming too.. I wish you good luck for you next exam..
    Btw, there is going to be a workshop at Pacific Oak campus tomorrow night at 7pm-10 pm. I think they are going to talk about reading and writing section. If you live in Los Angeles area, this might get your attention. this the website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KvfmZz6-Ce-bOn4CZwY0YdLbaQ0oQ879Foz4neuLCIk/viewform?c=0&w=1
    don't do it online, the quality is really bad
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  23. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    May 22, 2016

    Hi Teacher groupie.
    I want to ask you a favor, if i post my 237 essay here, do you mind to give me a feedback regarding the usage, structure and convention issues?? If this is not allowd, then i appologize.. Thank you
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    May 23, 2016

    Post a paragraph, Kwanx: let's start there.
     
  25. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    May 23, 2016

    Thank you mam
    Here part of my essay

    Therefore, the technologies have positive impacts to modern life. They connect people from around the world using modern communication devices, such as internet, cell phone, and social media. These devices also allow people to talk face to face, although they are at different places. This is very helpful for those that live far away from their families.For example, I used to feel lonely and homesick because I was away from my families. Although my parents called me once a week by phone, I still felt sad because I was unable to see their faces. But now, the new modern social media, such as Skype, Line, Instagram and Facebook have allowed us to see each other through video call. The new technologies have brought me closer to my family, even though we are physically away from each other.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    May 26, 2016

    "Therefore" is a conclusion word: use it at the end of a chain of reasoning, not at the beginning. (I hope this isn't your closing paragraph: conclusion paragraphs are generally not good places for additional examples.) There's a good chart of transition words - with examples for each! - at http://www.elc.byu.edu/classes/buck/w_garden/classes/buck/transitions.html. Do you need to master all of them? No. Six or eight of them should suffice.

    "positive impacts on"

    For the sense you intend here, delete "from"

    "Modern" is redundant (in the American sense) here; later in the paragraph, "new modern" is both redundant and repetitive.

    My internet service provider defines "devices" as hardware: cell phones and tablets are devices, but the internet and social media are not.

    Commas you don't need are in yellow.

    "also": Learn some additional transition words.

    "in different places"

    You have more than one family?

    Avoid "very": instead, learn one or two stronger words (or phrases!) for "helpful". Try http://www.thesaurus.com. Again, you don't need to learn every last one.

    The comma between "social media" and "such as" is problematic. (I couldn't find a color in the yellow class that would make it stand out.) Either it needs to be deleted or another comma needs to be inserted after "Facebook".

    That's all I can manage right now, Kwanx. Hope this helps.
     
  27. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Jun 20, 2016

    Hi teacher Groupie..
    Thank you for your kindly reply and feedback..
    and sorry for taking me so long to reply..
    i couldn't sit too long in front of com due to my back injury a month ago.. so i was behind my course works.. i spend the last 3 weeks to catch up and finally pass the class yesterday.. Now i can focus back on improving my writing skills.. my back getting better too.. but still need some stretching every 2 hours.. i hope you still willing to help me with feedback on my essay..

    Thank you teacher Groupie..
     
  28. Caroline26

    Caroline26 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2016

    Hi Nenyi,
    I need 37 to pass and I have problems with both essays. Can you please share how you prepare for the writing section, sentence structure n how to write both essays.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Nov 14, 2016

    Welcome to A to Z, Caroline26. I assume you have scores from one or more previous attempts at the essays. What shortcomings are being noted on your score report(s)?
     
  30. Caroline26

    Caroline26 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2016

    Hi TeacherGroupie,
    Thanks for responding to my message. I score 29 in writing and the report also says I have problem in usage, structure and convention for both essays.
    I'm not sure if I should write intro, first, secondly, and in conclusion for each paragraph cuz that's what I learned when writing an essay. Another question is I think I'm not good at restating the question in the first paragraph cuz I tend to use exactly the same words.
    Hopefully I can learn some tips here. :)
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Nov 14, 2016

    Points from last to first:

    You're not seeing rhetorical force in your diagnostics, so you're stating and defending your thesis adequately. Recasting the question in the essay prompt as a statement that you're going to defend is fine, truly.

    The essay as a whole needs to follow the organization you've laid out; the interior paragraphs can be arranged somewhat differently - but you're seeing neither organization nor support & development in your diagnostics, so you're in at least adequate shape in both those areas.

    Usage and structure & conventions are the two most common problem areas for CBEST essay writers. I discuss them in some detail here on A to Z: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/...on-cbest-writing-section.195810/#post-1983571. Have a look, please.
     
  32. Kwanx

    Kwanx Rookie

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

    Jun 10, 2017

    I finally passed my Cbest. score 39. Its my second try after a year. A lot of thing happened since last year.. But I spend my last 30 days practice writing. Each weeks, I became better in writing. Thank you for your advices teacher groupie.^^
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Jun 10, 2017

    You're welcome, Kwanx, and congratulations!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 233 (members: 2, guests: 202, robots: 29)
test