what book to study to pass?

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by lisawn, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. lisawn

    lisawn Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2005

    Hello....
    I am starting to study for the CBEST,and want to make sure I am studying with a good book. I used the Kaplan for the CSET, and felt very unprepared! Any good suggestions?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 19, 2005

    NO book will really prepare you for all and only the questions you will see on a particular version of a particular test, because the tests get changed: what works is to learn the concepts and principles and then practice applying them. Having said that, I need to add that CBEST versions tend to change all together. The last major change to the standards behind the test was made in 2002, when the math section was tweaked pretty hard (volume and most area questions eliminated and test score interpretation added). If a prep book contains test score interpretation questions, it's current. You could also look for copyright dates later than 2002. Kaplan is among the up to date ones, as is Princeton Review. I think the second edition of LearningExpress works also.

    If you feel you need help in only one or two sections, or if you'd like to work with something that will also help you help your future students pass tests, consider some of the books in LearningExpress's Skill Builders series, such as READING COMPREHENSION SUCCESS IN 20 MINUTES A DAY. Princeton Review has a fun series of math books under the title KNOW IT ALL - they mix review of math skills with some really off-the-wall trivia; the version for 6th to 8th grade should be plenty advanced for CBEST. For writing, a good choice is the SparkChart "New SAT: Writing". Even better is to find someone knowledgeable to evaluate your sample essays. (Yes, you do need to write sample essays.)
     
  4. Eddie

    Eddie Companion

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    Aug 1, 2005

    I jumped on Amazon and read through review of the various study guides for the CBEST. I decided to use the Princeton Review CRACKING THE CBEST (2nd edition) copyright 2002. I went through it thoroughly and did both full length practice tests. I passed the CBEST the first go around and am pretty proud of that. Most of the test questions were about things I had learned in my past education, but the book was a major boost in helping me dust off the cobwebs in my brain.
    My recommendation is to get this book and really use it as a tool. Make time to study, study, study.
     
  5. orchid

    orchid Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2005

    I think the Princeton Review "Cracking the CBEST " is by far the best out there for the all-round study guides. The others are a waste of money and time.
    Good luck!
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 2, 2005

    As with any other test, best bet is to go to a bookstore and visit the books that are available, choosing the one that seems to work best with YOUR learning style and needs. Some people do very well with Cliff's books, others don't. Some people really like Kaplan's approach, some hate it. Some people like Princeton Review, and some get very exasperated with it. Just because a given book didn't work for someone else doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work for you.

    Do bear in mind, by the way, that there's a lot of overlap in math between CBEST and CSET Multiple Subjects - especially the way most of the prep books approach the math, which generally overstates the difficulty and sophistication of the math in CBEST.
     
  7. Lardygeezer

    Lardygeezer Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2005

    Overstated - Agreed

    I took and passed the CBEST about 18 months ago and was surprised how easy it was compared to what I was seeing in study guides. I practiced with official CBEST online exercises and was amazed when I took the test just how many questions were exactly the same on the test as they were on the practice test.

    As is my experience in life thus far when someone passes a test they will often tell others how easy it was. Unfortunately, like riding a bike, it is only easy when you know how. However, I do wish to go on record as saying the CBEST is something you should not get stressed out about. If you have attended and finished your elementary and high school education it should require no more than a review.

    I am what is considered a mature student and I had to revisit fractions as that theory had long been put into darkest corners of my cortex. You know what you know and I was dreading it. I had revised and revised and then some more.

    A 'Silver Bullet' book does not exist, the only thing that is going to guarantee your success in passing is you. Prepare, study and most of all, try to remain calm and keep the whole thing in perspective especially on the test date.

    See that was easy advice. Now watch for my posts of anxiety in the CSET forum as I enter this round of 'Testing'. :)
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 30, 2005

    Lardygeezer, let me suggest particularly for you some books published by Usborne. Most of the most British syntax has been toned down a bit, but the overall approach is still British, and I think you'll find the books congenial. And because they're intended for children, the books are clearly written and amploy illustrated. Usborne's SCIENCE ENCYCLOPEDIA is excellent, as is the DICTIONARY OF MATH (the spine of the library edition says DICTIONARY OF MATHS, in fact). IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH bundles together three kid-friendly books (IMPROVE YOUR GRAMMAR, IMPROVE YOUR SPELLING, IMPROVE YOUR PUNCTUATION) and includes exercises, and not all the Briticisms got cleaned out. TIMELINES OF WORLD HISTORY lists dates in parallel columns, which sounds rather dry, but there are fine illustrations, often drawn from art of the period, and more explanations than you might think. The INTRODUCTION TO ART is flat-out gorgeous, the INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC is outstanding, and ACTING AND THEATRE is a first-rate overview. Sorry there's nothing much in the range on PE or human development.
     
  9. Lardygeezer

    Lardygeezer Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2005

    Perceptive

    Thanks for the reply and I am in awe of your perception.

    Very few people would have noticed!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 30, 2005

    The reference to "revising" and the use of single quotes rather than double quotes suggested it.

    Thanks for pulling together the Web site.
     

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