Who can help me for my CBEST writing?

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by juiceitup, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. juiceitup

    juiceitup Rookie

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    I gonna take CBEST this weekend.

    I have passed reading and maths. But I have already tried twice in CBEST writing, all failed.

    I felt frustrated for it. The first time I got 29, the second time I got only 26.

    I am from China, educated and learned English there. I wonder whether somebody have similar experience can share their successful story with me.

    Thanks

    and need writing tips in this Saturday's exam.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2006

    Where in California are you located?
     
  4. juiceitup

    juiceitup Rookie

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    Riverside

    the essay titled differently according to areas?
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hm. Cal State San Bernardino might have, or know about, a prep course. I teach and tutor, but that's a little out of my geographical area.

    Another possibility would be to look for a community college course in English composition. Your post makes me think there are some issues with Structure and Conventions and perhaps also with Usage.

    CBEST tests come in several different versions, but I don't think the versions are distributed by region.
     
  6. juiceitup

    juiceitup Rookie

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    Thanks, I'm a student in Cal State, San Bernardino
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 14, 2006

    The CBEST specifications states:

    "The questions in the Writing Test will elicit a writing sample that will show the examinee's ability to:
    1. write with clarity (i.e., the reader can comprehend immediately what is meant),
    2. keep the writing focused (i.e., the reader is kept on the track),
    3. develop the ideas in the writing through support or illustration,
    4. use the conventions of standard written English, and
    5. maintain a line of thought essentially free of non sequiturs, internal contradictions, unwarranted conclusions, and confusion of fact and opinion."

    If you write on CBEST like you write here, my guess is you are going to come up short on number 4 and possibly number 1. The scoring rubric takes these into account. It doesn't seem that you have a problem expressing yourself in English, just doing it in standard form. If this is the reason for the failing scores, IMHO there is nothing that can be done by next Saturday. You will need to learn to write standard English.
     
  8. juiceitup

    juiceitup Rookie

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    what is standard written English?
    could you give me a example please?

    Any books or website to recommend?

    Thanks
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Standard written English is English as it's written for an educated audience - formal prose is another term for it. It's the kind of English one learns in a composition class.

    LearningExpress publishes several books that might help you, notably WRITE BETTER ESSAYS IN 20 MINUTES A DAY and WRITING SKILLS SUCCESS IN 20 MINUTES A DAY. In addition, there's Purdue University's Online Writing Workshop at http://owl.english.purdue.edu. I continue to think, however, that a class in which you can get feedback on your writing will serve you better, and most community colleges and adult education programs offer classes of that kind at nominal cost.
     
  10. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 14, 2006

    Your original post rewritten in standard English:

    "I am going to take CBEST this weekend. I have already passed reading and math, but failed writing twice. I am frustrated. The first time I got 29, the second time only 26.

    I am from China where I was educated and learned English. I wonder whether somebody who has had a similar experience can share their success story with me.

    Thanks.

    I need writing tips for this Saturday's exam."

    Your writing, and I assume speaking, sytle is quite typical for follks who have learned English in China. It is good enough to communicate effectively in most cases. And it would not be a problem in a college classroom. But it is not what is expected of a K12 teacher in California. Regardless of the subject they teach, K12 teachers are expected to model standard English for their students.
     
  11. juiceitup

    juiceitup Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2006

    Thanks for all your suggestions! I appreciate!
     
  12. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Good luck with the test! And don't hesitate to raise any questions you have in one of these forums. There are plenty folks willing to help.
     
  13. Onniguru

    Onniguru New Member

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    His English is better than my Chinese ;). Furthermore, his English is good enough to get the basic point across, which is better than many in his circumstances are able to do.

    That being said, I find it curious that I, who have spoken and written English essays all my life, and submitted an expository five paragraph essay for my writing portion of the CBEST, and received a lower score than this Chinese gentleman did. I find it very curious indeed.

    Addenda: My reading and math were 65 and 66, respectively.
     

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