Essay Samples for the CBEST

Sample Essay on CBEST

It should be known that the state of California has made it mandatory for all educators to be certified by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) through the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This examination has three test sections i.e. the Reading section, the Mathematics section and the Writing section and the time period for the exam is 4 hours.

Many candidates find preparing for the Writing section to be quite daunting. Unlike the other sections, the Writing part of the CBEST involves two performance assignments. However, you should know that essay writing is not a very difficult task and this fact would be more clear once you analyze the samples provided hereof.

Narrative Essay Writing:

  1. Skills Assessed: Narrative essay writing is fairly simpler in comparison to expository writing. However, the candidate is assessed solely for his or her written communication skills through it. The evaluator would consider the depth and clarity of expression, the usage of language and sequence of thoughts through this write-up.

  2. Passing Criteria: It should be known that a candidate is required to pass in all test sections of the CBEST separately. The passing criterion is a score of 41 on a scale of 20-80 for all test sections. Additionally, the writing section would be scored on a scale on 1-4 based on the candidate's performance.

  3. Narrative Essay Writing Tips: Unlike expository essays, narrative essays are given to assess the candidate's view point of a given situation based on his or her experience. It requires the art of story-telling and describing thoughts in moderation. Thus, it is suggested that you go through some helpful tips and check out the samples to know how to narrate an event.

    • Describe Events Chronologically: It is important to maintain the flow and mention the chronological sequence of events. You can read some sample essays in order to understand how the writer maintains a subtle continuity throughout the write-up.

    • Highlight the Objective of the Essay: If you go through many narrative responses, you will find that there is a lot of learn from them. It will help you understand the importance of highlighting the objective in the essay.

    • Write with Clarity: Even though you are narrating your experience, you have to be clear in order to paint a picture in the reader's mind. It is important to use description in moderation and maintain a simple language which is easy to understand.

    • Mention a Viewpoint in the Conclusion: Every essay needs a proper conclusion as it is important to summarize your response in the end. If you check out the samples on narrative writing, you will find that they have strong statements as conclusions that leave a positive impact on the reader's mind.

However, written narration is not as easy as verbal description and thus, requires a lot of practice. You would be required maintain a specific word-limit so that the objective of the essay is not diluted. Therefore, it is suggested that you practice through on a regular basis and read as many already-written response as possible.

Sample CBEST Narrative Essay:

Peer pressure is something we all have faced. Write one instance where you had to overcome peer pressure.

We all like to be recognized as a part of a group who is similar to us and often find it difficult to say 'no'. I often wonder, as a kid it was easy to voice out my disapproval of things. However, as I was growing, I discovered that it was difficult to disagree with my peer group. I found that I was afraid of what others would think and used to do things that everyone else would do.

In high school, many of my classmates had formed a study group.We used to have a lot of fun and enjoyed studying together after school. It was beneficial for all group members as study notes were shared and support was given to everyone who required it. I recall an instance, in particular,when our class was supposed to go for a picnic, which unfortunately was postponed for an indefinite period. I along with my classmates was unhappy as we all were looking forward to a day without studies.

During the recess, everyone came together and started planning a way to still go to the picnic. When nothing worked, some of my classmates came up with an idea to skip school the next day. It was an act of protest against the decision to cancel the picnic.

I, however, was not in favor of this suggestion since it would hamper our attendance report and also create a negative impression on the school faculties. But somehow, this idea seemed exciting to majority of the class. There were very few of us who did not like this idea and knew that our parents would criticize such an act if they found out about it.

Recess was finally over and as time passed by and the session for school ended. However, this discussion continued in our study group after school. Some of us tried to voice our disapproval of skipping school; unfortunately, our opinion was dismissed bluntly since we were very few. "Oh grow up!" some said, "It's just one day of school!"

I was facing a strange dilemma. I knew that what was suggested by the class was wrong, but I really loved our study group .Somehow breaking their trust seemed to be a harder thing to do. When I went home, I received a phone call from my friend asking me if I was going to support the class tomorrow. I told her that I was yet to decide since I did not want to hurt our group's feelings.

The next day, in spite of being aware that our class would not show up,I chose to attend school. As I entered my class I was surprised to see that only six of us had turned up and that even my friend chose to skip class that day. I was extremely disappointed and so were our teachers. We had the usual sessions and all classes resumed normally. It was then that I realized how much power peers have over our decision making.

The next day at school, our class was reprimanded with an extra assignment for their defiant behavior; however, the six of us who had attended school the previous day were exempted. Moreover, a written explanation from parents and guardians was demanded by the school management for not attending school by the defaulters.

My friend later confided in me that many members of our study group were very unhappy with me. It didn't take much time for me to find myself excluded from group activities and discussions after school. The time I used to spend with the same classmates and have fun with, suddenly became unbearable. Nevertheless, I was happy that I chose to attend class and didn't get my parents involved in this mess.

I had learnt a valuable lesson that day. Every action has a consequence and all our actions are defined by the decisions we make. It is easy to walk in a group and imitate our peers, but ultimately we have to answer for our own actions. I decided from there on that no matter what I would not depend on a group to make any decision for me; rather I would assess the situation and do what is right.

Narrative essay writing is not technical in nature; however, you require practicing. You can visit and view the essays written there.

Written skills would be required a lot in your teaching career, hence it is suggested that you focus on developing these skills. It is also suggested that you avail good quality study resources with well-written essay samples for CBEST and ace this test with a high score.