Preparing for the Math Section of CBEST

All about CBEST Math Section

In order to score high in the Math section of the CBEST exam, you need to prepare for the same in the most effective manner. This section tests one’s knowledge in Mathematics and it is compulsory to pass in this examination in order to attain the CBEST certification. It has 50 questions of the objective-pattern with multiple-choice answers for each question. The questions are of the high school or elementary college standard, and belong to the Arithmetic, Geometry and General Mathematics categories. Scaled scores ranging from 20-80 are awarded to candidates. The minimum score to pass this section is 41; in some cases, a score of 37 may also suffice to obtain the certification.

As Maths usually happens to be a tougher subject than others for many examinees, it can be taken separately by the examinees when they feel confident that they have prepared for it completely. 

How to Prepare for Math Section

  • Take a preliminary diagnostic test to assess your strong and weak areas - At the beginning of your preparation, you can take a preliminary diagnostic test to assess the portions of the CBEST Maths section in which you are strong, and those in which you are weak.

  • Use the diagnostic test report to plan your test preparation - You should use this assessment to plan your test prep by focusing more on those areas that you are weak in and taking professional help to improve yourself. This does not mean that you will have to ignore those areas that you are good at because you should also allot some portion of your time to work on them otherwise you may not be able to answer the questions based on them correctly due to lack of practice.

  • Learn to get the solutions without a calculator - Test takers are not allowed to use a calculator in the examination hall and in this case, you will have to get used to working on the questions without it. Though it may seem slightly difficult for you to adjust initially to the concept of not using a calculator, you will realize that you do not actually require one because the questions are very simple and based on basic Mathematics, requiring you to perform easy mental calculations to arrive at the correct answer. Moreover, solving the questions mentally has an added advantage of keeping your mind alert.

  • Sharpen your skills in certain areas of basic Mathematics - Your test prep plan should include identifying and training yourself in certain mathematical skills which you will require to score high in the test. For example, you can train yourself well in performing basic Mathematical operations like Addition, Subtraction, Division and Multiplication, mentally, at least up to operations involving 2 digits. It is better to train yourself to perform conversions related to decimal to fraction, and vice versa, readily and accurately. You should be very familiar with well known conversions, such as 1/2 = 0.5= 50 %, and 1/4= 0.25= 25 %.

  • Work from the easiest to the toughest questions, but do not leave any question un-attempted - Your study plan should include a certain strategy for answering the questions. You can first work on all the easy questions in the minimum time possible. This is important because these questions help in building up your score and might even help you in securing high scores. While attempting the questions, you should mark the ones that you find tough and attempt them after completing the easy questions. Do not leave out difficult questions while you are preparing as well as on the day of the final exam. You should practice solving such questions as they may come in the CBEST exam and if they contribute to a sizeable portion of the score, then omitting such questions will prevent you from obtaining a high score. Usually, with expert guidance, students learn how to solve difficult questions easily.


Preparing for the Math section of CBEST requires a lot of time and dedication. You should start your preparation with adequate time in hand so that you will be able to master the art of solving all the questions.

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