Passing Score for CBEST

How to Pass the CBEST

The passing score in the CBEST refers to the marks that one should attain in the test to be certified as a school educator in California. The examination evaluates the basic teaching skills of a person wanting to take up a teaching profession in California schools. This is a criterion-referenced test, and one has to obtain a minimum qualifying score in the test and in each of its sections, in order to be certified as a CBEST teaching professional.

The passing score was finalized by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. This score was established in accordance with the conclusions deduced from the administration reports of 1982, the findings of the statutory advisory committee, and the decision of the examiners after assessment of the standard of the questions.

The Overall Passing Score and Individual Passing Scores

The overall passing score is 123. One has to obtain a minimum passing score of 41 in each of the sections of CBEST. A scaled score of 37 in one or two subjects can also be considered as a passing score provided one has attained a total score of more than 123 in this test. However, if the examinee fails to secure a minimum of 37 in any of the subjects, the examinee will not be granted a pass certification, even though his overall score may be much higher than 123.

The test should be taken by one till he or she obtains the passing score for that subject. Once the passing score is obtained, appearing for this test is optional for a candidate. Those who want to improve their scores can appear for the test as often as they want to. However, the ones appearing for the online test will have to wait for a period of 45 days before appearing for the test again.

How to Pass the CBEST

Discussed below are certain ways, by adopting which, you can pass the test:

  • Prepare in advance with planning - Obtaining the passing score and much higher score than it, requires careful planning. One has to make a foolproof study strategy and follow it strictly to ensure good performance. One can take the help of experts in this regard, if required. Do not fix up the test taking date without proper preparation. Thorough preparation is of vital importance, otherwise you will not be able to succeed in the test.

  • Rehearse well for the test - One of the best ways for you to obtain a good score is to rehearse for the test well. You should take as many diagnostic and practice tests as possible, assess your performance in each of these tests, and take special measures, such as, taking prep courses, if your performance in the practice tests or diagnostic tests is not up to the mark. It is best for you to practice for CBEST in a test environment that simulates the actual examination conditions. This specifically requires you to practice questions that are of the same standard or are tougher than those in the actual test and answering them in the same or lesser time than allotted for the questions. The tests that you practice should be preferably tougher than the actual one, so that your experience in the actual test becomes a cakewalk for you.

  • Take the CBEST section-wise - In order to ensure that one obtains a passing score, one can take the CBEST section-wise, which is a unique trait of this examination. For example, you can take the Reading Skills test only, and attempt the Writing Skills or Mathematics Skills sections later. This will decrease your study load significantly in comparison to taking the entire test at one go. However, if your preparation is extremely good and you are confident of performing well, you should opt for taking the entire test in one sitting, as this is ideally the way you should be taking this test.


The passing score is defined as the minimum score that one needs to secure in order to obtain a CBEST certification. It is mandatory to obtain scores in the passing range for all subjects. However, by planning carefully and studying well for it, one can easily obtain a score much higher than the passing score.