CBEST Test Preparation

It is essential that every educator possesses competent reading, writing and mathematical skills in order to be efficient in his profession. Your preparation for taking the CBEST needs to concentrate on sharpening these skills as they will be put to test by the test authorities. It is imperative to remember that the exam is not a test of your abilities in teaching these skills. Hence, your preparation for taking the test should be planned accordingly.

Planning your CBEST Preparation

Your preparation for taking the test should be such that you finetune the skills that are being tested so that you are able to demonstrate them in the best possible manner while answering the questions. It is essential for you to grasp the essence of each subject area and skill being assessed. This will prove to be very useful in doing well in the test as you will be well prepared to tackle the questions that will be presented to you. You will need the following resources for preparing for CBEST:

  • Information on the CBEST Test Format

It is absolutely essential for you to be aware of the CBEST test format before commencing your CBEST prep. You will not be able to work out your preparation plan if you are not aware of the types of questions that will be asked and the manner in which you are expected to answer them. You should also be aware of the passing standards so that you can set an aim for yourself.

Do not rely on information given by your peers or random websites on the internet for updating your knowledge about what will be tested by CBEST. Such sources will be able to give an overview of the three test sections of CBEST: Reading, Mathematics and Writing test sections. However, they might not have the updated information on the latest CBEST test format. Therefore, make sure that you visit the most authentic source of information for the format, which is the official website of CBEST at http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/index.asp. You will find the following updated information related to the structure at the official website:

    1. Details of the individual test sections including the skill areas being assessed
    2. The scoring pattern for CBEST
    3. Information on interpretation of CBEST scores
    4. Conduct of CBEST and test site rules
    5. CBEST test specifications
  • Information on Test Dates, Test Centres and Registration Policies

The most important part of preparing for any test is to plan the time that you have in hand. For this it is very important to work out beforehand which date you should schedule your test on. This date can be arrived at by checking the official website for the available test dates and the registration deadlines. This will give you a fair idea of the time you have at hand for studying for the test. Work out a study schedule that allocates more time for reviewing the subject areas in which you need considerable improvement. Reviewing the test content alone is not sufficient for passing the CBEST. Make sure that you have set aside time for practice in solving problems specific to the test format.

Go through the policies for registration and retest from the official website. This will help you in understanding the implications of failing the CBEST and the time that will be wasted if you have to take a retest.

  • Study Materials

Your preparation for taking the test will be grossly inadequate without the support of good quality study materials. You can use a variety of study materials like  study guides, sets of practice tests, flashcards etc. for your studies. These study materials are easily available on the internet as well as in most bookstores. Look for study guides that come with practice problems and their solutions. Solving such problems and analysing your answers will help you immensely in sharpening the skills that will be put to test by CBEST. It is a well known fact that repetitive reference is the best way to learn difficult facts and figures. Hence, flashcards will come in very handy for memorizing the basic concepts of mathematics and English grammar.

The CBEST Computer-Administered Practice Test is available at the official website. This is an interactive computerized program containing practice tests for each of the sections. You will be provided with instructions on how to use the program for practice in solving problems based on the CBEST test format.

  • Expert Guidance

If you have not been able to clear the test in the first attempt or if you feel that you will not be able to pass the test by studying on your own, then you will need expert guidance and advice on how to prepare for the test. This is possible by attending preparation workshops or classes. You can also get in touch with others who have successfully passed the exam to learn the tips and strategies for doing well. Search the internet for prep classes being conducted in your neighbourhood and make the best use of such assistance for preparing for CBEST.

Preparing for the Reading Test Section

The Reading test section will evaluate your skills in critically analyzing given information and drawing concrete inferences from what you have comprehended. You will be presented with short reading passages. The questions that follow these passages will be based on the information provided therein. You will not need any additional information for answering the questions. Hence, there is a need to have the ability to clearly understand the content of the passages that have been provided to you. You should practice how to read such passages. You must practice reading in such a way that you are able to grasp the main issue that is being discussed. Analyze the arguments that are being dealt with by the author. This will prepare you for tacking the questions of the reading test section in the best possible manner.

Preparing for the Mathematics Test Section

The Mathematics test section is a test of your skills in solving problems related to the basic concepts of mathematics like estimation, measurement and computation. You will also be tested for your abilities to understand graphs. The questions asked will be in word format and they will require you to carry out mathematical operations. Therefore, you will have to read through the questions and understand the problem before attempting to calculate the answer. Ensure that you spend an adequate amount of time during your prep in learning the important formulae. Solve as many practice problems as you can. This will help in familiarizing you with the types of questions that will be encountered and you will be in a better position to answer them correctly.

Preparing for the Writing Test Section

The Writing test section is an assessment of your abilities to effectively write with conviction and clarity while avoiding grammatical and structural errors. You will be evaluated for your abilities to express your ideas and thoughts in a lucid and focussed manner. Prepare for this test section by practicing writing essays on sample topics. Train yourself to read the given topic carefully and understand what is expected of you. You can chalk out a rough plan of how to write the essay by jotting down the main points and later frame the essay around these points. Practice writing in a manner that maintains a logical flow of information. This is essential for exhibiting good writing skills. Make sure that you are well versed with the rules of English grammar so that you do not make any mistakes in sentence structure, usage and mechanics.

Give your Best Shot!

Your CBEST scores hold good for life. In other words, you need not take the test ever again once you have passed it. There is no validity period for the scores. Therefore, give it your best shot when you take the attempt for the first time. Put in maximum effort in the right direction and you will head towards success!