5 Important Things about CBEST
The CBEST tests are assessments of basic skills in Math, Reading and Writing and have been instituted due to certain legislative requirements for entry-level teachers in California. Though these tests do not substitute or replace the content and professional knowledge assessments that are currently carried out in the state of California, they are required for the purposes of employment and credentialing of teachers in that state. In this article, we will go over the main features of the CBEST tests.
The Main Aspects of the CBEST Tests
The main features of the CBEST tests are delineated as follows:
The CBEST tests are a set of 3 sub-tests; namely, Math, Reading and Writing. The syllabus and skills assessed in each of these sub-tests are listed as follows:
- Reading - The basic skills required to comprehend Standard English passages and graphical representations, such as tables and graphs are tested in this test section. The skills tested here include a candidate's ability to analyze, comprehend, evaluate and research the reading materials presented to him or her.
- Writing - This test assesses a candidate's ability to write coherently and logically about a given situation and about a personal experience. It also tests the development and presentation of ideas through the articles, along with the candidate's ability to follow standard writing conventions in American English. The candidates are not required to exhibit any external or specialized knowledge in this test.
- Math - A candidate's knowledge of basic mathematical operations, algebraic equations, problem solving techniques, estimation techniques, numerical relationships, data representations etc. are assessed in this test.
The CBEST tests are available in both paper-based (PBT) and computer-based (CBT) formats. The PBT tests are only available on certain testing dates in designated Pearson centers in California. However, CAT tests are available throughout the year in Pearson CAT centers in California and other out-of-state centers.
The total duration of the test is about 4 hours. The writing section of the test is given about 1 hour, with 30 minutes for each essay topic. The remaining time is allotted for the Math and Reading sub-tests. The sub-CBEST tests may be taken in any order.
The number and type of questions in each CBEST test are listed as follows:
- Writing- There are 2 Writing assignments in this test. One of these assignments provides a statement or scenario, wherein the candidates may be required to analyze that situation and argue for a particular position. The second assignment is to write about a personal experience.
- Reading- This test consists of 50 multiple choice questions on a selection of passages and graphs or tables. About 40% of the questions will test the analysis and evaluation skills of the candidates, while the remaining 60% of the questions are based on their abilities to comprehend and research the presented information.
- Math- There are about 50 multiple choice questions in this test. These questions are divided into the component skill-areas as follows: 30% on measurements, statistics and estimations, 35% on problem solving and the remaining 35% on graphical and numerical representations.
A total score of the CBEST tests is computed by scoring the individual test sections in the range of 20-80 and then summing up their scores to arrive at a total scaled-score. In the Writing test, each essay is scored individually and the individual scores are converted into a final scaled Writing score. The minimum passing score for each test section is set at 41 and the total CBEST passing score is 123. However, even if you receive a scaled score of 37 in one or two sections of the test, but you have achieved a total passing score of 123, then it is still possible to pass the CBEST test. The official score report will be available on the CBEST website on the score reporting date. Also, score reports will be emailed to the candidates, if requested during the registration process.
The CBEST tests may also include a few questions that are un-scored. However, there are no exact details available on how many questions will be scored and how many will not be. Hence, it is recommended that candidates answer all the test questions with equal effort.
In conclusion, the CBEST tests have been constituted in accordance with certain laws in the state of California. These tests are not designed to assess the teaching capabilities of educators in California. However, they are designed to evaluate the basic knowledge and skills of teachers looking for employment and teaching credentials in California.
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