Tips To Prepare for the CBEST Properly

7 Tips for CBEST Prep

The CBEST stands for California Basic Education Skills Test. As its name suggests, it tests candidates who aspire to become teachers within the Californian education system. This test is composed of three sections that test the three skills that are essential for a teacher: Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The test can be given in paper-based as well as computer-based format. The official website for this test is This article enlists the seven useful pointers that will help you remain focused on your preparation.

Tip 1: Take a Diagnostic Test

This is the point where you should ideally start your preparation for the CBEST. The diagnostic test is the first full-length test that you give, without any prior preparation. There are two purposes solved by giving this diagnostic test. Firstly, you become well-versed with the format and question types that are part of the test. Secondly, you are able to ascertain the current level of preparation that you have. The gap between your diagnostic test score and your target score will determine the amount of hard work and the amount of time that you will have to put in your preparations for the test.

Tip 2: Analyze your Strengths and Weaknesses

After you have given the diagnostic test, the one important step you must not miss is the analysis of your score and test. You should sit down and patiently go through each question you attempted incorrect. If you follow this approach, at the end of your analysis, you will be able to identify the areas in which you are already strong and the areas where you need a lot of practice. You may be very weak in a certain section; however, you will not come to know of it unless you give a test and analyze your mistakes. 

Tip 3: Clarify your Fundamental Concepts

After a thorough analysis of your test scores, you need to focus on your weak areas. If Mathematics is your weakness, then identify some topics and seek the help of a teacher, some books or the internet to strengthen your fundamentals. Similarly, if Reading is your weakness, then increase the amount of reading you typically do in a week. You should try to read from various fields so that you get into the habit of reading about topics that have not interested you so far. This is one of the most important piece of information that you need to apply as soon as possible.

Tip 4: Test Yourself Rigorously

Merely studying is not enough. You need to test yourself regularly. First test yourself at one concept; then start testing yourself for each section separately. Compare your fresh scores with your previous scores. This will give you a fair idea of how much you have already improved and how much more you need to improve further.

Tip 5: Give Full-Length Practice Tests

As you approach the end of your preparation, it is time for you to give full-length practice tests. You can take a practice test at the official website mentioned above. There are many study guides that you can buy. For example, The Princeton Review’s Crack the CBEST, Kaplan’s CBEST etc. Each of these study guides has a few practice tests at the end. This is a crucial step that will help you towards the end of your preparation.

Tip 6: Improve your Writing Skills

This tip applies only to the Writing section; nevertheless, it is very important as the scores in this section contribute largely to your overall CBEST scores. The other two sections, Reading and Mathematics, will involve multiple-choice questions; however, the Writing section involves topics for two essays that you have to write. In order to improve your score in this section, you need to work on your writing skills from the beginning. It is recommended that you write essays and get them evaluated by a teacher or a mentor who can guide you.

Tip 7: Revise Before the Test

The last step is applicable for the day just before the exam. It is at this time that you need to revise all the concepts you have done in Mathematics and Reading sections. Also go through some important tips for improving your essays.

In conclusion, it can be said that following the above mentioned strategy will definitely bring a positive outcome. Your preparation will become more stream-lined and hence, more effective.