Details of the CBEST Writing Test

Tips for Scoring High in CBEST Writing Test

If you desire to work in the state of California as an educator, you have to be certified by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) through the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This is a certification test designed to ensure that every candidate working as a teacher, counselor or an administrative professional for any public school of California is capable and qualified.

CBEST is a basic skill set exam with three test sections: Reading, Mathematics and Writing Skills. You can visit this site and get more information about all the portions covered in all the test sections. The overall time duration given to candidates to complete the full exam is around 4 hours. Since each section is designed to assess certain competencies, they are scored individually.

About the Writing Section:

Many candidates get overwhelmed while preparing for the writing portion of the CBEST. However, since this section contributes to one-third of this test, it is important to get a good score in it. Unlike the other two sectionswith multiple-choice questions, you will find that there are two written assignments here.

Written communication skill is very important for a teacher to possess and the writing test will assess this ability of the candidates. It should be known that each test section is scored on a scale of 20-80. Hence, the overall test score is calculated on a scale of 60-240. It is mandatory for every candidate to pass each section in order to clear this test.

The passing criteria for the CBESTstates that:

  1. The candidate must attain a score of 41 or above in every test section.

  2. The candidate has to attain a cumulative CBEST score of 123 or above.

If you look at the testing structure of this examination, you will find that the writing section has two essay topics. One requires the candidate to demonstrate expressive writing, while the other will require him/her to write an expository essay.

Preparation Tips for the Writing Test:

  1. Utilize Good Study Resources: It is important for you to utilize good quality study material available online and offline to prepare for this part of the exam. You can visit this link and avail specific study guides to help you wit your test preparation.

  2. Get Access to CBEST Practice tests: You can avail free practice tests from the official CBEST website ( Moreover, you can also avail free online tests from other sources. 

  3. Enhance Written Skills: Since the Writing section requires you to demonstrate certain skills, you are required to express your ideas through polished words so that your essay will have continuity and depth. Hence, you will have to learn to enhance your written skills by enriching your vocabulary and learning proper sentence constructions that compliments each other.

  4. Read, Read and Read: If you are not an avid reader, then this might be tough to do. However, the best way to prepare for writing assignments is to read as much as possible. This section is not designed for complex writing; rather, it is included to assess how clearly you can communicate your ideas and thoughts in Standard English. Thus, it is suggested that you spend fair amount of time on reading articles, journals, newspapers etc. and observe the construction of the write-ups that you come across.

  5. Focus on Practise: It is essential that you practice writing essays in your personal study time. You would have to develop a good typing speed when it comes to solving this section andby writing essays at home, you will be able to achieve this goal.

It is important for you to understand that the flair for writing cannot be developed overnight. Perfecting written communication skills requires a lot of  resources, time and effort. Moreover, these skills are required for you to progress in your career line. Thus, it is important that you develop and demonstrate excellent communication skills in order to score high in the CBEST Writing Skills section. 

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