Details About the Writing Section of the CBEST

Everything about CBEST Writing

In order to work as an educator in California, you have to be certified by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) by giving the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This test has been developed to measure the candidate’s potential to work as a teacher, counselor or an administrative professional for any public school in this state.

The examination is designed to assess basic skill sets of candidates and it has three test sections: Reading, Mathematics and Writing. You can visit and read the information mentioned about the subtests. The time duration given to candidates to complete the examination is around 4 hours.

Each test section is designed to assess certain skill sets and they are also scored separately. In this piece of writing, we are going to discuss about the Writing section of the CBEST.

About the CBEST Writing Section:

Both the Reading and Math sections consists of multiple-choice questions but the Writing subtest is different as it contains 2 written assignments. The aim is to assess the effectiveness of your written communication skills. The overall score is calculated on a scale of 60-240 and each test section is scored individually on a scale of 20-80. It should be known that it is mandatory for every candidate to pass in each test section in order to clear this test.

There are two essay topics or assignments that you will come across: the first one will provide you with a situation and will require expressive writing, whereas the second topic will require you to write an expository essay.

In order to pass the test, a candidate must attain a score of 41 or above in this subtest and you also have to obtain a cumulative score of at least 123. This section is calculated by taking the average performance scores of both the essays. Moreover, an overall score ranging from 1-4 is assigned to candidates on the basis of their performance. In general, a score of 4 is given to candidates with exceptionalwriting skills.

Preparation Tips for the Writing Skills Test:

  1. Get Access to Good Study Resources: There are good study resources available in the online and offline markets that can help you prepare for the writing section. You can visit this link and get the resources that you need to help you with this test: 

  2. Avail Practice tests: You can avail free practice tests from the official website ( Moreover, you can also get free online tests from other sources. Another link that you can consider checking is:

  3. Personal Study Plan: It is important that you prepare for the test by undertaking self-study and for this you need to have a good study plan. It can be a convenient yet beneficial practice to read helpful tips on the writing section and understand them. However, in order to score well, you need flawless typing speed, good grammar and flow of constructive ideas.

Conclusively, merely passing this test is not enough, it is mandatory to perform well in all test sections in order to attain a high score. The combined score of the CBEST and that of the writing section will have a huge impact on your teaching career. Thus, it is important that you prepare well for it effectively and efficiently.