CBEST Quick Practice Test

About the Author

Marshall Highet has been writing since she was a wee thing. No longer a wee thing, for the past ten years she’s worked as a professor, a professional writer, and an educational consultant.



Do you want to become a teacher in the state of California? If you do, then you are probably prepping for the CBEST™, the basic skills test that California requires all educators to take.

One of the most effective steps you can take in your preparation is to take 240 Tutoring’s practice tests. These tests will get you ready for the format of the CBEST™, and they will also clearly illuminate the areas that you need to study. So, if you want to know where to point your focus while you’re studying for the CBEST™, take these tests to find out.



(1) If you are a citizen of the United States, you will likely be called to serve on a jury at some point. A jury is a group of ordinary citizens, randomly selected from a list of registered voters and drivers, who listen to a court case and decide which side wins.

(2) The courts officially call this responsibility “jury service,” and it is an opportunity to serve your country. Many agree that it is important for ordinary citizens to be part of the court system because citizens must have a voice in a democracy. Because the government wants citizens to serve, it won’t allow your boss to penalize you if you must miss work for jury service. In addition, the government even pays you for the days you serve.

(3) However, people often call this responsibility “jury duty.” It is something you are required to do and it can present difficulties. Even though you are allowed to be away from your job, you may be responsible for the work you missed. For parents who stay home with young children, there is the complication of needing childcare. Some think that the payment (anywhere from two to 50 dollars per day, depending on the state) is not enough to make jury duty worth the hassle.

(4) Whether citizens view being a juror as an opportunity or an inconvenience, one day you will probably be called to serve. Since it is a crime to avoid serving on a jury, you might as well enjoy learning about the court system.


1. Paragraph 2 of the selection is mainly concerned with which of the following?

    1. defining the word “jury”
    2. presenting the positive aspects of jury service
    3. explaining why the government pays jurors
    4. presenting the negative aspects of jury service

Correct Answer: 2. The author mentions several positive aspects of serving on a jury, including serving your country, being a voice in a democracy, and getting paid for service.


2. Which technique does the author primarily use to organize this reading selection?

    1. cause/effect
    2. advantage/disadvantage
    3. problem/solution
    4. sequential order

Correct Answer: 2. The author describes the positives of jury service in paragraph 2 and the negatives in paragraph 3. Therefore, this is an example of advantage and disadvantage.


3. Which of the following sentences, if added, would best strengthen the argument of paragraph 2?

    1. Jurors may have to make up work that they miss when serving.
    2. It is a crime to avoid serving on a jury.
    3. One day you will probably be called to serve.
    4. Some think being a juror is another way we have a voice in our democracy.

Correct Answer: 4. This is a positive aspect of being a juror, which is the focus of paragraph 2.


4. Which of the following best states the main idea of paragraph 3 of the selection?

    1. the necessity of raising juror pay
    2. the struggle for jurors who have children
    3. the positive aspects of jury duty
    4. the negative aspects of jury duty

Correct Answer: 4. The author mentions several negative aspects of serving on a jury, including making up work missed, securing childcare, and low pay for service.


5. According to the information presented in the selection, it is reasonable to infer that the phrases “jury service” and “jury duty” serve to:

    1. present contrasting aspects of the jury experience.
    2. present positive aspects of the jury experience.
    3. present negative aspects of the jury experience.
    4. present the reasons why jury service is inevitable.

Correct Answer: 1. The term “jury service” implies that the experience is positive, while the term “jury duty” implies that the experience is negative. When the two are paired, the author creates a contrast between the two.

The following is an excerpt written about World War I by Vernon Bartlett:

(1) Those at home in England, with their experience of war books and photographs, of Zeppelin raids and crowded hospitals, are beginning to imagine they know all there is to know about war. The truth is that they still have but little idea of the life in the trenches, and, as far as mud is concerned, they are delightfully ignorant. They do not know what mud is.

(2) They have read of Napoleon’s “Fourth Element,” they have listened to long descriptions of mud in Flanders and France, they have raised incredulous eyebrows at tales of men being drowned in the trenches, they have given a fleeting thought of pity for the soldiers “out there” as they have slushed home through the streets on rainy nights; but they have never realised what mud means, for no photograph can tell its slimy depth, and even the pen of a Zola or a Victor Hugo could give no adequate idea of it.

(3) It is the infantryman who suffers most, for he has to live, eat, sleep, and work in the mud. The plain of dragging slime that stretches from Switzerland to the sea is far worse to face than the fire of machine guns or the great black trench-mortar bombs that come twisting down through the air. It is more terrible than the frost and the rain — you cannot even stamp your feet to drive away the insidious chill that mud always brings. Nothing can keep it from your hands and face and clothes; there is no taking off your boots to dry in the trenches — you must lie down just as you are, and often you are lucky if you have two empty sandbags under you to save you from the cold embrace of the swamp.


6. Is the information in this passage fact or opinion?

    1. The information is all fact, as the passage describes conditions in WWI.
    2. The information is mostly opinion, as the author relates his opinion on what “those at home” think of life at the front.
    3. The information is all opinion, as the passage describes the conditions he personally saw in WWI.
    4. The information is mostly fact, as the author describes the mud on the Western Front.

Correct Answer: 2. The author is relating his own ideas about what “those at home” think of life on the front.


7. While making the point that those who never served in WWI could not truly know the horrors of the front, the author assumes that:

    1. readers have a solid grasp of the conditions of trenches and mud on the front.
    2. readers know the major generals of the war.
    3. readers have handled weapons before and can identify the different kinds.
    4. readers understand the parameters of the Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war.

Correct Answer: 1. The author makes references to the trenches without explaining them, so the assumption is that the readers know what trenches are.


8. What is the organization of the paragraphs in this passage?

    1. The first paragraph describes what “those at home” think they know about conditions at the front, the second describes how they learned about the conditions, and the third describes how horrible the conditions actually are.
    2. The first paragraph describes the way the soldiers got to the front, the second describes the uses of the different weapons, and the third describes the effects of the different weapons on infantry.
    3. The first paragraph describes “those at home” and the homes they live in, the second describes the uses of the different weapons, and the third describes the effects of the different weapons on infantry.
    4. The first paragraph describes what resources “those at home” are reading, the second describes the feelings of the soldiers on the front, and the third describes the assumptions of “those at home.”

Correct Answer: 1. This is the correct organization for this passage.


9. How is the organization of this passage effective in delivering the author’s message?

    1. The organization is effective because the author does not alienate “those at home,” but outlines what they do know and the sympathy they feel for the soldiers first, creating pathos.
    2. The organization is effective because the author outlines the fates of the men at the front first, especially those affected by gas attacks.
    3. The organization is ineffective because it alienates “those at home” by referring to them as stupid and unsympathetic towards the soldiers.
    4. The organization is ineffective because it outlines the battle tactics across the whole front in each paragraph.

Correct Answer: 1. The first paragraph tells the reader what “those at home” think they know, but in the following paragraphs outlines how much grimmer reality is for the soldiers.


10. What attitude does the author hold towards “[t]hose at home in England”?

  1. The author thinks those at home are too sympathetic toward the soldiers at the front.
  2. The author thinks those at home are too harsh in their judgment of conditions on the front.
  3. The author thinks those at home will never have any idea how terrible conditions are at the front, as they have never experienced it firsthand
  4. The author thinks those at home are right and that the war should end as soon as possible.

Correct Answer: 3. The author’s attitude shows that he does not think those at home know what it is like to be at the front. One example of this is when he says “The truth is that they still have but little idea of the life in the trenches.”



1. For any point on the line, if x represents centuries, then y could equal the equivalent number of _____________?

    1. decades
    2. years
    3. months
    4. weeks

Correct Answer: 1. The y-values on the line are 10 times the x-values. A decade is 10 years and 10 x 10 = 100 years, which is a century.


2. A doctor prescribed a 250 mg capsule of a common antibiotic for strep throat. The pharmacist had only 1 gram of the antibiotic in stock. How many capsules of medicine can the patient get from the pharmacist?

    1. 4
    2. 25
    3. 40
    4. 0

Correct Answer: 1. The pharmacist has 1000 mg (since 1 gram = 1000 milligrams). Since each capsule needs 250 mg, proportional reasoning can be used: (1 cap / 250 mg) = (x cap / 1000mg)


3. In an omelet made of only cheese and eggs, the ratio of ounces of cheese to omelette is 2 to 7. How many ounces of egg are needed to make the jumbo 21-ounce omelet?

    1. 15 ounces
    2. 6 ounces
    3. 21 ounces
    4. 12 ounces

Correct Answer: 1. In every 7 ounces, 2 ounces are cheese and 5 ounces are egg. Multiply by 3 for the jumbo omelet to find that 15 ounces of egg are needed.


4. When Joshua moved into a new apartment, his monthly rent decreased from 35% of his budget to 30%. If his total budget is $3,200 monthly, how much will he save on rent annually?

    1. $1,920
    2. $160
    3. $960
    4. $1,120

Correct Answer: 1. Joshua will save 5% of $3200 each month, which is $160. To determine his annual savings, multiply by 12: 160 x 12 = 1920


5. Which statement correctly describes information about the following set of data?

{8, 10, 12, 14, 14, 26}

    1. The mean is greater than the median.
    2. The mean and the median are equal.
    3. The median is greater than the mode.
    4. The mean is less than the mode.

Correct Answer: 1. The mean is the average of the six values (8 + 10 + 12 + 14 + 14 + 26) ÷ 6 = 14

The median is the average of the two center values (12 + 14) ÷ 2 = 13


6. John made a circular garden in his backyard. The garden has a diameter of 20 feet. He used 1/3 of the garden for tomatoes, his favorite vegetable. He enclosed the entire garden with a picket fence that was 12 inches high. Which of the following questions could NOT be answered with the information provided?

    1. How many feet of fence does John need?
    2. What is the area of John’s garden?
    3. What is the volume of the dirt in the garden?
    4. What is the area of the tomato patch?

Correct Answer: 3. Only this question cannot be answered with the information given because we do not know the depth of the soil to be planted.


7. Student council members are selling valentine cards as a fundraiser. They make $0.50 for each card they sell and want to sell 750 total. The graph shows the number of cards that have been sold thus far by each grade. How many more must be sold overall to meet their goal?

    1. 200 cards
    2. 210 cards
    3. 265 cards
    4. 550 cards

Correct Answer: 1. They have sold 550 cards and must sell 200 more to meet the goal of 750 cards. (Note that the profit per card is extra information)

To find the total sold so far (550): There are 6 hearts on the top row, which equals 120 cards sold. There are 12 hearts in the second row, which equals 240 cards sold. There are 9 ½ hearts in the third row, which equals 190 cards sold. All together they have sold 550 cards.


8. Five cards are randomly chosen without replacing any from an ordinary deck of 26 black and 26 red cards. What expression shows the probability that all five cards are red?

Correct Answer: 1. A full deck has 52 cards, 26 of which are red. The chance of drawing a red is (26/52) = 1/2. Without replacement, the next choice has a possibility of 25 red out of 51 cards or (25/51). As cards continue to be drawn, the probabilities become (24/50), (23/49), and (22/48). The probability of selecting 5 red cards in a row from a full deck is the product of these individual probabilities.


9. A circle is divided into 5 sections and 4 of them are labeled with the fraction of the circle they represent.

What fraction of the total area is the shaded portion?

    1. 1/12
    2. 1/5
    3. 1/6
    4. 1/8

Correct Answer: 1. The entire circle can be assumed to have an area of 1. Using the principle of the least common denominator, the area represented by fractions equals: (⅕) + (¼) + (3/10) +(⅙) = (12/60) + (15/60) + (18/60) + (10/60) = (55/60).

This can be reduced to 11/12, which means the remaining fraction represents 1/12.


10. Which of the following sets of numbers and number representations is in the correct order from least to greatest?

    1. √2, (13/7), π, (-3.1)²
    2. (-3.1)², (13/7), √2, π
    3. π, √2, (-3.1)², (13/7)
    4. (13/7), π, (-3.1)², √2

Correct Answer: 1. Make sure to convert all of the numbers to one format, such as decimals. The order from least to greatest is: 

√2 = 1.414…; (13/7) = 1.857…; π = 3.14…; (-3.1)² = 9.61


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