Course SummaryPrepare for the math portion of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) exam with our engaging practice course. Our video lessons cover all the topics you'd expect to find on the test, while our self-assessment quizzes allow you to practice your skills ahead of test day.
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About This Course
The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) exam is an employment and licensing tool used to evaluate an educator's basic understanding of math, reading and writing; however, it does not test his or her qualifications to teach the subjects. Available in both computer-based and print form, it consists of multiple-choice math and reading sections with 50 questions each; the writing portion includes two timed essays. Each section of the test can also be taken individually; you have four hours to complete either one part or the entire exam. To prepare for the math portion, you can use this study guide to review topics related to:
- Basic arithmetic and operations
- Basic algebraic equations and expressions
- Graphing and graphical relationships
- Numerical relationships
- Problem solving
Once you've completed the study guide, you should be able to answer simple arithmetic questions related to decimals, fractions and percents. You should also understand the associative, commutative and distributive properties found in algebra and know how to solve linear equations. Questions about numerical relationships may cover such topics as conditional statements, equivalent inequalities and logical math connectors. More complex questions will test your knowledge of 2-way tables, histograms, quantitative data and statistical analysis.
Preparing and Registering for the CBEST Math Exam
Before you make an appointment for the computer-based exam or register for the paper-based test, use the lessons in this study guide to review what you may have already learned about algebra, graphs and numbers or find information about new mathematical operations. Each easy-to-follow video lesson is taught by an experienced instructor who provides you with a step-by-step approach to a single math concept or function. Online self-assessments at the end of each chapter can show you what equations and formulas you need to review. As you progress through the course, you'll have the chance to convert between decimals and fractions, explore the different types of numbers or simplify algebraic equations, among other test-oriented activities.
Appointments for the computer-based CBEST are available on a first-come, first-served basis, Monday-Saturday throughout the year. Paper-based testing takes place approximately six times a year. You can find test areas throughout California and test centers in California and nationwide. Both tests require an up-front registration fee; computer-based exams come with an additional service fee.
Scoring the Exam
You can get the results of your computer-based CBEST test in two weeks; paper-based test scores are released within three weeks. You'll need a cumulative score of at least 123 to pass the entire exam and a minimum of 41 on the individual math, reading and writing sections. Test-takers who score between 37 and 41 on an individual section and have an overall score that exceeds 123 will also pass. If you score below 37 on the math, reading or writing section, you will not pass the CBEST.
The majority of the 50 multiple-choice math questions are word problems; you will not be able to use a calculator during the test. Roughly 30% of the questions cover topics related to estimating, measuring and statistics. About 35% will test your computational and problem-solving abilities. The remaining 35% have to do with graphical and numerical and relationships.
In particular, you may be asked to transition between decimals and percents or solve a real-life math problem with percents. Algebra questions might require combining like terms in an expression or working with negative signs. Identifying mathematical facts and finding alternative solutions are key to doing well on the exam. You can also expect questions about bar graphs, pie charts, logical equivalence and numerical data on the math section of the CBEST exam.
CBEST is a registered trademark of Pearson Education, Inc., which is not affiliated with Study.com.
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