- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 53
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate: Yes
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1How to Proofread an Essay for Spelling and Grammar
Course SummaryWhen preparing for the writing portion of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) exam, use our study guide course to help you develop your confidence. Our short video lessons outline the topics you'll find on the test and make learning easy and enjoyable.
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About This Course
The purpose of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) exam is to make sure that educators have basic math, reading and writing skills; it does not measure their ability to teach those concepts and skills to others. The exam is available in a computer-based or paper-based format; you must make an appointment or register in advance. The math and reading sections include 50 multiple-choice questions each; the writing portion requires two essays. You can take one, two or all three sections in one sitting, with a maximum of four hours allotted for each section or the entire exam. In preparation for the CBEST, the following study guide can help you acquire the information and practice you need to:
- Identify the characteristics of quality writing
- Understand the parts and functions of speech
- Follow the rules of punctuation
- Develop a thesis statement
- Organize and write a 5-paragraph, timed essay
- Write parallel and transitional sentences
- Avoid logical fallacies
- Proofread an essay for grammar and spelling
In preparation for the writing portion of the CBEST exam, you'll need a solid understanding of nouns, pronouns, verbs and other parts of grammar, as well as the use of the comma and other forms of punctuation. As both essays are timed, the ability to quickly develop a thesis statement and construct an appeal or an argument will be key. In organizing and structuring the essay, you'll want to make use of strong transitional sentences and well-chosen words. When proofreading the essay, make sure that you've avoided any errors related to dangling modifiers, faulty collective ownership, logical fallacies or subject-verb agreement.
Preparing and Registering for the CBEST Writing Exam
This study guide is designed to provide you with a step-by-step approach to the writing section of the CBEST exam. Video lessons and transcripts can serve as a refresher to what you already learned in college or take the anxiety out of an unfamiliar topic. Individual, bite-sized lessons review the basic writing conventions used in English, how to develop ideas and how to focus your writing; clarity in writing will also be covered. At the end of each lesson, you can use the online quizzes to test your own knowledge of the material.
Computer-based tests are offered Monday through Saturday throughout the year, with the exception of some holidays; seating is limited, and appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Paper-based testing takes place approximately six times a year; advanced registration is required. Test areas and centers are available throughout the state, and computer-based exams can also be taken at test centers across the nation. Both computer-based and paper tests require a registration fee; if you're registering for the computer-based exam, you'll also have to pay a service fee.
Scoring the Exam
In general, you'll have your computer-based test results within two weeks. Paper-based scores take approximately three weeks. You'll need a cumulative score of 123 on the math, reading and writing sections to pass; a scaled score for the writing section must be at least 41. If you score below 37 on any portion of the exam, you will not pass the CBEST.
On the writing portion of the CBEST exam, you'll be asked to respond to two essay prompts, both of which are designed to evaluate how well you can write within a given period of time. The first prompt will ask you to evaluate the credibility of a statement or a particular situation. In the second prompt, you'll have the chance to write about a unique personal experience. Neither topic requires any advanced, specialized knowledge.
To demonstrate your effectiveness as a writer, you should have a comprehensive understanding of writing conventions and the power of the active voice. You should also know how to work with complex parts of grammar and speech. Our video lessons can help you review these concepts before you take the exam.
Familiarity and practice with the focused writing process and the ability to reach out to your audience and maintain your train of thought are essential. Videos on basic essay structure, methods for organizing an essay and writing a good essay in a short amount of time are useful for helping you get comfortable with the writing process. Lessons that show you how word choices and language affect the tone of your essay and offer a review of useful proofreading skills can also help you succeed on the writing 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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