Can You Use a Calculator on the CBEST?

CBEST Calculator Policy

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) mathematics subtest does not permit any test-taker to use a calculator of any kind. This means that all individuals taking the CBEST mathematics subtest will need to perform calculations themselves.

Alternatives To Using A Calculator

Individuals who have registered to take any CBEST subtest, including the mathematics test, will receive a booklet and pen to use to work out answers during the testing process. Since test-takers are not allowed to have a calculator in the testing area, they must use this booklet to perform calculations manually while working through the test questions.

What Happens if You Bring a Calculator

Any electronic device that's prohibited must be locked up outside the testing area. If a person is found with a calculator or another prohibited device in the testing area it is grounds for their removal from the test.

Prohibited Items

Calculators, calculator watches and other electronic devices, such as cell phones, are not allowed in the testing area. There are no exceptions for CBEST test-takers.

Other prohibited items include hats, food and weapons. A complete list is provided via the CBEST test page on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) exam website.

CBEST Mathematics Subtest Format

The mathematics subtest questions are presented in multiple-choice format and are primarily word problems. There are a total of 50 questions on the mathematics subtest. Individuals can have up to 4 hours to complete this test if they opt to take the mathematics subtest by itself.

CBEST Mathematics Subtest Content

There are three main sections to the mathematics subtest. Each section covers specific mathematical tasks. The first part is designed to assess test-takers' understanding of statistics and their ability to work with estimates and measurements.

The second part of the test focuses on performing calculations. Individuals may need to divide, multiply, add or subtract numbers. The questions may require them to work with various types of numbers, such as whole numbers, percentages and negative numbers.

The final part of the mathematics test focuses on relationships between numeric values. This means the test-taker may need to identify equal quantities or when one value is greater or less than another value. They will also be required to use information presented in graphs and other formats.

Preparing For The CBEST Mathematics Subtest

There are materials accessible online that can be used to get ready for the CBEST mathematics subtest.

Study Guide Courses

Individuals who are preparing to take the CBEST test should consider using reputable study resources such as the practice and study guide courses linked to here. These self-paced study guide courses enable individuals to access dozens of lessons online. They can use their smart phone or computer to work through the material when it is convenient for them.

CTC Exams Website Prep Materials

The CBEST test page on the CTC exam website has a link to preparation materials. The preparation materials page provides access to information about the test content areas for each CBEST subtest. It also enables individuals to access PDF and online practice tests that can be used to prepare for the CBEST subtests. This will help individuals preparing for the mathematics subtest to familiarize themselves with the types of questions they will be asked and prompt them to review their ability to use mathematical data and formulas to solve problems.

The preparation page also provides access to a tutorial about the computer-based testing system so that those who choose to take the test on a computer will be familiar with how computer-based tests work.

Getting Results

Unofficial results for the mathematics subtest are available at the end of the testing period if the individual has taken the test on a computer. Official computer-based test results are provided within a 2-week period following the test date.

Individuals who opt to take a paper-based test will not receive unofficial results on test day. They must wait up to 3 weeks for their test results to be provided.

Need help paying for the CSET/CBEST Exam?

Our CSET/CBEST scholarship could be yours!

Learn more

We help millions of students every month.
Try it free today! No obligation, cancel anytime.