Policy for Retaking the CBEST
The CBEST is comprised of three subtests used to evaluate your reading, writing and mathematics skills. You may retake any or all of these subtests as many times as you need in order to earn a passing score. The only restriction applied is a waiting period after your most recent attempt - 45 days must pass before you can sit for any retakes. If you initially registered to take all three subtests at the same time and need to retake only one or two of those subtests, you are still required to wait 45 days.
Determining If You Need to Retake a Subtest
The score required to pass the CBEST is 123. This is the combined total of your scores on all three subtests. Although the standard subtest passing score is 41, it is possible for you to score as low as 37 on one or two subtests and still earn an overall passing test score. In order to do this, you must earn a higher score on the remaining subtest(s) to compensate for the points; as long as no subtest score is below 37 and you have a total combined score of 123, you will pass the CBEST.
Since the total score of all three subtests is key, it is important to keep that in mind when deciding if you need to retake a subtest. For example, if you earned a score of 37 on your math subtest, a score of 48 on your reading subtest and a score of 37 on your writing subtest, then you would only need one more point to earn a passing score. In this case, you could redo any of the subtests. It would be best to pick the subject in which you felt you could most likely improve your score.
In another case, say you earned a score of 43 on the writing subtest but only earned scores of 37 on reading and 33 on mathematics. You would need to carefully consider your options. You could attempt to retake the mathematics subtest in addition to the reading and/or writing subtests if you believe you will not earn a high enough score in math to total 123 points.
Arranging to Retake the Test or a Subtest
If you need to retake one or more CBEST subtests, you must log on to your account on the CTC exams website and go through the online registration process. You are required to pay the test fees. Once you have done this, you can use the apps on the Pearson VUE site to find test sites near you and available test times. You must then log back on to your CTC exams account and schedule a test time and location.
Preparing to Retake a Test or Subtest
Before retaking a subtest or the entire CBEST test, consider using these resources and strategies to improve your test scores.
CBEST Test Resources
The CBEST Test Prep: Practice & Study Guide Course contains over 130 lessons designed to cover the reading, writing and mathematics information that is on the CBEST subtests. You can work through the lessons at your own pace. It is also an option to access study courses tailored to each specific subtest, such as the ones listed here:
- CBEST Writing: Practice & Study Guide Course
- CBEST Reading: Practice & Study Guide Course
- CBEST Math: Practice & Study Guide Course
Additionally, the CTC exams website provides practice tests for each subtest, complete with answer keys for the multiple-choice questions and sample essays for the constructed-response prompts.
These resources could be used to address any of the areas you had difficulty with on your previous test attempt while also allowing you to practice the following test-taking strategies.
- Guessing: The multiple-choice questions on the reading and math subtests are scored as right or wrong. You will receive points for questions you answered correctly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers. This means that it is better to guess than to leave a question unanswered, since it will give you a chance of getting the question right.
- Read Carefully: Take your time and make sure you know what a question is asking you. This will help you avoid giving a wrong answer because you didn't process what the question was really asking.