How to Study for the CBEST


Understand What the CBEST Covers

California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) uses the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) to determine if teacher certification applicants have sufficient reading, writing, and mathematics skills to be effective educators.

The CTC exams website outlines general test information and provides preparation resources for each certification test used by the state of California, including the CBEST. The information provided can give you an understanding of test specifications as well as the content areas questions focus on for each of the 3 subtests.

Mathematics Subtest

The questions on the mathematics subtest are presented in multiple-choice format. There is a total of 50 questions on this subtest. You will need to be able to perform calculations, demonstrate you understand how to estimate and measure, and show you know how to round numbers and identify relationships between numbers.

Reading Subtest

Like the mathematics subtest, the reading subtest is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions. You will be evaluated on your ability to evaluate written information and effectively use written information for research.

Writing Subtest

There are only 2 constructed-response assignments on the writing subtest. One assignment involves assessing information provided and writing a response based on a prompt. The other writing assignment involves writing about an experience you have had. This test measures your ability to present information in a clear and logical fashion; you do not need specific knowledge about teaching philosophies, strategies, or subjects in order to pass this test.

Use Reputable Resources

Once you have a clear understanding of what the CBEST covers and the types of questions you will be asked, you are ready to begin reviewing the information you will be tested on. Accessing study materials designed to help individuals prepare for the CBEST is a good way to make sure that you have covered all the required information for your tests.

CBEST Study Guide Courses

With 131 lessons covering content on all 3 subtests, the CBEST Test Prep: Practice & Study Guide provides you with a good overview of the material on the CBEST exam.

You can also opt to use the 56 lessons in the CBEST Writing: Practice & Study Guide to prepare for that subtest.

The CBEST Reading: Practice & Study Guide has 24 lessons covering material on the reading subtest, and there are 56 lessons offered in the CBEST Math: Practice & Study Guide.

Practice Tests

The CBEST preparation materials page on the CTC exams website has practice tests for each of the 3 subtests. You can use these practice tests to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will be asked and determine how well you know the material you will be tested on.

Employ Good Study Habits

It isn't enough to know what topics are covered on a test or to register for a study course. You must use effective study strategies to succeed when taking the CBEST exam.

Schedule Regular Test Time

It is important to make sure you have enough time to review all of the material for your CBEST exam. Take out your calendar and pencil time in. If you do not have enough time to thoroughly review the material, then you will not be ready on test day.

Work with Study Partners

Being accountable to others can help test-takers stay motivated. Working with a study group or a study partner can be an effective way of making sure that you continue to regularly study the material that you need to cover before test day.

Use Spelling and Grammar Check Materials

There are free apps online that allow you to check your spelling and grammar. These apps are also part of Word and other similar programs. Using spelling and grammar checks is one way to identify common spelling or mechanical errors in your writing. This can help you strengthen your writing skills as you prepare for the writing subtest.

Continue reading: What to Bring to the CBEST

There are a number of tests that are part of the CSET test family. This article looks at different resources that can be used to study for CSET tests as well as useful test prep information.

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