The CBEST Test has sections on reading and math, along with essays. Reading and math sections are multiple choice. Many people have trouble taking exams, especially multiple choice. This guide will explain various techniques for taking the test.
Do the part of the test that is your strongest skill first. This will help you get a passing score on at least one part. That way, if you run out of time, it will not be during a part you could have passed.
Multiple choice questions sometimes will have "attractive" answers first. Beware of these and look carefully at all answers.
Guess! There is nothing wrong with guessing. A question left blank is marked wrong. If you guess, you have a 20% chance, 1 in 5, of getting the right answer.
Use the whole test book for notes, scratch paper, etc. However, do not use the pages specifically for the essay part for anything else other than a finished essay. (Unless, of course, you are taking the writing part.)
Be sure and mark your answer sheet correctly and with no stray marks. Two answers to the same question will void your answer and be marked wrong.
Circle the answer in your test book, then mark you answer sheet. Double check for correctness before going on to the next question. It will be difficult to check all answers at the end.
Finish one section completely before moving to another. You may not have the time or patience to return to it.
Take only one part during the session. This will give you the full time to devote to one section. Use this method sparingly. But consider that if you pass two sections, you will indeed have the full time for the one remaining part next time. So at second glance, this strategy can be helpful.
Take the writing part first. The essay section is the only section that you cannot guess on. If you finish one essay and do not have enough time to finish the second, then you have assured yourself of a failing score on the writing. However, finishing one essay is also helpful. You will get a detail of deficiencies with your score. This will help you identify a weakness.
If you have failed one or more sections in the past, forget it! Be comforted in the fact that many people have failed numerous times. This does not make you a bad person or bad teacher.
The CBEST Test is a game. Play by their rules, and you have a better chance at winning.
Distance yourself from personal feelings. Don't refer to some questions as stupid, idiotic, useless, etc. It will only distract you from answering them.
Walk into the test with a positive attitude.
Be fully prepared. This does not mean you need to know everything. If you are taking the test for the first time, you should have looked at dozens of sample questions and topics to get a feel for the test.
Don't panic during the test. Some things you just won't know. Forget it and move on.
Don't run out of time! This is another cause of panic.
Don't let personal feelings hinder you. Even if most people think the CBEST Test is unfair, dumb, ridiculous, etc. it is something you NEED to do if you want to teach.
Bring ONLY the materials you are allowed to have. Leave the lap-top at home.
Be comfortable. Dress appropriately. If it is winter, the heater will most likely be on. Or if it is summer, the air conditioner would be on. Dress in layers to allow for hot or cold. Don't torture yourself for 4 hours.
If you change an answer on your answer sheet, erase completely.
Get to the test as early as practical, but not too early for you to stand and think of the difficulty of the test.
Don't allocate a set time for each section. Dividing the time for each section beforehand is counter productive. You might never finish any section completely.
If you fail miserably, get a tutor. There is nothing wrong with getting help.[ Go to CBEST Tips Page Two ]
CBEST Test Tips - Overall tips to take and pass the CBEST Test.
CBEST Math Tips - Read our tips to pass the math section of the CBEST Test.
Essay Writing Tips for the CBEST - Get our CBEST essay writing guide here.