The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a required part of the certification process to become a teacher in California. It measures the math, writing, and reading skills that you need to succeed at a career in education. The reading section will focus primarily on reading comprehension and critical analysis skills.
When Should I Register for the CBEST?
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You can register for the exam whenever you want. However, seats are given on a first come, first serve basis so to secure the appointment that you prefer, register as early as possible. When you register, you will need to pay an exam fee and a service fee.
Each exam costs $41. Then, the service fee is $61. You need to pay a service fee for each session you schedule. So if you schedule three separate sessions for each section of the test, you have to pay three separate service fees. If you take two sections on one day and the last section on a second day, you’ll have to pay two service fees. So the total price you pay will range anywhere from $184 to $306.
What Will the Reading Section Test Me On?
The reading section will include 50 multiple choice questions based on reading passages covering a range of different topics and written in a variety of different styles. The questions are designed to measure the following skills and area of knowledge:
- The relationship between ideas (general and specific)
- The sequence of events or the steps of a process
- Arranging ideas taken from a reading section into an outline or other graphic organization
- Recognizing the main ideas or purposes of a text
- Paraphrasing or summarizing texts accurately
- Identifying the facts and important details from a text
- Drawing conclusions, making generalizations, making inferences, and recognizing implications based on the text
- Recognizing implied relationships between ideas, people, and events
- Using context clues, structural analysis, and syntax to understand meaning of words.
- Understanding figurative or colloquial language
- Recognizing the different possible interpretations that can be made of the same word, sentence, paragraph, or text.
- Recognizing how the meaning of words, sentences, or paragraphs are affected by the context in which they appear.
- Understanding the function of transitions such as “however,” “by contrast,” or “in conclusion.”
- Using a table of contents, index, section headings, and similar sections to locate information in a book.
- Locate the particular section of a text where a specific kind of information would be found.
- Understanding the organization of a text.
- Identifying which conclusions, generalizations, or implied relationships are supported by the information provided in a table or graph.
What Score Do I Need to Pass the Reading Section?
The reading section of the CBEST is given a score ranging from 20 to 80. You need to get a minimum score of at least 41 in order to pass the section. However, you can afford to score as low as 37 if you make up the remaining four points on the other sections of the exam.
Even though you have the option to score a little below the minimum by making up for it on another section that you might be better at, you should still study as if you need to achieve the 41 minimum. If you’re really concerned that you won’t do well on the reading section, it’s better to schedule a separate session for it so you’ll have more time to complete it rather than just accept a lower score.
What’s the Best Way to Study for the Reading Section of the CBEST?
Developing the advanced reading skills that you will need for the reading section of the CBEST will require a variety of different study methods. You’ll want to work on your vocabulary, your test taking skills, your reading speed, and your comprehension skills.
One way to do that is to make more time for reading in your schedule. In addition to generally reading more, you should also spend time targeting the kind of reading and analysis specifically on the CBEST. You can do that with the Mometrix Study Guide and the Mometrix Flashcards. These study tools have been crafted by experts according to the unique demands of this specific tests. That means you’ll get sample reading passages and questions that match the kind you’ll see on test day.
You’ll also get highly effective study tips and test taking strategies to help you get through the more challenging sections of the reading test. Plus, you’ll get vocabulary and definitions to make sure you are prepared for the kind of vocabulary you’ll be expected to know on the day of the test. Altogether, these study tools combined with regular reading practice will ensure that you do your absolute best on the CBEST reading section.