CBEST Test: All Information you Need to Know Before the Real CBEST Exam (F.A.Q, Dates 2020-21)

Last updated 10/2020

Individuals wishing to gain credentials and teach at public schools take the CBEST. This is a highly specialized test, so if you are on this page you are likely studying to become an educator in either California or Oregon.

What is the CBEST Test?

The California Basic Educational Basic Skills Test, or CBEST, is an exam created by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The assessment is used to measure the skillfulness of prospective teachers in California and Oregon in writing, mathematics, and reading. One way candidates can achieve the Basic Skills Requirement for their teacher’s licensing in California and Oregon is by passing the CBEST.

What does the CBEST Test Include?

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is created to examine basic math, reading, and writing skills for candidates wishing to start a career in teaching. The CBEST test is made up of three subtests. Candidates are given the option of taking all 3 in one session or taking each section individually.

Computer-based test (CBT) and paper-based test (PBT) sections:

  • Reading section: 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Mathematics section: 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Writing section: 2 essays

The examination is administered in English, and all answers must be in English. The use of calculators is not permitted on this examination.

Math Section

The aim of the Math section of the CBEST exam is to get candidates to answer mathematical questions, the majority of which are worded problems. This section asks candidates to use three skills. The first skill includes measurement, estimation, and statistical analysis. The second involves computation and problem-solving. The last skill is graphic and numerical relationships.

Calculators are not permitted in the CBEST math test. The following is a break down of the topics in the CBEST Math test:

  • Estimation, statistical principles, and measurement (approx. 15 questions)
  • Graphic and numerical relationships (approx. 17-18 questions)
  • Problem solving and computation (approx. 17-18 questions)

We at PrepTerminal have developed a math practice test specifically designed to assess your initial testing level.

Reading Section

The Reading section is intended to assess the candidate’s ability to understand written information and graphs and tables. The questions that feature in this section are fairly complex and varied, however, all the knowledge the candidate needs is given to them in the passage presented. The skills measured in this reading section are as follows:

  • Evaluation and critical analysis (approx. 20 questions)
  • Research skills and comprehension (approx. 30 questions)

We, at Prepterminal, have created a reading practice test to help you familiarize yourself with the content of the CBEST reading section of this exam.

Writing Section

The Writing part of the CBEST test is made up of two composition subjects, or essays, that measure a candidate’s ability to write in a fluent way. Candidates need to address both topics in this section. For one of the topics, the candidate needs to provide an analysis of a specific circumstance or statement. For the second topic, the candidate needs to write an essay about a specific personal experience. No specialized knowledge is required when completing this section of the CBEST exam.

Format of the CBEST Test

The CBEST is delivered as either a computer-based test or a paper-based exam.

CBEST computer-based test

The CBEST computer-based test is administered all year-round via appointment. Appointments can be made from Monday through to Saturday, with the exception of certain holidays. Seating is restricted and appointments are given to whoever applies first.

The computer test comes with a 4-hour time limit, and all three sections need to be completed within this timeframe. The time frame factors in 15 minutes are needed to fill-out a nondisclosure agreement and tutorial.

The CBEST computer test costs $102 ($41 CBEST registration cost and a $61 computer-based-test service cost).

CBEST paper-based test

The CBEST paper-based test is administered 5 times a year. The CBEST test dates are as follows:

  • September 26, 2020 – canceled
  • Dec. 5, 2020
  • Feb. 20, 2021
  • May 1, 2021
  • Jul. 10, 2021

The paper-based test needs to be completed within a 4-hour time frame.

Candidates will need to pay a CBEST cost for the paper-based test exam of $41. Additional costs may be incurred for emergency or late registration for the CBEST test.

CBEST Scores

All of the sections (Reading, Math, and Writing) have a scaled score, which goes from 20 through to 80. The passing score for all of these sections is 41. The score for the CBEST test as a whole is derived by adding each of the individual CBEST test results the candidate receives for the three sections of the test. The passing score for the CBEST test in its entirety is 123, and you will need to achieve CBEST scores of 37 on each section of the test to pass the CBEST.

FAQ about the CBEST Exam

What is the CBEST?

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and this is very true when it comes to psychometric tests. You will witness that through practice your performance on Cubiks’ tests will improve dramatically. By practicing on mock tests and quizzes you will develop a clear picture of what these tests involve, their format, what they measure, and what your Cubiks test conditions will look like.

How much do I need to pay to take the CBEST test?

The CBEST registration fee is $41.

How long do I have to wait to get my CBEST scores?

You will get your CBEST scores within a period of two weeks if you completed the computer-based test. If you choose to sit the written test, you will get your CBEST scores within a three week period.

What score do I need to pass the CBEST exam?

Every part of the CBEST test is scored on a scaled score – 41. To pass the CBEST exam you need to attain a combined total score of 123 or more.

How long do I need to wait before I can re-sit the CBEST test?

You are permitted to re-sit a subsection of the CBEST as often as you please. Yet, if you choose to resit a section, you will need to wait 45 days from the date you last took the test.

How many questions are featured on the CBEST?

The CBEST exam comprises three sections: math, reading, and writing. The reading and mathematics sections are made up of 50 multiple-choice questions. In the writing section, candidates need to complete two essays.

Beat the CBEST Exam Through PrepTerminal’s CBEST Test Prep Course

The CBEST exam is a crucial step you can take to gain credentials and teach at public schools in California and Oregon. As this course is an important part of your teaching career, practice is a must. It is essential that you gain a good understanding of the CBEST exam before you take the real test. Through our practice tests, you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you sharpen your skills and enable you to optimize your test score.

At Prepterminal our team of specialist psychometric test experts, have carefully formulated a CBEST prep course that includes 10 core modules and video-based learning to keep you engaged and informed. What’s more, we provide you with 10 question banks and information for each of the three subsection topics of the CBEST, namely numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and diagrammatic reasoning. Our elaborate written guides contain all the information you need to ace your CBEST exam and be on track to becoming a teacher. Once you sign up for our CBEST prep course you receive lifetime access and 24/7 support. So, don’t wait, enroll today, and get a head start.

*Note: CBEST and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

CBEST Test: All Information you Need to Know Before the Real CBEST Exam (F.A.Q, Dates 2020-21)

Last updated 10/2020

Individuals wishing to gain credentials and teach at public schools take the CBEST. This is a highly specialized test, so if you are on this page you are likely studying to become an educator in either California or Oregon.

CBEST Test Prep Course

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