CBEST Writing Prompts & Top Tips (2024)

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The CBEST writing section is considered by many to be the ‘wild card section’ of the CBEST test due to the fact that one’s score can vary based on a number of factors as well as how lenient the evaluator was when looking over the entirety and style of your essay, making the use of CBEST writing prompts and guides highly vital in preparing for it.

This is because it won’t matter if you have perfect grammar and can write multiple paragraphs in the span of a few minutes because you will be given little to no points if you didn’t conform to the scoring criteria of the exam.

When you take the CBEST writing test, you will have to write two essays:

  • The Expressive Essay – Where you have to write an essay that contains your personal opinion or experiences on the topic given.
  • The Expository Essay – Where you have to make an analytical essay on the topic supplied to you.

This means that you should be careful not to mistake one for the other and make good use of CBEST writing essay samples and other CBEST writing tips and techniques as the mere volume will not get you anywhere and can even prove disastrous to your score if you try to brute force it.

How to Ace CBEST Writing Section։ Top Tips

Write your essay in five parts:

Ideally, you should write your essay in five paragraphs, but since everyone has their own writing style, it is instead recommended that you compose your essay in five parts for both Expressive and Expository essays, namely:

  1. The Introductory Paragraph
  2. First Example
  3. Supporting Example
  4. Most Important Example
  5. Conclusion

For the Expressive Essay, focus on impact:

Since this particular essay requires you to talk about a personal experience, mentioning how it affected you or changed you in some way will bolster your conclusion. Let’s say that the subject given to you revolves around saving money, you can use instances where you realized that it’s better to buy in bulk in the long run due to the convenience of never having to travel to the grocery store too often, saving you gas or transportation costs, among other things.

For the Expository Essay, try to mention statistics:

Due to the analytical format of this essay, it is almost completely vital for you to mention concrete information, recent studies, or recent national events to solidify your narrative or point

Don’t overshoot:

Apart from writing a terrible or mediocre essay, another reason why so many test-takers fail to get a lot of points in the CBEST writing test is because they try to use overly complex examples that they barely understand but wanted to use because it’s somewhat related to the subject given to them in the test. In reality, however, the CBEST essay writing section doesn’t require you to have an intensive knowledge of the topic in your essay, only enough to convey your message or point.

What is the CBEST Test and why is Essay Writing Included in it?

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is an aptitude test that measures the cognitive abilities of aspirant teachers in the states of Oregon and California. Math, Reading, and Writing are the three sections of the test. At Prepterminal we have created the CBEST guide and CBEST practice tests to help you ace the exam and start your career as a teacher.

The writing section was included in the CBEST test to measure a prospective teacher’s ability to write and convey information effectively. Because it is one of the three main sections of the exam, the others being the reading and math sections, preparing for it should just be as important due to how many points you can miss out on for just winging it. That’s why we have developed Math practice and Reading practice tests for you to get a taste of what is going to be on the real exam.

As practicing is the main guarantee that you can ace the CBEST test, Prepterminal offers you the actionable CBEST prep course. Our CBEST preparation course has been developed by experts and psychometric specialists who regularly keep an eye on the exam so that our content is always updated. The course includes 10 core modules and video-based modules on the reading and math sections of the CBEST assessment. These modules contain numerous question banks and practice tests for each subject or subsection, allowing you to be as prepared as you can be.

So, don’t wait, ensure you successfully embark on your teaching career and enroll in our CBEST course today!

CBEST Test Prep Course

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Michael Lerner

Created by: Michael Lerner

BSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert

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Hey, I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s CBEST Prep Course expert. I am here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about the CBEST Prep Course. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

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