California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a standardized test conducted in the states – California and Oregon, as one of the requirements of achieving teaching credentials. The test is administered jointly by Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and an advisory board of educators. The evaluation systems group of Pearson helps in developing the test. The test is also conducted and scored by the evaluation systems. It is required to be taken by the individuals aspiring to build their career in teaching field in public schools of these states.
CBEST is a basic skills test developed to meet laws pertaining to credentialing and employment. It is not the only, but one of the requirements for gaining teaching credentials.
The exam has three sections- reading, writing and mathematics. The reading section is based on reading comprehension, critical analysis, and evaluation. The writing section tests the writing skills. There is no need of having expert subject knowledge of given topics. However, the essay should be well formed, logically articulated, and free from grammatical errors. The mathematical section derives from general mathematics encompassing skills such as numerical and graphic relationships, estimation, measurement, statistics, computation, and problem solving.
In the reading section, examinee is given passages, tables, and graphs followed by a total of 50 multiple choice questions. The answers to these questions are to be drawn from the given text itself. In the writing section, two topics are given. On the first topic, examinee has to write an analysis of the given situation or subject, while on the second, an essay has to be written. There are 50 multiple choice questions in the mathematical section. The total time allotted for the exam is four hours. There is no time limit for individual test sections. Besides paper and pencil format, CBEST can also be taken as computer based test.
Each test section is awarded scaled score in range from 20 to 80. The total score is the sum of scores of all individual sections. In case, a section has been retaken by the candidate, the highest score is considered. One has to achieve a score of minimum 41 in each test section and a total score of 123 to pass the exam. If the score in one or two sections is at least 37, but the total score is 123 or higher, it is also considered the passing score(s).
The paper and pencil based test is conducted on fixed dates of a year. The registration for the paper and pencil test can be done through internet, telephone, and mail. The computer based test is available on appointments. Its registrations are done online on a first come, first serve basis.
The exam fee for CBEST is $41. There is additional fee of $60 for computer based testing. The charges for late and emergency registration are $18 and $35 respectively. There are no charges for change of registration.