Kaplan CBEST: California Basic Educational Skills Test

Kaplan CBEST: California Basic Educational Skills Test

by Allan Mundsack, Charlotte Doctor

This guide includes:

  • 3 full-length practice tests
  • Diagnostic test to build a personalized study plan
  • Detailed explanations for every answer
  • Dozens of practice questions
  • In-depth content review for Reading, Math, and Writing topics
  • Concise section summaries for quick review
  • Powerful strategies to help
…  See more details below


This guide includes:

  • 3 full-length practice tests
  • Diagnostic test to build a personalized study plan
  • Detailed explanations for every answer
  • Dozens of practice questions
  • In-depth content review for Reading, Math, and Writing topics
  • Concise section summaries for quick review
  • Powerful strategies to help you take control and succeed on the exam

Product Details

Kaplan Publishing
Publication date:
Kaplan CBEST Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.10(d)

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Kaplan CBEST

By Kaplan Educational Centers


Copyright © 2004 Kaplan Educational Centers
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743258487

Chapter One: Overview of the Test

What is the CBEST?

To give prospective teachers an opportunity to demonstrate basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, the state of California developed the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). It is required in both California and Oregon but may be used in other locations. Applicants should contact the state's credentialing office to determine whether or not they are required to pass the CBEST. The CBEST tests only basic skills and not the ability to teach these subjects or any subject. Passing the CBEST does not take the place of any other requirement for a credential.

The CBEST is administered six times a year (every other month starting in February), and it may be retaken as many times as necessary in order to pass. There is a $41 fee required each time the test is taken. The three separate parts of the test may be taken individually or together. If you pass only one portion of the test and not the other two, you may choose to take only the two failed parts at the next attempt, or you may decide to take the entire test again in order to boost your overall score on the test. Once all sections have been passed, the top scores, regardless of when they were taken, will be added together foryour total score. The test is always scheduled for a four-hour period, during which time you may work on any or all of the sections of the test. Individual sections, reading, math, and writing, are not timed separately.

A passing score on the CBEST is 123 points. The passing score for each section is 41 points. The points are scaled for each test to reflect varying levels of difficulty so that the passing score is always 41. It is possible to pass the CBEST with a section score as low as 37 as long as the total for all three parts is 123 or more. However, scoring less than 37 on any section means failing the CBEST as a whole, no matter how high the total score is. If you repeat the test, the highest score for any repeated part is always the one that is counted.

Applicants can view, print, or request a Registration Bulletin at the CBEST website: cbest.nesinc.com. When you receive the Bulletin, READ IT. The Bulletin will contain specific up-to-date information that you will need for registration.

After you have read and studied this book and taken and scored the practice tests, you will be ready to do well on the CBEST.


The CBEST is made up of three sections. Both the Reading and Mathematics sections are made up entirely of multiple-choice questions. There are 50 questions in each section.

The Reading section assesses your ability to understand concepts and content necessary for educating students and to use basic reading skills to communicate information. The questions will be drawn from different subject areas, including the arts, social sciences, physical science, and humanities. No outside knowledge will be required because all of the questions will be accompanied by a passage with the necessary information needed to answer the question.

The Mathematics section will test your skills in basic math concepts including estimation and measurement, statistical principles, computation, and graphical relationships. You will be asked to solve equations, most of which will be in the form of a word problem. You should be familiar with the basic mathematical elements of operations and terms.

The Writing section requires you to write two essays. These essays will be used to test your knowledge of grammar, sentence structure and organization, and your ability to write about a specific topic. One of the essays will direct you to analyze a given scenario or statement, and the other essay will direct you to write about a personal experience. Your essays will be scored and given a diagnostic evaluation to help you develop your writing skills in the event you fail this section.


All of the sections will be scored using a raw score and a scaled score. For the Reading and Mathematics sections, the number of correct answers will equal your raw score. There is no penalty for incorrect answers. The raw scores are then converted into scaled scores ranging from 20 to 80 for each section.

The essays for the Writing section are scored by trained educators in the California or Oregon area. Two scorers are assigned to each essay and will assign a score from 1 to 4. The four scores are then added together to give a raw score of 4 to 16. That raw score is what will be converted into the scaled score of 20 to 80 that will make up your total with the scores from the other two sections. You need a total score of 123 to pass the CBEST.

Now that you know about the fundamentals of the test, move on to chapter 2 where you will learn strategies for the test and for managing stress.

Copyright © 2004 by Kaplan, Inc.


Excerpted from Kaplan CBEST by Kaplan Educational Centers Copyright © 2004 by Kaplan Educational Centers. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Allan Mundsack graduated with the Highest Honors from Wisconsin State University, La Crosse. Since then, he has taught for over 30 years in nine different schools. He has been recognized by Who's Who Among America's Teachers, and has contributed his mathematical knowledge to several education books.

Charlotte Doctor earned her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and later receives received her Masters in English from the University of Kentucky. She is currently teaching at Los Angeles Pierce College, where she has served as Director of the Honors Program and of the PACE Program.

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