CBEST stands for the California Basic Educational Skills Test and must be passed in order to get a teaching credential or to work as a substitute teacher in the state.
The CBEST is made up of three sections, which you can take together in one four-hour session, or take in four separate one-hour sessions.
Reading is the first section, which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. These questions on various subjects require you to read and comprehend information as presented in text passages, graphs, and tables. As you answer the questions, you’re assessed on two main skills:
- Critical Analysis and Evaluation (40% of the questions)
- Comprehension and Research (60% of the questions)
Mathematics, the second section, also contains 50 multiple-choice questions. Most of these questions are word problems, and calculators cannot be used. This section assesses three main skills:
- Estimation, Measurement, and Statistical Principles (30% of the questions)
- Computation and Problem Solving (35% of the questions)
- Numerical and Graphical Relationships (35% of the questions)
The final section is writing and consists of two essay questions. Both assess your writing ability but do not require you to demonstrate specialized knowledge in your responses. The essays will ask you to:
- Write from personal experience on a given topic
- Analyze a given statement or situation