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What Should You Know About The CBEST Practice Test? In this article, we will go over all you need to know about the CBEST practice test, including who should take it, how to schedule a test date, and most significantly, what is on this test. What is CBEST? The CBEST (which stands for the California […]

May 28, 2022

What Should You Know About The CBEST Practice Test?

In this article, we will go over all you need to know about the CBEST practice test, including who should take it, how to schedule a test date, and most significantly, what is on this test.

What is CBEST?

The CBEST (which stands for the California Basic Educational Skills Test) is often utilized as the initial step toward obtaining a California teaching license. The reading, arithmetic, and writing skills that have traditionally been seen as being essential for a successful career in education will be tested during this portion of the examination. 

To begin, it is important to bear in mind that the CBEST is not designed to evaluate an individual’s ability to teach reading, writing, or mathematics; rather, it evaluates an individual’s subject comprehension of all areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. 

In that way, it is comparable to a number of the standardized tests that you could have taken during your time as a student. You, as the person taking the test, are being asked to demonstrate that you have a comprehensive mastery of these fundamental topics.

As a direct consequence of this, the examination can be required in a wide range of contexts. It is common practice to require candidates to get a passing score on the CBEST before beginning substitute teaching within the state or seeking admission into a state-accredited teacher training or credentialing program. Additionally, anyone seeking certification in administrative services is required to have it in their possession.

What’s on the CBEST Exam?

The CBEST is a standardized test administered in the state of California that evaluates candidates’ ability to perform fundamental academic tasks such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Every one of these sub-components is supervised by its very own board. You may choose to do one, two, or all three at the same time as your activity. The whole of the test may be taken in its virtual form online. You have the option of registering to take it either in-person at a testing center or remotely.

Writing, reading, and mathematics are the three distinct subtests that make up the CBEST, which is completed in a single session lasting for a total of four hours. If you find that the amount of information presented here is too much for you to take in at once, the test may be broken up over many sessions.

The reading portion of the test consists of fifty questions with multiple choice answers. A section of the text, tables, and graphs that students have previously read will serve as the basis for the questions. 

In addition, the math section of the test consists of 50 questions with multiple choice answers. This section places a significant focus not just on your ability to calculate and solve problems, but also on your familiarity with numbers and images. 

Following this, you will be given two personal essays to write, both of which will be scored based on how well they demonstrate your ability to write clearly and logically.

Writing Section

The writing portion of the CBEST consists of two separate prompts to choose from. Applicants are given the opportunity to relate a personal experience to the first question. Applicants are given a statement or scenario as a follow-up question, and their responses are solicited about the topic being discussed. 

It is not necessary for you to have any prior knowledge of the topics covered in this section in order to put your skills in writing and analytical thinking to the test in this section. The structure of the responses, the use of supporting material to support the key arguments, and the conformance to the norms of the English language all go towards the final result.

Reading Section

The reading component consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that assess candidates’ level of knowledge in two primary domains. In the 40% of the questions that they are given, students are assessed on their capacity to do in-depth analysis and evaluation. Identifying the evidence that an author uses to support their assertions and determining who the passage is intended for are both instances of these talents being put to use in real-world situations.

60% of the multiple-choice questions on the exam test the candidates’ comprehension and research abilities. These abilities include the candidates’ ability to determine the central idea of an excerpt, use context clues to provide an explanation for new vocabulary and evaluate the organization of a written piece.

Math Section

In the mathematics portion, there are 50 questions with multiple-choice answers that address 3 major facets of mathematical expertise. In addition to estimating, measuring, and doing statistical analysis, applicants need to be capable of performing fundamental mathematical operations and understanding graphical connections. Word problems make up the vast bulk of the questions, and you should see an equal number of them across all three types of abilities. 

Candidates are not allowed to use a calculator during this portion of the examination since the majority of the questions do not need them to do complex calculations. Calculating the area of a rectangle, finding the length and perimeter of an item, and solving arithmetic problems are some examples of the kind of tasks that may be included in the mathematics component.

CBEST Registration: How To Register for CBEST?

General Information

The CBEST may be taken in either a computer-based or paper-based format depending on your preference. It is totally up to the individual taking the exam to decide which format they prefer since this is a question of individual preference. Both of these editions include the same information.

For the computer-based evaluation, appointments are necessary for advancement. The administration of examinations occurs constantly from Monday through Saturday, with the exception of a few significant holidays. Visit the website of the CTC and enter your zip code into the appropriate field to get information about when and where you may take the test.

Paper-based exams are only given priority for a certain number of available days. The 25th of September and the 4th of December in the year 2021 were the dates that were being considered for the event. The following dates have been selected for testing in 2022: February 12th, April 30th, and July 9th.

Check out our page on “CBEST Test Dates” to discover more about the future CBEST exam dates as well as the testing sites where they will be held. In the event that you want alternative testing arrangements, we ask that you check out the official CBEST website.

Registration process

You will be able to schedule your exam session online immediately after enrolling to take a test, and you will have access to this feature 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When it comes to booking appointments for the exam, the rule that applies is “first come, first served.”

Log into your account on the page where current registrations are being taken for the exam that you want to schedule, and then choose “Schedule” from the drop-down menu on that page.

Once you have scheduled an appointment for your test with Pearson VUE, you will get an email from the company including confirmation of the date, time, location, and contact information for your exam.

What is the CBEST Passing Score?

A score of 123 or more is required in order to pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This passing score is determined by compiling the scores obtained on each of the three components of the CBEST, namely reading, writing, and mathematics. Using a scaled scoring system, each component of the CBEST may earn anywhere from 20 to 80 total points.

If a candidate takes the CBEST and achieves a total score of at least 123, they have a chance of passing even if they have a score as low as 37 on one or two of the parts. Candidates who have a sector score of 36 or below will not pass the examination, regardless of how well they do on the whole examination.

What is the CBEST Passing Rate?

Overall CBEST Passing Rates

Only around 71 percent of those who take the CBEST test pass on their first try.

The first-time pass rate for the school year 2013–2014 was 70.6 percent, making it the highest among the five school years that ranged from 2012 to 2017. During the school year 2016-2017, the year with the lowest first-attempt passing percentage, just 66.8 percent of individuals were able to pass the CBEST on their very first attempt.

Comparatively, during the academic year 2012-2013, 88.4 percent of test-takers achieved a passing score on the CBEST. This number dropped to 76.2 percent for the academic year 2016-2017. According to this, between 20 and 24 percent of those who take the CBEST are unsuccessful on their first or subsequent attempts.

The Passing Rates for Each CBEST Subtest

There is not one single passing rate that applies to both the first and cumulative test attempts for each of the individual subtests.

  • The Reading Subtest of the CBEST

When taking the exam for the first time, as well as any future times, the reading section is often the one that presents the most challenge. Over the course of the five academic years spanning from 2012 to 2017, the percentage of students who were successful on their first attempt ranged from 79.2 percent in 2014-2015 to 81.5 percent in 2015-2016. The proportion of students who were successful out of their total number of tries varied from 83.1 percent in 2016-2017 to 87.8 percent in 2012-2013.

Over the course of these five years, students have achieved a passing grade on the first test at a rate of 80.2%. An overall percentage of 86.2 percent of pupils are successful in passing the examination.

  • The Mathematics Subtest of the CBEST

It is not at all unusual for those who took the mathematics subtest to score virtually as well as those who did the literary component of the test. Between the years 2012 and 2017, the academic year 2012-2013 had the highest first-time pass rate, with 80% of students passing the exam on their very first attempt. 

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the lowest first-time pass rate was 78.3 percent. In the previous school year, 2012-2013, 88.2 percent of all efforts were successful, while in the current school year, 82.3 percent of all efforts were successful. 

Between the years 2012 and 2017, 86 percent of all test-takers were successful in passing the exam, whereas only 78.9 percent of first-time test-takers were successful in doing so.

  • The Writing Subtest of the CBEST

The writing portion of the CBEST yields the poorest results for test-takers who are either new to the exam or have taken it before. Comparatively, throughout the period of time spanning from 2012 to 2017, first-time test-takers had a passing rate of 71.5 percent, while cumulative test-takers had a passing rate of 78.8 percent.

In the academic year 2016-2017, the passing percentage for first-time test takers was the lowest, coming in at 66.9 percent, while the passing rate for cumulative test-takers was 71.6 percent. In the 2013-2014 school year, 75.1 percent of students who were taking their first exam were successful on their very first try. The year 2012-2013 was the most successful year overall for cumulative exam takers, as the passing rate reached 83.3 percent during that year.

What are CBEST Requirements?

What should I bring with me to the California CBEST exam? You are not eligible to take the CBEST unless you have earned a high school diploma, a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), or another credential that is considered academically equivalent. 

Alternatively, you must be or have been, a student working toward a career as a teacher while taking classes for college credit. If you are confused about whether or not you are eligible to take the exam, you must get authorization to do so from the CTC.

Can You Use Scratch Paper on the CBEST?

Because calculators are not permitted on the mathematics portion of the CBEST, all calculations have to be done by hand. If you want to avoid making obvious mistakes, use the scratch paper that is provided.

You are authorized to do calculations on scratch paper, but you are not allowed to bring any scratch paper into the testing center with you. It will be provided to you by the organization. At the site where you will be taking the exam, you are not permitted to bring any of the following items: food, drink, writing implements (pencils and/or paper), textbooks, cellphones, smartwatches, calculators, or any recording device.

How Long Does it Take to Get CBEST Results?

There are 42 distinct CSET exams, and each exam has a separate results timetable. It’s possible for certain tests to have more test results release dates than others due to the frequency with which they are presented. 

A test date window is a collection of release dates for test results dependent on the date of the initial test. CSET Agriculture test results will be available to those who take the exam between March 14, 2020 (the first day of testing) and April 10, 2020. Candidates might anticipate waiting a few weeks for their test results in the majority of situations.

The results of the CSET examination are normally made available within a period of seven weeks after the commencement of the testing session. Due to the fact that there are 42 different CSET examinations, the outcomes of the exams may differ from one exam to the next. You will get the results of a computer-based test about two weeks after you take the test. After handing in your written test, you should hear back from us on the results within a period of three weeks.

It’s conceivable that the results of the test might be delayed for a number of different reasons. Applicants should get in touch with Evaluation Systems if they have not received their findings two weeks after the date originally intended for delivery. 

You are free to retake any of the individual examinations as many times as you need to in order to get a passing score on the overall examination. You will not be permitted to retake the computer-based exam until at least 45 calendar days have passed since your last test date.

How Long is the CBEST Good For?

It is required that all passing competency results, with the exception of CBEST scores, be used for credentialing purposes within ten years after the date of the test. The validity restriction of 10 years does not apply to CBEST score reporting. There is no need to retake the CBEST after it has been passed since the core abilities that are necessary for certification and participation in the program have been met.

What Does CBEST Cost?

How Much Does It Cost to Take the CBEST Test? You have the choice of taking the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) either on a computer or on paper when you sit for the exam. If you live in California, you are required to take the CBEST. To take the computer-based version of the CBEST test will set you back $41 plus an additional $61 in service fees. The fee to take a test that is delivered on paper is $41. 

Those who wish to take the paper test may be required to pay extra fees in order to do so, such as $18 for late registration or $35 for emergency registration. These fees may be incurred as a result of late registration or emergency registration.

What are the Additional Costs Involved with the CBEST Test?

It is possible that you may be forced to pay extra fees for certain test-related services. Additional CBEST test results may be purchased for a price of ten dollars each. Anyone who takes the exam and feels that the result does not accurately reflect their performance may request to have their score verified by paying the associated cost of fifty dollars. 

In the event that you have difficulty making a payment to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), you will be assessed a fee of $20 in order to clear your account.

What are the Accepted Payment Methods?

You have the option of paying for the CBEST test with either a credit card, a debit card, or a check card. It is possible to acquire additional copies of the test results using the same methods of payment as before. In order to comply with the criteria set out by CBEST, credit, debit, or check cards must not need a PIN and have the logo of either Mastercard or Visa.

The fees associated with score verification may only be paid for cashier’s checks or money orders. These forms, which must be returned to the United States Evaluation Systems, need the last five digits of your Social Security number to be written on them. At CBEST, we do not take payments in cash.

What are the Policies Regarding the CBEST Test Fees?

  • Payment Policy 

After you register for the test, your registration will be valid for one full calendar year from the day you registered. If you do not cancel your registration within this time period or appear for the test, it will be canceled for you automatically. In this circumstance, there will be no reimbursement offered.

  • Refund Policy

If you are forced to cancel your participation in an examination or registration, you could be eligible for a return of the money you paid for the examination. It is possible to cancel your CBEST registration and get a refund if you do so by submitting an online withdrawal request via your CTC exam account.

  • Absentee Policy

Students who fail an exam because they were not present will not get a refund for their failed attempt. If you were unable to take the CBEST due to an unexpected circumstance, such as an accident or being hospitalized, you may be eligible for a price voucher that may be used toward a future CBEST registration. 

Those individuals who were unable to take the examination owing to the passing of a member of their immediate family may also be eligible for a voucher. In order to acquire the CBEST voucher, you have to compose a request letter and send it to the office of Evaluation Systems within the next 30 days, together with a document that verifies the urgency of the situation.

What States Accept the CBEST?

Only two states in the United States recognize the CBEST: California and Oregon. Nevada recognizes it as a valid alternative to the Praxis Core test for students in that state. The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) may be used as a requirement for entering a teacher education program as well as for state licensure.

Is the CBEST Difficult?

Reading, writing, and mathematics are all treated as separate topics on the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), which differentiates it from the majority of other exams administered by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Students who make an effort to grasp the exam’s structure and who diligently study for it have a better chance of doing well on the test, despite the fact that the exam’s scope may prove to be difficult for some of them. It is a good idea to get acquainted with the three subtests that make up the exam in order to determine whether or not there are any topics with which you may struggle on the day of the test.


There are 2 distinct skill sets that are evaluated during the reading comprehension portion of the CBEST. In order to answer questions on your capacity for critical analysis and evaluation, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to analyze an author’s choice of language as well as the supporting evidence. 

In addition to that, it is possible that you may be expected to make comparisons and contrasts between the various points of view that are represented in different works. In order to adequately prepare for the research and comprehension questions that will be presented to you, you will need to examine not just the written word but also a wide range of visual representations of the subject matter.


This portion of the test evaluates your capacity to write in a way that is both understandable and convincing. In the first inquiry, you will be asked to share a story from your own life, while in the second, you will be presented with a particular idea or problem and asked to provide your thoughts and feelings on it. 

These tasks are challenging while not requiring the experience of a specialist in any one field. There is only a certain amount of time available for you to organize your thoughts into a coherent narrative and convincing argument.


The mathematics portion of the test contains questions on a wide variety of topics, ranging from basic arithmetic to graphical reasoning and statistical analysis. This portion of the test will mostly consist of word problems, which will be used to evaluate how well you understand how mathematics may be used in real-world situations. 

In order to identify a solution to a problem, you can be asked to calculate the dimensions of geometric objects, develop and solve algebraic equations, investigate numerical relationships, or review the outcomes of standardized tests. In addition, you are not allowed to bring a calculator into this section.

CBEST Passing Standards

Another factor that may prove to be difficult on the CBEST is the requirements for passing. Students need to get an overall score of 123 or above on the examination for it to be regarded as a successful endeavor.

Each subtest has its own set of criteria that must be met in order to pass. The passing score for each component of the CBEST is 41 points, with possible scores ranging from 20 to 80. Candidates who do not pass one or more sections of the examination may still pass the examination overall, but they must get a score of 37 or above to do so.

Even if a candidate receives scores of 39, 40, and 70 on the CBEST, their combined score must be higher than 123 in order for them to be allowed to proceed. It is possible to pass the examination with a cumulative score of 75 out of a potential 100 points. Their low score of 30 makes it impossible for them to pass the test, though they have a high overall score of 123.

The performance of the candidate is anticipated to reach or surpass these criteria in each of the three categories. If you are an excellent writer but a terrible mathematician, you cannot hope that your high score on the writing component will make up for the low score you received in the math section.

Can I Use a Calculator on the CBEST?

Participants in the CBEST are not allowed to use any kind of calculator during the mathematics portion of the exam. The mathematics component of the CBEST requires all test takers to do their own calculations on their own time.

Alternatives to Calculators

Those who have signed up for any of the CBEST’s individual tests, including the mathematics examination, will be given a booklet and a pen to use when formulating their responses to the questions. Examinees are required to use this booklet instead of a calculator, which is not permitted in the testing area, in order to do calculations related to the questions on the examination.

What Consequences If You Bring a Calculator?

Electronic items that are not allowed in the testing area must be locked away outside of the testing area. If a person is found to be in possession of a calculator or any other prohibited device, they will be asked to leave the testing area immediately.

Item Exclusions

The testing area does not allow the use of any electronic devices, including calculators, calculator watches, or any other kind of electronic tool. Participants in the CBEST test are not excluded from these requirements in any way.

In addition to headwear, food, and weaponry, visitors are not permitted to bring any of the aforementioned items into the grounds. On the official site of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing exam, you will find a complete collection of CBEST examination questions.

CBEST Practice Test FAQs

How Can I Succeed on the CBEST?

To pass the CBEST, individuals need to get a score of at least 41 on each of the subtests.

It is possible to pass the CBEST with a lower score on one or two of the subtests, but only if two requirements are satisfied. Students are required to get a scaled score of 37 or above on each examination before moving on to the next level. In addition to this, the total score for both of them must be at least 123.

These individuals still have a shot of passing the CBEST if they are able to get a score high enough on their third subtest to compensate for the points they lost and bring their overall score up to 123.

If I Don’t Pass the CBEST, What Should I Do Next?

It is feasible for those who have previously attempted and failed the CBEST to retake any of the individual subtests. You have to wait at least 45 days after your last attempt before you are allowed to repeat tests that are administered on computers. If you would like to retake the exam, you will need to re-register for it and schedule a new testing date for yourself.

Those who participated in all three subtests at the same time do not need to retake any of the assessments. The results of their retaken subtests will be added to the scores they received on their previously passed subtests. However, retaking a section of the exam that you have already passed will improve the likelihood that you will get a score of 123 or higher.

How Can I Withdraw My CBEST Results?

It is not possible to change the results of a CBEST test that was completed on a computer. Score cancellation is an option for those who take exams using paper and pencil if they are unhappy with their performance. You are required to submit a written request to Evaluation Systems together with a score cancellation form no later than one week following the date of the test.

The test locations will provide you with the necessary documents to cancel your score. Those who want to cancel their test results will not get a refund for their purchase. In addition to this, they will be unable to see their grades at any time.

What’s on Computer-based CBEST Testing?

The computerized examination may be taken at a selection of venues spread around the state of California. This kind of assessment is wonderful since it offers a great deal of flexibility with regard to your schedule. Throughout the course of the year, examinations based on computer simulations are carried out on a daily basis, Monday through Saturday.

At the end of the test, you will be able to see your results for both the reading and the math portions of the examination. The results of the official examination, on the other hand, are not made available to you until two weeks after the date of the examination. 

The computer-based testing offered by CBEST has an initial registration fee of 41 dollars, in addition to a service charge of 61 dollars. The fee to take this examination is one hundred two dollars.

What’s on Paper-based CBEST testing?

Twenty different sites throughout the state of California provide candidates the option of taking the CBEST on paper. On the other hand, as compared to the computer-based CBEST examination, this technique offers applicants far less freedom. 

The results of the official CBEST paper exam are typically made available to candidates within three weeks after the examination. The only expense involved in taking the CBEST paper test is the one-time registration fee, which is forty-one dollars.

Is the CBEST Waived in California?

Because of a lack of qualified candidates, the majority of initial fees for teaching certification will not be required until the 30th of June, 2022. The state of California has not relaxed the requirements for CBEST waivers, which are waivers for various periods.

Is a Credential Necessary to Teach in the State of California? 

It is impossible to work as a teacher in public schools in the state of California if one does not possess the appropriate certification. According to the official website of the state of California, teacher certification is not needed by law for private schools.

How Many Times Can I Take the CBEST?

You have the option of retaking the whole exam or only the section that you failed, provided that you register, pay the $41 fee, and then take the exam again. You are only permitted to take the CBEST once per 45 calendar days, so keep that in mind when registering. It is possible for you to pass the CBEST if you repeat the sections of the test that you have already passed in the past.

Above is all the information about the CBEST practice test. Hope this article can be beneficial for you during the process of studying and preparing for this test, therefore, you can successfully become a teacher in the state of California.