A Study Guide for the CBEST Math Test: & Tips
Updated November 20, 2023
- What Is the CBEST Math Test?
- What Is Included in the CBEST Math Test?
- Example Questions on the CBEST Math Test
- How to Take the CBEST Math Exam
- The Different Types of Tests
- How to Prepare for the CBEST Math Test
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
For those looking to become a teacher in California, the CBEST math test can be a significant barrier.
However, with our study guide and tips, we’ll help you navigate this difficult test so you can go into your exam with plenty of confidence.
Read on for everything you need to know about the CBEST math test.
If you aspire to become a teacher in the state of California, you'll be required to take the CBEST math assessment. This test forms part of the three-course California Basic Educational Skills Test.
With multiple-choice questions encompassing numerical topics, graphical measurement, statistics and more, the CBEST is one of the most challenging tests you'll encounter as a prospective teacher.
Here we will learn what this assessment entails, what type of questions you can expect and how to prepare for it.
You'll also be introduced to the different forms of the test and the testing procedure you must adhere to.
Let’s get started!
The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) math test is one of three required CBEST sub-assessments prospective teachers must pass in the state.
The test is typically a 90-minute computer-based assessment – comprising 50 multiple-choice questions encompassing various subjects.
Once the candidates finish the test, their answers are gathered and processed, and the results are generated based on their scores. Due to the typically large number of candidates, you can expect to receive your test results within three weeks of the date of the test itself.
While the test focuses on assessing the candidates' math skills, there is more to it than just going through the numbers. Your ability to read the questions (sometimes longer passages) and convert any information you find into numbers will also be tested.
This requires substantial comprehension skills and the ability to use math language to identify the general idea of what's required of you in the answer. Other questions may test the candidate’s critical thinking abilities.
For example, you might be asked to identify logical problems, compare viewpoints or infer things implied by the text.
The CBEST math test has several focuses. It is divided into several sections, including the following:
This section focuses on data, graphs, charts, spreadsheets, tables and percentages.
You'll need to pay attention to every detail to gather the data presented to you in various shapes or forms to answer questions.
The questions in this section assess your knowledge of basic arithmetic functions. This might also mean analyzing word problems, which double as math problems.
This section evaluates your ability to use statistical evaluation for calculating properties and functions.
In addition, it tests your aptitude for estimating numerical and measurement data presented in different forms.
The section has two sub-sections: statistical principles which is geared towards statistical problems, and estimation and measurement that evaluates the ability to use, manipulate and convert measurements and estimate solutions for math problems.
While you can find plenty of CBEST math examples online, to help give you a head start on what you can expect on the test here are some CBEST math practice problems.
The price of an object was reduced by 20% in the first quarter of the year. In the second quarter, it was increased by 10%.
What is the discount on the product compared to the original price?
Mark’s current age is 34 years, and Claire’s current age is 7 years. In how many years will Mark’s age be four times Claire’s?
Find the median of the following numbers:
1, 11, 8, 6, 3, 7, 9
Casey had a unique purchasing habit. If he found a product that costs $50 or less, he paid for it with cash. If the price of the product was between $50 and $100, he would pay with a check. If he had to pay more than $100 for an item, he would use his credit card. Casey has recently purchased an item with a check.
Which of the following statements is true?
a) The item costs $30
b) The item costs $110
c) If the item had cost $30 more, he would have paid with cash
d) The item costs at least $90
e) The item costs more than $45
Find the number between 1/4 and 1/5:
In the graph below, you'll see the depicted average rainfall in a city between 2004 and 2006.
Which month had the most rainfall in 2005?
Mark traveled 65 miles to visit his grandparents. If he stopped around mile 33 1/3 to fill his tank at a gas station, how far was the gas station from his grandparents' home?
a) 31 1/3
b) 31 2/3
c) 33 2/3
d) 32 1/3
e) 32 2/3
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If a room is 9 feet wide and 8 feet long, what is the area of the room?
a) 36 square feet
b) 82 square feet
c) 76 square feet
d) 72 square feet
e) 56 square feet
Candidates who want to take the CBEST math exam must register first at the CTC Exams website. To do this, you must create an account on the website.
Once you have your account, choose the testing method and date.
Finally, you'll be required to pay the exam fee before getting a confirmation of your test.
You can register for three different testing choices:
However, the content of the test will be the same regardless of the testing method you choose. They all have 50 multiple-choice questions presented in English. The answer must be provided in English as well.
As mentioned before, there are three ways to take the CBEST math test:
This method is available all year round at a Pearson testing center between Monday and Saturday. You'll sit the exam at a testing center computer with other takers. Your exam will last about one hour and 30 minutes.
If you opt for this method, there is a good chance that you'll get the preliminary test results immediately. However, this doesn't guarantee your final results or getting the job.
This test is taken remotely, typically at home or the workplace.
You must adhere to strict requirements, including using a single monitor, ensuring a stable network connection, taking the test alone and verifying you don't have a calculator with you.
This is taken at a testing center. It's very similar to the computer-based version, which is slowly replacing it.
Paper-based exams are being phased out and might not be available in the future due to their paper-based nature and added labor.
It also costs more to take this test than the computer-based one.
The CBEST is composed of three tests. Therefore, a passing score on the entire assessment will depend on the score from the other two tests as well. You must obtain a score of 123 to pass on all three tests.
How to Prepare for the CBEST Math Test
There are several ways to prepare and practice for the CBEST. Below are the most recommended options.
One of the best CBEST math tips is to simply answer as many CBEST math practice questions as you can.
Studying with a CBEST mathematics practice test will enable you to familiarize yourself with its format, content, question types and the skills you need to employ to pass it successfully.
Remember, these tests have specific requirements. You must adhere to them to obtain a good score so it’s important to take your CBEST math test prep seriously.
While you practice, you'll uncover your strengths and weaknesses. CBEST math practice on the subjects that might come up on the test is an excellent way to eliminate gaps in your knowledge and boost your strengths. Both are critical for obtaining a high score on the CBEST maths test.
If you're taking the computer-based test, you must verify that the computer matches the requirements specific to the instructions.
Avoid rushing to answer questions, and after calculating the solution, check your answer again. This will help make sure the computer matches specific requirements. Otherwise, you might end up with incorrect answers.
This typically implies arriving at least 10 minutes before the test. If you're required to take an exam in a testing center and arrive late, you likely won't be able to take the test.
To avoid this, set up a reminder for when you need to be at the precise location and leave plenty of time for you to get there.
Besides focusing on the math part of questions, you should also read the fine print when practicing.
You'll find the texts that are part of the tables, charts, diagrams and graphs will help you familiarize yourself with the requirements.
These often include additional steps you'll be required to take, so pay attention to them to learn how to get correct answers while practicing.
Healthy lifestyle habits foster better focus and memory recall skills. Being well-rested (by having a good night's sleep and avoiding strenuous physical activity before the test) on the testing day will increase your chances of scoring high.
Likewise, drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) and consuming a well-balanced meal before your test will boost your concentration and productivity.
The CBEST math test consists of multiple-choice questions, but there is no specific number of questions you can miss to pass, as you’ll have an overall passing score which includes the other two parts of the overall test.
To pass the CBEST math section, it's essential to understand key math concepts you’ll be asked to solve. As part of your CBEST math test prep use practice tests and work on any weak areas you may have.
To prepare for the math section on the CBEST, use a CBEST math study guide along with textbooks, online resources and practice tests.
The more CBEST math examples you practice, the more prepared and confident you will feel on the test day.
Whether you’re looking for a paid or free CBEST math study guide, there are a few places you can get CBEST math practice test packs. All you’ll need to do is a quick Google search and you’ll have plenty of options.
The CBEST math test allows for two hours in length, which is more than the reading and writing sections, which are both 90 minutes long.
It's important to manage your time effectively to ensure you can complete all the questions within the allocated time.
To study for the CBEST math section, create a study schedule and allocate dedicated time each day to revise your basic math and take practice tests.
Use a variety of study materials and resources to reinforce your understanding and improve your skills.
The CBEST math test covers a range of math topics, including basic arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, percentages, algebraic expressions and equations, geometry, measurement, statistics and probability.
The best online CBEST math prep course can vary depending on your learning style, preferences and budget. Research each one to find the one that suits you best.
On the math CBEST test, you can expect to encounter multiple-choice questions that assess your understanding of various math topics.
The questions may require you to solve problems, interpret data, analyze graphs and apply mathematical concepts to real-life scenarios.
There is no passing grade for the CBEST math section alone as you need 123 combined from the three tests. This shows that if you get at least 41 on each test, you’ll pass.
The CBEST math test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. With 120 minutes to take the test, this gives you plenty of time to answer each question.
Yes, you can find a full CBEST math study guide online. Look for reputable websites, educational platforms or test preparation companies that offer comprehensive study guides and allow you to take a CBEST math practice test online.
The CBEST math section is one of the three sub-tests for those wanting to be a teacher in California. Besides the popular computer-based form, candidates can also take the test remotely in online proctored form or at a testing center in paper form.
The CBEST math section assesses multiple subjects in mathematics, and the use of calculators is prohibited. Therefore, only through proper preparation can you secure a passing score and with it, make the desired career move and become a teacher in California.
CBEST math tips and steps for successful preparation include taking practice tests, revising specific subjects, ensuring the requirements match, maintaining good timing, paying attention to the exact requirements and implementing healthy lifestyle habits.