CBEST Practice Test Questions

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CBEST Study Guide

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The California Basic Educational Skills Test or CBEST Test is a comprehensive and challenging examination for men and women who want to become teachers in the state of California. This test was designed not as an assessment of teaching ability, but as an assessment of the general knowledge required to teach. The test has three sections: reading, mathematics, and writing.

The reading section consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that test the candidate's ability to understand and interpret information from tables, graphs, and most importantly, written passages. The subject matter of the passages used in this section is drawn from a number of different subject areas, but all of the questions in this section can be answered with the information provided-no prior knowledge is needed to answer the questions in the reading section. Questions will require either critical analysis and evaluation (about 40 percent of the questions) or comprehension and research (about 60 percent of the questions).

The mathematics section of the CBEST test also consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. For the most part, the questions in this section are word problems taken from three general skill areas: estimation, measurement, and statistical principles (approximately 30 percent of the section); computation and problem solving (approximately 35 percent); and numerical and graphic relationships (approximately 35 percent).

The writing portion of the test is comprised of two essays. In the first essay, candidates must analyze a given statement or situation. In the second essay, candidates must describe a personal experience. No specific content-area knowledge is required to complete the writing assignments.

The CBEST test is administered via computer, and unofficial results for the reading and mathematics sections are available immediately upon conclusion. An unofficial score report, which includes the score for the writing section, is made available approximately a month after the test date.

Practice Questions

Reading Section

Read the following selection and use it to answer questions 1-3.

The Roman Empire dominated the ancient world from about 500 BCE to 500 CE. At the height of its rule around 200 CE, the power center of Rome controlled all of present-day Spain, France, southern Britain, Italy, the Baltics, Turkey, northern Africa, and the lands east of the Mediterranean Sea. When the Empire became too large to efficiently control, the emperor Diocletian split it into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. The Eastern Roman Empire, centered in Constantinople, controlled the areas of present-day Greece, Turkey, Israel, and northern Egypt. The Western Roman Empire remained centered in Rome and maintained the western half of the Empire’s holdings. As the Eastern Roman Empire gained prominence, the Western Roman Empire came under repetitive attacks from barbaric tribes such as the Huns from Asia, the Visigoths from Germany, and the Vandals from northern Africa. By 476 CE, the Western Roman Empire had been decimated, while the Eastern Roman Empire regenerated itself as the Byzantine Empire.

1. The word decimated means

A. strengthened
B. controlled
C. looted
D. attacked
E. destroyed

2. The author organized the paragraph

A. based on comparison and contrast
B. in a question and answer format
C. chronologically
D. categorically
E. based on descriptions of the halves of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires

3. The author’s intended audience is most likely

A. serious history buffs
B. middle grade history students
C. a producer of a history program
D. elementary school students
E. an author writing a book about the Roman Empire

Mathematics Section

4. Which unit is most appropriate for expressing the weight of a drinking glass?

A. pounds
B. inches
C. ounces
D. liters
E. degrees

5. Allison wants to double a recipe that she is using to make a pot of soup. One batch of soup calls for three cups of chicken broth. When Allison doubles the amount of chicken broth, how much will she need all together?

A. 1 pint
B. 2 pints
C. 2 ½ pints
D. 3 pints
E. 3 ½ pints

Answers

Reading Section

1. E. destroyed
Explanation: Decimated means destroyed. After being repeatedly attacked, the Western Roman Empire was decimated.

2. C. chronologically
Explanation: The paragraph traces the Roman Empire from its height until its destruction. The information is arranged chronologically.

3. B. middle grade history students
Explanation: The paragraph provides a basic overview, but does not delve deeply into the downfall of the Roman Empire. Middle grade history students would most likely be the author’s intended audience.

Mathematics Section

4. C. ounces
Explanation: Ounces is the most appropriate unit for expressing the weight of a drinking glass. While pounds also measures weight, a typical glass weighs less than a pound. Inches measures length; liters measures liquid volume; and degrees measures temperature.

5. D. 3 pints
Explanation: Two cups equal one pint. When Allison doubles the recipe, she will need six cups of chicken broth (3 cups x 2 = 6 cups). Six cups equals three pints (6 cups ÷ 2 = 3 pints).

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Last Updated: 04/11/2014

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