• Civil Service Exams - Main Page
  • California (CA) Civil Service Exams
  • CBEST Writing Examples

CBEST Writing Examples: Test Questions, Tips, and Dates 2023

The CBEST Writing exam is a critical step in achieving your goal of becoming a teacher in California. It assesses your writing abilities and is mandatory for obtaining a teaching certificate. To give yourself the best chance of passing, it's important to start preparing now. Don't miss this opportunity to take your career to the next level, read on to learn more about the test and how to prepare for it effectively.

The page will include the following:

  • What is the CBEST Writing Exam?
  • CBEST Writing Examples .
How Is Your Writing Evaluated?
  • CBEST Writing Tips .
  • CBEST Writing Test Dates .
  • How to Practice for the writing section of the CBEST?

Let’s dive in.

Get more practice with our Free CBEST Practice Test or get full access to our CBEST PrepPack.


If you are looking for a different test, or are not sure which test is relevant for your position, please  contact us , and we will do our best to ensure you get the most accurate preparation for your upcoming assessment.

What Is CBEST Writing Exam?

The CBEST writing exam consists of two sections that measure your writing ability. The first topic asks you to analyze a situation or statement. The second section asks you to describe an experience you have had.

Test Instructions

Make sure you address all of the points raised in the initial paragraph and only write about the topics presented. Use specific examples to support generalizations. Take the time to read the content of the paragraph before you start writing, and build a mental plan in your mind.

Write an original response, without copying or paraphrasing anyone else's or some other work.

The responses you provide will not require any specialized knowledge.

How Long is the CBEST Writing Test?

The length of the CBEST writing section is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

CBEST Writing Examples and Topics

To practice read the following CBEST essay writing examples and topics and choose some for practice, the test will include a time limit so give yourself about 45 minutes to write an appropriate essay.

Writing example 1: Are you in agreement or disagreement with the following statement? Dogs are man's best friends. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Writing example 2: It has been said, "The key to success is to stop talking and start doing." Compare and contrast success gained from correct planning and consulting with other people with success gained from doing the work. In your opinion, which strategy is more important? Why?

Writing example 3: "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

Writing example 4: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I will remember. Involve me and I learn". Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Writing example 5: Learning about the past has no value for those of us living in the present. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Writing example 6: Which habit is most important to be successful in today's world? Choose one skill and use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

Writing example 7: What are the important characteristics of a good father or mother? Over time, have these qualities changed in your culture or remained the same? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Writing example 8: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "In this life, we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

Writing example 9: There are many people who prefer to work for themselves or own their own businesses. Others prefer to be employed by someone else. Is it more appealing to you to be self-employed or work for someone else? Break down your decision into specific points.

In order to determine the score for the CBEST Writing Score Scale, the following characteristics of written performance are evaluated.

Rhetorical Force: How clearly the central idea or point of view is expressed; the coherence of the writer's argument.

Organization: The author's logical flow of ideas and the clarity of his or her writing.

Support and Development: The quality, depth, and specificity of supporting information.

Usage: How carefully and precisely the words are chosen in the writing.

Structure and Conventions: A writer's ability to avoid errors in syntax, paragraph structure, sentence structure, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization).

Appropriateness: The writer's approach to the topic and the way language and style fit the audience and purpose.

CBEST Writing Tips

The CBEST Test has a scoring system that ranks each essay from 1-4. A "4" is a well-written essay that effectively communicates a whole message to the intended audience.

To communicate your message effectively keep in mind the following tips:

  • Clearly present a central idea or point of view while maintaining focus on that topic.
  • Writing outline - Arrange your Ideas or points of discussion in a logical way, and state their meaning clearly.
  • Make sure you don't make generalizations without supporting them with relevant, specific, and detailed arguments.
  • Be precise, careful, and accurate in your use of words.
  • Build coherent paragraphs by composing sentences of syntactic complexity and variety.
  • Use language and style appropriate for the given audience and purpose when forming your response, and make sure it addresses the topic fully.
CBEST Writing Test Dates

You can set a date for your CBEST writing test through the following Pearson Vue link. Fill in the location closest to your home and a suitable date, and it will show you the closest test centers.

If you're interested in online proctoring here are the official dates for 2023

cbest test dates

How to Practice for the Writing Section of the CBEST?

Prior to the exam, write at least three or four full practice essays. Choose writing prompts formats that are similar to the one you might receive on the CBEST, rather than just writing samples about anything you want.

There will be very specific criteria that examiners will be looking for, so even if you're an excellent writer, you should make sure you're able to write in the way they expect.

Go over the 'how is your writing evaluated' section and make sure you cover all the key parameters.

Is the CBEST writing test hard?

The difficulty of the CBEST writing test can vary for different individuals. Some may find it challenging due to poor writing skills or familiarity with the test format, while others may have an easier time with proper preparation and practice. Ultimately, it is subjective and can depend on the individual's abilities and level of preparation.

What is the average CBEST writing score?

The writing section scores range between 4 and 16, and they are scaled to provide a more accurate representation of the student's performance, with an average range of 20 to 80.

Related Teacher Prep Pages

  • Full guide to the CBEST Test
  • CBEST Reading Practice Test
  • CBEST Math Practice Test

A Study Guide to the CBEST WritingTest: & Tips

What Is the CBEST Writing Test?

How to take the cbest writing exam, example questions asked on the cbest writing test, how is the cbest writing test scored, what is the passing score on the cbest writing, be aware of first-time pass rate on the cbest writing subtest, how to be successful on the cbest writing test, frequently asked questions, final thoughts, a study guide to the cbest writingtest: & tips.

Updated October 24, 2023

Hayley Ashworth

The CBEST Writing test evaluates the ability to express ideas clearly and effectively in written form.

Candidates are given two writing prompts and are required to write two essays.

The prompts address general topics that are relevant to education. The purpose is to evaluate writing skills, including their ability to organize thoughts, develop coherent arguments, use appropriate grammar and vocabulary, and demonstrate effective writing mechanics.

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is an examination designed to assess the basic proficiency of individuals who wish to become educators in California.

It consists of three sections:

  • Mathematics

The CBEST Writing exam specifically evaluates an individual's ability to express ideas clearly and effectively in written form.

In the CBEST Writing section, candidates are given two writing prompts and are required to write two essays within 90 minutes.

The prompts usually address general topics that are relevant to education and teaching.

In addition, the purpose of this section is to evaluate an individual's writing skills, including their ability to:

  • Organize thoughts
  • Develop coherent arguments
  • Use appropriate grammar and vocabulary
  • Demonstrate effective writing mechanics

The first essay prompt in the CBEST Writing section typically asks test takers to express a personal opinion or share personal experiences related to a specific topic. Test takers are expected to provide a clear and concise response supported by relevant examples or evidence.

In addition, the second essay prompt usually presents a situation or scenario, requiring test takers to analyze and present a logical argument. They must demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate the given information, develop a clear position, and support it with appropriate reasoning and evidence.

It's important to note that the CBEST Writing section does not assess creativity or knowledge of specific academic subjects.

Instead, it focuses on evaluating an individual's writing skills and their ability to communicate clearly and coherently effectively.

CBEST writing preparation involves practicing writing essays, developing strong writing skills, and familiarizing yourself with the scoring criteria to understand what the scorers are looking for in a well-written essay.

Various study materials, CBEST writing practice tests and resources are available to help individuals prepare for this section of the CBEST exam.

Prep for the CBEST Writing Test with JobTestPrep

When candidates are ready to take the CBEST writing section , they first need to register and decide which format they will sit the exam in. It will either be paper-based, online-proctored, or computer-based.

To register and take the test, you will need to:

  • Visit the official CBEST website and create an account by filling out the registration form. This form will ask for personal details, contact information, and educational background.
  • Select the test and test date.
  • Pay the $30 registration fee (per section).
  • Confirm you have received the confirmation and admission ticket. The admission ticket contains important details such as the test date, location, and reporting time.
  • On the scheduled test day, arrive at the test center early, bringing your admission ticket, a valid photo ID, and any other required materials. Follow the instructions provided by the test center staff.

If you are taking the test remotely, log on and check all your equipment at least 20 minutes before the test starts.

All tests are in English and must be answered in English.

The Different Types of Tests

There are three ways that someone can take the test:

  • Computer-based
  • Paper-based
  • Online-proctored

Computer-Based Test (CBT)

The computer-based version of the CBEST Writing test is administered on a computer all year round at a Pearson testing center .

Candidates use the computer to type their essay responses within a provided word processing software. The CBT format allows for automatic spell-check and editing features. This version typically provides a more convenient and streamlined testing experience.

Tests are available Monday to Saturday, and you sit your exam with other candidates.

Those taking the computer version will also receive preliminary test results immediately.

CBEST Writing: Study Guide & Tips

If you need to prepare for a number of different employment tests and want to outsmart the competition, choose a Premium Membership from JobTestPrep . You will get access to three PrepPacks of your choice, from a database that covers all the major test providers and employers and tailored profession packs.

Get a Premium Package Now

Online-Proctored Test

The online-proctored version of the CBEST Writing test allows candidates to complete the exam remotely using their personal computer or laptop.

They connect to the test platform via a secure online connection and are monitored by remote proctors who ensure test security and integrity. Candidates are required to use the provided word-processing software to type their essay responses.

The online-proctored format provides flexibility by allowing test takers to take the exam from their preferred location.

Paper-Based Test

The written version involves physically writing your CBEST writing topics using a pen or pencil on paper.

This format may be available in certain circumstances or upon special request.

However, it's important to note that the availability of the written test option may vary depending on the test administration and location. As this version is being phased out, availability is scarce and the fees are often higher.

If you are unsure about any of the test formats, visit the official CBEST website or contact the testing authorities for information about each format, as well as any eligibility requirements or limitations associated with them.

These CBEST writing essay examples are designed to give you insight into the type of questions you can expect in your test.

Remember that the actual CBEST Writing prompts may vary but generally revolve around educational topics and require you to express your thoughts clearly, provide supporting evidence, and maintain a coherent structure in your essays.

Completing CBEST writing examples and developing your writing skills will help you feel more confident when taking the CBEST Writing test.

1. Do you believe that extracurricular activities are essential for a student's development? Support your position with specific examples and reasons.

2. Describe a challenging experience you faced in your education and how you overcame it. Discuss the lessons you learned from that experience and how it shaped your perspective on learning.

3. Imagine you are a school principal faced with the decision to implement a new educational program. Discuss the steps you would take to ensure its successful implementation and the potential challenges you might encounter along the way.

4. Read the following passage about the benefits of technology in the classroom. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating technology in education, and provide your opinion on its overall impact.

5. Should schools require students to wear uniforms? Take a position on this issue and support your stance with logical reasoning, evidence, and examples from your own experiences or observations.

6. Explain the importance of parental involvement in a child's education. Discuss specific ways in which parents can contribute to their child's academic success and overall development.

7. Do you believe that standardized testing is an effective way to assess student's knowledge and abilities? Why or why not? Provide specific examples and evidence to support your viewpoint.

8. In your opinion, what is the most important quality for a teacher to possess? Provide specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

9. In today's society, there is a growing concern about the impact of social media on mental health. Discuss the pros and cons of social media usage, and provide your opinion on whether it is overall beneficial or harmful to individuals' well-being.

10. Public transportation is an important aspect of urban life. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using public transportation, and explain whether you believe it should be promoted as a primary mode of transportation.

The CBEST Writing test is scored using specific criteria provided by the test administrators.

It is evaluated based on four major domains: Purpose and Focus, Organization, Development, and Language and Conventions.

Purpose and Focus – The clarity and effectiveness of your main idea. To score well, you will need a clear and well-defined central idea that directly addresses the prompt. You will also need to maintain a consistent focus on the main idea throughout your essay.

Organization – The structure and coherence of your essay, including how well you organize your thoughts, use paragraphing effectively and provide a logical flow of ideas. More points will be awarded for clear topic sentences, smooth transitions, and a well-structured introduction and conclusion.

Development – The depth and quality of your arguments and supporting evidence. You should be able to provide relevant examples, details, and explanations to support your ideas.

Language and Conventions – Your use of language, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. You will be evaluated on the clarity and effectiveness of your expression, including your vocabulary choices and sentence variety.

Each of the four domains is scored on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest.

It's important to note that the scoring process is subjective to some extent as it involves human judgment.

After your test has been scored, you will receive a score report that includes your individual domain scores, as well as an overall score for the CBEST Writing test.

This report provides feedback on your strengths and areas for improvement in each domain.

As this is a complex scoring process, taking the time to complete CBEST writing test examples will help develop your writing skills.

The CBEST is composed of three tests. A passing score on this test will depend on the score from the other two tests.

Scaled scores are calculated based on the raw scores you receive on each section of the writing test.

The raw scores are converted to scaled scores to account for differences in difficulty across the different test versions.

Additionally, the scaled score range for each domain is 20 to 80.

A score of 41 indicates you have a basic level of competency in writing skills.

From 2012 to 2017, the CBEST subtest with the lowest passing rate on the first attempt was the CBEST Writing test.

Only 66.9% to 75.1% of candidates passed the written subtest compared to 79.2% to 81.5% for the reading subtest and 78.3% to 80% for the math subtest.

This has led to the popular opinion that the written test is the hardest one to complete.

However, it might be that those candidates that failed the written test the first time may not have properly prepared or not have given it as much attention.

To avoid making the same mistake, take the time to complete CBEST writing examples and develop your writing skills. Particularly those skills that are assessed.

Preparing for and passing the CBEST Writing test requires a combination of effective study strategies and focused preparation .

Here are some CBEST writing tips to help you prepare for and increase your chances of passing the writing subtest:

Step 1 . Understand the Test Format

Familiarize yourself with the format of the CBEST Writing test. Review the instructions, time limits, and scoring criteria.

Understand what is expected in terms of essay structure, organization, development, and language proficiency.

Step 2 . Review Writing Techniques

Refresh your knowledge of effective writing techniques, including thesis statement development, paragraph structure, transitions, and coherent argumentation.

Practice constructing well-organized essays with clear introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions.

Step 3 . Read Sample Essays

Read sample essays to get an idea of the quality and structure expected in CBEST essays.

Analyze how those candidates present their ideas, use evidence, and maintain a coherent flow of thoughts.

Step 4 . Develop Time Management Skills

The CBEST Writing test requires writing two essays within 90 minutes.

Practice time management skills by completing CBEST writing samples to ensure you can plan, write, and revise your essays within the allotted time.

Step 5 . Practice Writing Prompts

Completing CBEST writing practice tests is the best way to prepare.

Use practice prompts to develop your ability to express your ideas clearly, support your arguments, and use proper grammar and vocabulary.

Pay attention to addressing all aspects of the prompt and providing well-developed examples and explanations.

Step 6 . Ask for Feedback

Ask someone knowledgeable in writing, such as a teacher, tutor, or mentor, to review and provide feedback on your practice essays. Their insights can help you identify areas for improvement, such as clarity of expression, organization, and grammar.

Step 7 . Enhance Grammar and Vocabulary Skills

Review common grammar rules, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Expand your vocabulary by making reading a daily habit and ensuring you read a variety of publications.

You can also use resources such as grammar books, vocabulary lists, and online language-learning platforms to improve your language skills.

Step 8 . Invest in a Study Guide

The CBESTs are an important step to becoming an educator. If you feel you need additional support or help, invest in a CBEST writing study guide .

Step 9 . Manage Test Anxiety

Develop strategies to manage test anxiety and stay calm during the exam. Practice relaxation techniques, such as box breathing and meditation to help maintain focus and confidence.

What is the CBEST writing test?

The CBEST writing test is one of three subtests mandatory in the state of California for all those wanting to become educators. It consists of two writing prompts and you have 90 minutes to write a clear and concise essay for each prompt.

How to pass the CBEST writing test?

The best way to pass the CBEST writing test is to prepare. Take the time to work through as many example prompts as possible to develop your writing, grammar and vocabulary skills. Reading a variety of publications regularly will also help develop your skills.

How to improve my CBEST writing?

The best way to improve your CBEST writing is to practice and ask for feedback from an expert. Make an effort to write as many essays as possible and ask a teacher or mentor for feedback on where you need to improve.

Where can I find CBEST writing examples?

A simple Google search will yield hundreds of results for CBEST writing examples. Try the ones on JobTestPrep .

Who grades the writing portion of the CBEST?

Trained scorers read and grade the writing portion of the CBEST.

How long does it take to get a computerized CBEST writing score?

You will receive a preliminary score immediately after submitting your CBEST writing essays when using a computer. However, these scores may change after the official scoring process.

How does the score for writing for the CBEST work?

Trained scores read through and grade your essays. You will receive a raw score that will then be converted into a scaled score between 20 and 80. A score of 41 indicates a basic ability.

Which is the best source to improve CBEST writing?

There are lots of websites that can help you improve your writing skills, such as Grammarly. However, the most effective way is to write as many essays as possible and ask for feedback from an expert such as a teacher or mentor.

How do I schedule the CBEST writing test?

You schedule your CBEST writing test by visiting the CBEST website , creating an account and selecting the schedule option. From there, you will be taken to a registration page where you choose your test format, time and location. To confirm your booking, you will need to pay a $30 fee for each test you book.

What is the highest possible score for the CBEST writing section?

The highest CBEST writing score is 80.

Where can I get a pack of CBEST writing practice tests?

JobTestPrep has a variety of practice tests for you to complete.

There are also comprehensive preparation packs available on Amazon and at local bookstores.

How many people pass the CBEST writing section?

In recent years only 66.9% to 75.1% of candidates passed the written subtest. This is compared to 79.2% to 81.5% for the reading subtest and 78.3% to 80% for the math subtest. It is unclear if this is because the writing test is especially difficult or if past candidates have not prepared as thoroughly compared to the other subtests.

Remember, consistent practice, attention to the specific requirements of the CBEST Writing test, and a focused study plan will contribute to your success.

Additionally, using reputable study materials and resources designed specifically for CBEST preparation can greatly assist you in developing your skills and passing the exam.

You might also be interested in these other Psychometric Success articles:

A Full Guide to Teacher Cover Letters: with Examples/Samples

Or explore the Aptitude Tests / Test Types sections.

cbest writing usage

  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • In-Tray Exercises
  • E-Tray Exercises
  • What To Expect
  • Group Exercises
  • Presentations
  • Assessment Centre Tips
  • How To Prepare For An Interview
  • How To Behave During An Interview
  • Hope To Cope With Nerves
  • PwC Assessment Centre
  • KPMG Assessment Centre
  • EY Assessment Centre
  • BDO Assessment Centre & Online Ability Tests Guide
  • IBM Assessment Centre & Study Guide
  • GSK Assessment Centre
  • Teach First Assessment Centre- The Ultimate Preparation Guide
  • MI5 Assessment Centre
  • Network Rail Assessment Centre
  • Fast Stream Assessment Centre
  • PSNI Assessment Centre
  • Psychometric Tests
  • Numerical Reasoning Test
  • Verbal Reasoning Test
  • Logical Reasoning Test
  • Abstract Reasoning Test
  • Inductive Reasoning Test
  • Watson-Glaser Test
  • How to Prepare for UKCAT Exam? – A Definitive Preparation Guide with Practice Tests, Tips & Tricks & More
  • Mechanical Comprehension Test – A Helpful Study Guide
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning Tests
  • Numeracy Skills Test (QTS)
  • Literacy Skills Test (QTS)
  • SHL Numerical Test: 5 Essential Tips for Guaranteed Success
  • RAF Aptitude Test
  • Army BARB Test
  • How to Prepare for Prison Officer Selection Test?
  • Network Rail Online Tests
  • PSNI Initial Selection Test
  • Personality Tests

cbest writing usage

How to Prepare for the CBEST Writing Test (With CBEST Writing Examples)

The California Basic Educational Skills Test or the CBEST is one of the credentials aspiring teachers in the state should get. It is available for test takers all year round, and can even be retaken as many times as needed.

One of the three sections of the CBEST is the Writing portion, which unlike the other two subjects, is not in a  multiple-choice format . Beyond basic grammar and language skills, this test challenges test takers to prove their competency in creating and organizing arguments. If you are worried about not getting a passing score in this section, we are here to help you prepare and improve.

Table of Contents

CBEST Writing Structure

The CBEST Writing portion is offered by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to qualified individuals who want to be teachers or want to apply to certain positions in the education system. It is one of the qualifications that cover basic requirements in the state. The CTC website offers in-depth information about the test.

The CBEST consists of three sections:

  • Reading – 50 multiple choice items, 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Math – 50 multiple choice items, 2 hours
  • Writing – 2 essays, 1 hour and 30 minutes

For the Writing section, test takers will be given two topics: first about a given situation or statement to analyze, and the second about a specific personal experience and their reflections on this.

cbest writing usage

The most important part to remember about the Writing section is that there are certain rubrics or standards your essays will be graded over:

  • Rhetorical Force : the overall cohesiveness of the essay in relation with the central or main idea, as well as the quality of the writer’s ideas
  • Organization : the clarity of the writing and the logical sequence of the writer’s ideas
  • Support and Development : the relevant and proper use of the supporting statements in the essay and how it flows or develops down the line
  • Usage : the use of proper terminologies and precision in word choice
  • Structure and Conventions : the proper use of grammar, language, syntax, paragraph structure, sentence structure, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization)
  • Appropriateness : the extent to which the writer addresses the topic and uses language and style appropriate to the given audience and purpose

Try to not worry too much about word count, although an ideal length would be around 300-500 words. Write only about the topics or prompts presented and make sure the main idea is supported by the rest of the essay.

CBEST Writing Test Examples

The following are sample CBEST Writing Test prompts you can start with:

  • Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, state whether you agree or disagree with Jobs. Support your position with logical arguments and specific examples.

For this writing prompt, you can begin on whether or not you disagree with the quote, to introduce the main idea of your essay. You should then follow this up with at least three strong supporting ideas, such as the role of passion in innovation, how it brings out the best and the creativity in people, and if you can, give an example of other famous personalities who are known to be passionate with their work. End the essay by reiterating your stand on the quote and a closing sentence that summarizes everything.

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
  • Explore the role of history in promoting empathy and understanding among individuals and communities. Discuss how learning about the past fosters tolerance and helps bridge cultural divides.

For this writing prompt, begin with stating your main idea, which is how history promotes empathy in people, no matter the race, age, or nationality. You can support this by talking about significant cultural events that have brought out the best in people, bringing them together amidst tragedy or adversities. Follow up with how history helps us remember as people, and how it reminds us that no matter what age or era we are all humans who survived because we learned how to help each other. Add other strong points that support the main idea and end with an inspiring closing sentence.

  • Explore a course where the content was particularly complex or demanding. Describe the specific challenges you encountered in understanding and mastering the material, and discuss the strategies you utilized to enhance your comprehension and performance.
  • Reflect on the role of extracurricular activities in a student’s educational experience. Discuss the benefits of participating in extracurricular activities and how they contribute to a student’s personal growth and development.

For this prompt, open with your main idea, which is the main benefit of extracurricular activities. As an educator, draw from your personal experience and observations to use these for your supporting statements. You can talk about different extracurricular activities and how they helped you or a student come out of their shell. List down benefits of physical activities without making generalizations. End your essay by reiterating your main argument.

You can get more free sample prompts and premium CBEST Prep Packs over at our partners at JobTestPrep !

How to Interpret the CBEST Writing Test Score

Unlike the Reading and Math Sections of the CBEST which are in multiple choice format, the Writing Section has scorers who will read and evaluate each of your responses using the standard set of criteria mentioned earlier. You will get a score anywhere between 4 and 16, which are then scaled to provide a more accurate representation of the student’s performance, with an average range of 20 to 80.

The official CBEST Test Results Information provides an official writing score scale and description, with 1 being an “inadequately formed writing sample that fails to communicate a message to the specified audience” and 4 as “a well-formed writing sample that effectively communicates a whole message to the specified audience.” This diagnostic scoring will also be provided to you when you receive your results, and will help you see where you excel and where you might be lacking, in case you have to retake this section of the CBEST.

How to Prepare for the CBEST Writing Section

cbest writing usage

Writing is not for everyone, but with enough practice, you can learn to write well enough to get a high score in the CBEST Writing Test. Here are some tips on how to prepare:

  • Begin with the official CBEST Writing Practice Test . This is the best way to begin your practice writing sessions. The practice test provides prompts and a writing sheet, as well as the official guide to scoring to remind you where to focus.
  • Remember: the first draft is the most important. Not everyone likes writing, and some even find it daunting. For the Writing section, practice by writing and using test prep packs. Begin with a simple outline, and then get to writing. Avoid second-guessing every sentence and focus on writing your thoughts down first. Once you finish, then you can reorganize your thoughts, flesh out some ideas, and of course proofread to weed out mechanical errors.
  • Review the Rubric. Focus on the scoring standards so you know which aspects of the essay to prioritize, which are mainly the structure, the contents, and the mechanical aspects. Don’t try to use words you are not sure of the meaning of just to “sound smarter.” Don’t add more words and sentences for the sake of length, but don’t try to write it too short either. The official writing practice test shows the sample responses with their respective scoring to give you a basis.
  • Keep on Writing. There’s no better way to improve than using writing prompts to keep you going. Practice organizing your thoughts and ask for feedback from friends, mentors, and colleagues. Write about your day at work, an article you just read, or a movie you just saw.
  • Read to Improve. Learn about new topics, discover how other writers flesh out their ideas, and see how they open or close their essays by reading. This will also help you expand your own vocabulary and strengthen your mental capacity to take on any writing prompt when the test day arrives.

Make sure you prepare for the day of the test and arrive at the testing center or login on your computer early! Shake off the nerves and know that you can ace this section.

The Write Way

The Writing Section of the CBEST challenges test takers on their abilities to analyze situations and talk about their stands or personal experiences in essay form. It tests their capacities to provide solid supporting arguments and their critical thinking abilities as well, which is important in becoming a good-quality educator.

Preparing for this section of the CBEST may sound difficult because you won’t know the prompts or questions until the day of the test, but sharpening your technical skills and using practice packs will definitely help. Keep in mind the scoring rubrics to focus and organize your essay and you will get that passing score in no time. Good luck!

Sarah Duncan

Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.

cbest writing usage


© Copyright AssessmentCentreHQ – All Rights Reserved

USC University of Southern California Homepage

  • Why Choose USC Rossier online programs?
  • Scholarships
  • Accreditation
  • Career Outcomes
  • California Teaching Credential
  • How To Become a School Counselor in California
  • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology online
  • Master of Education in Enrollment Management and Policy online
  • On-Campus and Hybrid Programs
  • What is an EdD?
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online
  • USC Rossier Blog
  • The Guide to Pinterest for Educators
  • Toolkit for Digitally Literate Teachers
  • Students and Gender Identity Guide for Schools

USC Rossier / Inside USC Rossier Blog

What You Need to Know Before Taking the CBEST

cbest writing usage

What is the CBEST?

The  CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test)  often represents the first step toward attaining a teaching credential in California. The exam is designed to test the reading, mathematics, and writing skills determined to be the most fundamental to a career as an educator. In this article we will break down everything you need to know about the test: who’s expected to take it, how to schedule a test date, and, most importantly, the type of content you can expect to encounter on the exam.

To start with, it’s important to understand that the CBEST tests an individual’s content knowledge in the areas of reading, mathematics and writing, rather than their ability to teach those skills. In that way, it isn’t that different from many of the standardized tests you may have taken as a student. The goal is for you, the test-taker, to demonstrate your general proficiency in these core areas of education.

As such, the test can be required in a few different circumstances. Most commonly, passing the CBEST typically allows one to begin substitute teaching within the state and/or is required to gain acceptance into a state-accredited teacher preparation or credentialing program. It is also required of those who are seeking an administrative services credential. 

The test itself is made up of three subtests: reading, mathematics and writing. The reading and math sections consist of 50 multiple choice questions each, while the writing subtest is composed of two essays. These subtests may be taken on separate days or as a combined exam. For more details about the major content areas covered in each subtest, consult the summaries provided at the end of this article.

For more information about the exam, please visit the official California Educator Credentialing Exams  website , or take a look at the  CBEST  information page on the Teachers Test Prep website. Here you’ll find a helpful overview of test dates, registration procedures and preparation options.

In this guide, you wil find the following information:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • How to Prepare for the Exam
  • 10 Helpful Test-Taking Tips
  • Exam Day Logistics

FAQs About the CBEST

Where can you register for the cbest.

You can register online on the CTC Exams website or by phone or mail. Click  here  for details.

How long are you given to complete the CBEST?

You are given four hours to complete all three sections of the exam.

What is considered a passing score on the CBEST?

A total score of 123 across all three subtests is required. Your results are determined using scaled scores that range from 20 to 80 for each of the three sections (reading, mathematics and writing). A passing score on each section is a scaled score of 41; however, you can score as low as a 37 on a section, as long as the sum of your three scores is 123 or higher.

How to Prepare for the CBEST

Here are some recommended resources to help you prepare for the exam:

  • Free preparation materials are  available on the CTC website , and they include test specifications and practice test questions.
  • There are multiple study guides available at bookstores, but be sure to look for the most recognized brand names. Teachers Test Prep offers a free basic  CBEST Study Guide  online, which provides you with a concise listing of all the topics covered on the exam.
  • Take at least one practice test. While the official CTC website offers practice test questions, it’s often helpful to get even more practice. Teachers Test Prep provides a free full-length  CBEST Practice Test  for each subtest of the exam. After you take the test, you’ll be able to see the answers you got wrong, as well as a breakdown by domain of your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can optimize your time while preparing for the test.
  • If you find you need additional help, Teachers Test Prep also offers a variety of paid services, including  CBEST Prep Classes  taught by live instructors throughout the state, one-on-one online CBEST tutoring with test experts, and  CBEST Online Prep  programs, which allow you to go through the same material covered in a live class but use a series of online videos that can be viewed from the comfort of home.
  • If you’re specifically concerned with the writing subtest, Teachers Test Prep also offers CBEST written response grading services in which a professional grader will score your sample essays using the same rubric as the exam. The grader will also provide you with written feedback describing what you did well and what you may need to improve to succeed on the exam.

10 Helpful Test-Taking Tips for the CBEST

  • Use the multiple choice format to your advantage.  Because both the reading and mathematics subtests are comprised of multiple choice questions, the right answer will always be staring you in the face — all you have to do is find it! On many math questions, you can use approximation skills to get you close enough to the right answer to be able to identify it among your choices. And with reading questions, it’s always a good idea to start by eliminating obviously wrong answers to help narrow your choices. 
  • Translate.  While a variety of different concepts show up on the mathematics subtest, one skill is used most often: translating the language of English into the language of math. In other words, can you take the word problem you are given and translate the key words and phrases in it into the correct mathematical steps that will lead to the correct answer?
  • Don’t be a hero: Use scratch paper.  You’re not able to use a calculator on the mathematics subtest, which means that any and all computations have to be done by hand. To help avoid making silly errors, use the scratch paper provided to you to work through problems.
  • Read the fine print.  Quite often on the mathematics subtest, there will be important fine print to be read as part of a diagram, chart, table or graph. Whenever you come across a visual aid on the exam, be sure to look for that fine print, as it will often alert you to an extra step that must be executed in order to arrive at the correct answer.
  • Put the passage into your own words.  While there are many different question types on the reading subtest, the fundamental skill remains the same: Can you distill the passage you’ve just read down to its essence? After you’ve read through a passage, try to come up with a one-sentence description of what it was about in your own words, and then, let that main idea serve as your guiding principle when answering the questions that follow.
  • Make sure your answer is specific and supported.  On the reading subtest, it’s often easy to eliminate obviously wrong answers; the hard part can be deciding between a pretty good answer and the correct answer. When in doubt, remember that all correct answers will have 100 percent direct support from the passage, and they’ll be specific, qualified statements. In other words, they won’t be broad statements or sweeping generalizations.
  • If an answer choice is half-right, then it’s all wrong.  “Trap” answers on the reading subtest tend to “trick” test-takers into choosing them, because half of the answer is supported by the passage. But these answer choices can ultimately be ruled out because they will add something extra that is not supported by what you’ve read.
  • Triangulate your answers.  On the reading subtest, if you’re stumped by a particular question, answer the other questions about that same passage first. Then, see if you can’t use your answers to those questions to help you figure out the answer to the question you’re stuck on. Remember, while there are many different question types, there is always going to be one unifying (main) idea in every passage.
  • Outline your essay.  Before you launch into your essays on the writing subtest, take a few minutes to jot down a basic outline of your ideas on a piece of scratch paper. Too often, test-takers write themselves into a corner or end up repeating themselves, because they don’t brainstorm and organize their ideas first. Think of it as a roadmap to success.
  • Proofread your essay.  Can you get away with a few typos and a missing comma on the writing subtest? Of course. But if your essay is littered with usage errors (i.e., typos, spelling and grammar mistakes), it can start to obscure the clarity of your message, and your score will come down as a result. So, take a few minutes before you submit your final product to read back through what you’ve written to correct any errors you might have made along the way. 

Logistics for CBEST Exam Day

  • View the CTC exams computer-based testing  tutorial , so you’ll know what to expect if you’re taking the computer-based exam.
  • Verify your test date and location by logging into your CTC exams account.
  • Bring government-issued identification with your registered name to the test center. This must include your photo and signature. Examples include: driver’s license, passport, military ID or alien registration card.
  • Do not bring any of the following to your test center: food, drinks, pens, pencils, scratch paper, textbooks, cellphones, smart watches, calculators or recording devices.
  • Visit the CTC to learn more about alternative testing arrangements  due to a physical or learning disability.
  • Wear layers to accommodate for various room temperatures.
  • Arrive at your test center early to give yourself ample time to check in.
  • Plan on being at the test center for upward of four hours on test day, if you are taking all three subtests.

Getting Your CBEST Results and Retaking the Exam

To pass the CBEST, your total scaled score must be at least 123 (each section has a passing scaled score of 41 but you can receive a scaled score as low as 37 in one or two sections as long as the total of all 3 sections is at least 123). You may want to retake a section that you already passed in order to increase your overall score. Your highest score for each subtest will be submitted.

For computer-based testing, results are typically made available to you within two weeks. For written-based testing, results are typically made available to you within three weeks.

You can take each subtest as many times as you like in order to pass. However, you must wait at least 45 days from your last test date to retake the computer-based test. 

Get More Information

cbest writing usage

How to Write the CBEST Writing Section Essays

cbest writing usage

You may feel a bit rusty when it comes to writing essays. Or, perhaps you have failed the CBEST writing section in the past.

Whatever the case may be, if you need to pass the CBEST writing section, you’ve come to the right place.

The CBEST writing portion of the test includes two essays that you have to write within a relatively short time. 

You are no doubt familiar with the rubric and the scoring criteria, so I won’t waste your time with any of that information. Instead, you and I will go straight to the meat of the matter. 

I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to write each of the essays. The first essay is personal, and the second is expository, which means it is argumentative.

So, let’s dive right in and learn how to write each of these essays on a tight timeline of the CBEST test.

How to Write the CBEST Personal Essay

First, let’s quickly discuss the main difference between the personal and the expository essays on this test.

The expository (argumentative) essay is the same 5-paragraph essay that they kind of taught you how to write in school. It is also a basic college essay in which you state an argument and support it. 

The personal essay, especially as described in CBEST prompts, is essentially a story with a lesson. This is the easiest way to approach it. 

So, in this part of the tutorial, we’ll be writing a 5-paragraph personal story with a lesson that you learned from it. I will use my personal example as an illustration. 

Our Sample CBEST Personal Essay Question

“Most people have experienced a significant challenge that changed their life in some way. This challenge is usually a loss of some kind, such as a loss of health, of a job or financial asset, or of an important relationship. In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, discuss one such challenge and how it changed you as a person.”

Note that any CBEST personal essay question will involve some kind of a challenge, something from your past you wish you could change, or some kind of a loss. 

Does this sound familiar? 

Every Hollywood movie is structured this way. You have a character who has a problem, and she overcomes that problem, but she has to change in order to do that.

In your personal essay, you are essentially doing the same. Your 5-paragraph structure becomes your 5-act movie. Let’s break it down into paragraphs.

CBEST Personal Essay Structure

Paragraph 1

In the first paragraph, you want to immediately answer the posed question. This will also mean that you are stating a problem that you had in the past. Describe the outer world problem.

Paragraph 2

Here, you reveal your inner world problem. This is something psychological about the situation. Think – there is a flat tire and there is a “story of the flat tire.” You also describe the situation in more detail, providing more context. 

Paragraph 3

Describe what you did to overcome the situation. This is about what you did in the outer world and what challenges or problems you encountered. 

You did not overcome the challenge yet. You had to deal with another problem that prevented you from winning at this point.

Paragraph 4

You realize that something needs to change for you to get the result. Something in your mindset had to shift. 

Paragraph 5

Describe how you finally achieved the result, what lesson or lessons you learned, and how you changed as a person. 

Please note that this structure is an approximation. You are simply telling a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. 

This structure gives you ideas of what to put in each paragraph. Use it as a reference when telling your story because each story is different. 

Also, keep in mind that if your story is somewhat simple, you can write only four paragraphs. That is okay, too. 

And now, let’s write an essay, using this template. Notice how this sounds familiar in terms of a Hollywood movie or any good story you’ve ever heard or read. 

CBEST Personal Essay Example

“One fine April evening many years ago, during an exercise routine, I made a wrong move and twisted my body in an unusual way. I heard a loud pop in my left knee and fell on the floor, writhing in pain. As it later turned out, I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament, a major stabilizing ligament in the knee. I now walked with a limp and had intense pain whenever I tried to extend my leg or when stepping onto a sidewalk. I was 30 years old, and I had a trauma that changed the way I walked. 

That injury did not just affect my physical body. I also became very stressed out about the situation. Doctors told me I needed an operation. But when I looked up the procedure on the internet, I realized that it involved cutting off parts of my leg, drilling holes in my bones, and fixing things with screws. I really did not want that done to me. But it seemed I had no other options. I was very scared, despondent, and was even becoming depressed. 

After months of looking for solutions, I came across a clinic in Europe where they treated joint diseases. It was located in a nice spa town, so I figured I needed a break from it all and had a chance to heal my leg at the same time if I went. So, I bought airplane tickets and packed my bags. I spent a couple of weeks in that town, all the while being treated at the clinic. But I saw no results. My hopes were being crushed. However, I met an interesting person there who suggested that I should look for an active way to achieve healing rather than trying to find someone to “do it for me.”

I had never thought of that before. That advice really shifted my mind. When I came back to New York, I started to look for self-healing solutions rather than for doctors who wanted to “do something to me.” Miraculously, I came across a website that taught people how to heal from an injury using a set of exercises. When I saw that, I immediately knew that this would work for me. It was a strange intuitive feeling. I called up the people in charge, made an appointment, and my self-healing began. 

The result did not come right away. The trainers taught me to be patient and keep doing the work. Persistence would have to be the key. Two months later, while doing my exercises, I suddenly realized that my pain was gone, I could extend my leg freely, and I could walk without a limp. I couldn’t believe it! I was healed. This healing made me realize that in order to achieve something, the ultimate place to look for answers is within. Nobody can do for us what we can do for ourselves when it comes to overcoming a major life problem.”

Key Points about this Essay

  • This essay has 492 words.
  • It is based on the 5-paragraph structured outlined above. 
  • It has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  • It contains a shift – from outside healing to self-healing.
  • It ends with a triumph and the lesson learned. 

Key Takeaways and Tips

Your personal stories are fascinating.

If you really think about any of your personal stories, you’ll find that there is always more under the surface. 

Something happened, but why did it happen? What was a possible hidden cause?

As an exercise, just sit back and think of one of your stories of adversity and triumph. And by following the 5-paragraph structure, just retell that story to yourself. 

You’ll find that the structure I gave you helps bring out things that perhaps you never noticed before. Your stories are dramatic and interesting. 

Every good story involves an inner shift.

Luke Skywalker can only become a Jedi if he can overcome self-doubt. 

Rocky can only gain the respect of others if he first gains self-respect. 

In my story, I had to shift from the idea of being healed by someone to the idea of taking my healing into my own hands. 

The structure is only a guideline.

You can find elements from the 5-paragraph structure in any of your personal stories. So, just use those elements you can identify. 

But try to find as many of them as you can:

  • the loss itself
  • the inner problem resulting from it or causing it
  • the early ineffective solution
  • the final effective solution
  • the lesson(s) learned. 

Any CBEST personal essay question is about adversity and triumph.

If you’re asked to describe a time you disappointed a loved one, this is a dramatic story. It’s about the disappointment, how it resolved, and what you learned in the end.

If you’re writing about a personal loss or challenge, this is a drama. You started at a low point, fought through obstacles, and triumphed. You definitely learned something.

If you have to write about something in the past that you could change, that’s a dramatic story. Why do you wish you could change it? Because it was some kind of a loss. 

In other words, the 5-paragraph structure that I gave you will work for any essay prompt you get on the CBEST test.

It’s time to move on to the CBEST argumentative essay. 

How to Write the CBEST Expository Essay in 5 Steps

An expository essay is simply an essay in which you present an argument and then support it, using evidence. A simple, college argumentative essay is an expository essay.

And that is the second kind of an essay you have to write on the CBEST writing test. It is also known as an opinion essay. 

In this essay, you want to stick to a 5-paragraph structure and shoot for about 400 words. Let’s get right to it. 

Writing a CBEST expository essay is a 5-step process:

  • Take a stand 
  • Write the thesis statement
  • Write the support (body of the essay) 
  • Write the conclusion
  • Write an introductory sentence

Our Sample CBEST Expository Essay Question 

“Amit Kalantri once said that ‘great losses are great lessons.’ In an essay intended for educated adults, state whether you agree or disagree with Kalantri’s observation. Support your argument with logical reasoning and specific examples.”

I deliberately chose a prompt that is very similar to our personal essay question. You’ll see that the ways we write the personal and the expository essays are very different.

Let’s shoot for 400 words in this essay. This makes for an easy way to judge how much to write in each paragraph, as I’ll show you in a minute.

Step 1. Take a stand

This is a very simple and easy step in which we simply decide whether we agree or disagree with the statement and write it as a complete sentence.

You’ll notice that most choices whether to agree or disagree are really easy to make. They kind of “beg” for either a positive or a negative answer. 

This quotation I chose just begs for you to agree with it. So, let’s make this simple decision and choose to agree with Kalantri. And let’s write out the complete main point:

“I agree with Kalantri’s statement that great losses are great lessons.”

And we’re done with step 1. 

Step 2. Write the thesis statement

The thesis statement must include not only your main point but also your supporting points. For a 5-paragraph essay, you always want to have three supporting points or ideas.

Each of these supporting ideas will correspond to a body paragraph of your essay. To find the supporting points, you must ask yourself why you agree (or disagree) with the statement in the prompt.

Let’s find three reasons why we agree that great losses are great lessons:

  • Losses make people think
  • Losses reveal people to themselves
  • Losses usually lead to greater advantages

When coming up with these three reasons, make sure that they are different from one another. 

Now that we have our reasons, let’s write out a complete thesis statement. We can simply copy and paste our main and supporting points together and make sure they flow:

Our Complete Thesis Statement

As you can see, we simply copied and pasted all of our points together and made a few tweaks to make the paragraph flow. 

We now have a complete thesis statement that is also our outline. Note in the diagram below how we will distribute the 400 words across paragraphs. 

cbest writing usage

And we’re ready for the next step. 

Just so you know, I wrote a detailed tutorial on how to write a thesis statement , in case you want to master this skill. 

Step 3. Write the Support (Body of the Essay)

Our body of the essay will consist of three paragraphs, about 100 words each. If you know an exact number to shoot for in each paragraph, your life becomes a lot easier. 

Each paragraph must proceed from general to specific. The first sentence in a body paragraph is called a lead sentence (or a topic sentence). It is the most general sentence in the paragraph.

The next most general part of a paragraph is some kind of an explanation why we believe this statement is true.

And finally, the most specific part of a body paragraph is an example.

Here’s what an overall structure of a body paragraph looks like:

cbest writing usage

Let’s go ahead and write the body of the essay.

Losses make people think, and great losses make them think a lot. Comfort tends to relax people, and when people are relaxed, they simply do not need to think. But as soon as a loss has occurred, the person’s significance, security, or even livelihood may be threatened. To quote Tony Robbins, “When people succeed, they tend to party. When they fail, they tend to ponder.” I remember when I lost 80% of my income in the crash of 2008. That loss made me think and look for ways to compensate and establish better financial security in the future. 

Losses reveal people to themselves, and personal revelations are the greatest lessons. It is a well known phenomenon in psychology that a crisis is a very powerful way to make a person see something in her life that was hidden theretofore. This is illustrated very well in the Wizard of Oz. Each of the characters who accompanied Dorothy to Emerald City thought he lacked a quality. But by dealing with a crisis, they eventually realized that they actually had the courage, the brain, and the heart. I know that this happens in real life because it was not until I faced a financial crisis that I found out that I had the strength and courage to start again in the face of difficulties. 

Great losses usually lead to far greater advantages. Some of the most important lessons that lead to great success are not even available to human beings until and unless they face a crisis of some sort. For example, Lee Iacocca was fired from the Ford Motor Company in 1978. That was a big blow to Lee’s ego and finances. But he found a way to rebound. He subsequently went to work for Chrysler and led that company’s growth in the 1980’s. That was an even greater success for Lee, according to his autobiographical account. 

And we’re done with the body. Please note:

  • Each paragraph is about 100 words long.
  • Each one starts with a lead sentence, proceeds to an explanation, and provides an example.

It’s time for the next step. 

Step 4. Write the conclusion

Writing the conclusion for the CBEST expository essay is really easy. All you need to do is simply restate what you already said – in different words. That’s all.

Use the same structure as the thesis statement. But use synonyms and paraphrase so that your conclusion doesn’t sound like a copy of the thesis statement.

Just use your thesis statement as reference. Let’s do it.

This conclusion is 58 words long, which is perfect for our overall word count. And it does what it should do – it restates the main and the supporting points using different words and phrases. 

By the way, I wrote a detailed tutorial on how to write conclusions , if you want to dig a bit deeper into this skill. 

Step 5. Write an introductory sentence

This step is easy, as well. You just want to add a sentence in the beginning of your opening paragraph, in which you introduce the main point. 

This introductory sentence will be the very first sentence of your essay. To write it, you need to take a step away, zoom out from your main point and provide a perspective. 

In other words, in this sentence you explain why what you’re about to argue is important. 

Here’s our full opening paragraph, including the introductory sentence and the thesis statement:

As you read the paragraph, can you hear how the first sentence introduces your main point really nicely? 

The first sentence is just a way to “get into the subject.” How do people usually react to great loss? They freak out. But they shouldn’t, and here’s why. 

And guess what – we’re done writing our CBEST argumentative essay! It has 416 words of high quality persuasion. 

I hope this was helpful!

Now practice a little and go ace that test.

How to Write a 300 Word Essay – Simple Tutorial

How to expand an essay – 4 tips to increase the word count, 10 solid essay writing tips to help you improve quickly, essay writing for beginners: 6-step guide with examples, 6 simple ways to improve sentence structure in your essays.

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

Recent Posts

How to Write an Essay about Why You Want to Become a Nurse

If you're eager to write an essay about why you want to become a nurse, then you've arrived at the right tutorial! An essay about why you want to enter the nursing profession can help to...

How to Write an Essay about Why You Deserve a Job

If you're preparing for a job application or interview, knowing how to express why you deserve a role is essential. This tutorial will guide you in crafting an effective essay to convey this...




North Carolina

Praxis®️ | Pearson



Start Today

Foundations of Reading (FoRT)


Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)

cbest writing usage

  • Test Prep Resources
  • Article: How To Prepare For (And Pass) The CBEST – A Must Read

How To Prepare for and Pass the CBEST — A Must-Read!

Blackboard Teaching vectors

What happens if you didn’t receive all As and Bs, though? What about if you’re switching careers and didn’t just complete a teacher preparation course? What about if you worked in education but weren’t certified? The CBEST could still be required for your path to teaching.

Have no fear! The CBEST is a big test that covers a lot of information! But,  240 Tutoring  can help you be successful! In this guide, we will provide you with everything you need to know to pass the CBEST. We will discuss the relative difficulty of the test and offer you advice about how to study for it. We will show you where to find the best resources for the CBEST (some of them free!), and walk you through how to use the study guides effectively.

If you’re still not sure if you need to take the CBEST, contacting the  CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing office  would be a good idea.

What Is On the CBEST Exam?

The CBEST, or California Basic Educational Skills Test, is broken into three sections that assess your basic knowledge of mathematics, reading, and writing. These sections are administered separately. You can take one, two, or all three at the same time. The entire test is online. You can register to take it at a testing site or remotely (like from home or work).

The reading section has 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions are based on reading passages, tables, and graphs. You will be asked to read each item, then use comprehension or analysis skills to answer the questions. The math section also has 50 multiple-choice questions. This section focuses on three skill factors: (1) estimation, measurement, and statistical principles; (2) computation and problem-solving; and (3) nume rica l and graphic relationships. Calculators are not allowed for the test. Finally, the writing section asks you to write 2 personal essays and will grade your ability to write effectively and clearly.

More detailed information about the CBEST can be found  here .

What Are CBEST Passing Scores?

Well, you must earn at least 123 points across all three sections of the CBEST to pass. Raw scores, which range from 1 to 50, are then converted to scaled scores of 20 to 80. A CBEST score of 41 is considered passing, although you can technically score as low as 37 in one or two sections provided that your total score is over 123. On the math and reading sections, every question has the same value, and there is no penalty for wrong answers. On the writing section, essays are scored holistically based on criteria such as rheto rica l force; organization; support and development; usage; structure and conventions; and appropriateness. It sounds like a lot, but you can find simple explanations of the criteria  here .

Looking for an article specifically focused on scoring? Check out the  CBEST Passing Scores article .

Where Do You Find Resources For the CBEST?

The official  California Educator Credentialing Assessments site  offers some additional details about the CBEST as well as some practice test questions. You can also find the  CBEST Test Standards , which are descriptions of all the skills the test-taker is expected to demonstrate.

What Are the Best Resources To Use For the CBEST?

In addition, it is a good idea to spend time reviewing the content of the CBEST and practicing questions from trusted sources like 240 Tutoring. 240 Tutoring offers a free CBEST practice test  that includes reading and mathematics practice tests and offers  CSET study guides  as well.

What makes 240 Tutoring the best? A  proven development process  that consistently creates amazing study guides that are aligned to your specific exam. They even have a  pass guarantee !

Where Do You Find Study Guides For the CBEST Exam?

Check out  240 Tutoring ’s CBEST test breakdown materials and practice tests at the links below.

  • CBEST Reading
  • CBEST Writing guide

How Do You Use Study Guides To Study For the CBEST?

We recommend that you start by watching  240 Tutoring’s video introductions  to each section of the CBEST and taking notes of the concepts and skills you need to review. Then get started with some practice questions.

How Do You Study For the CBEST Test?

If you like to read, then you have already unknowingly started to prepare for the CBEST reading section, which will test things like your reading comprehension, analysis skills, and ability to understand vocabulary in context. If you haven’t read a book in years, it’s time to get started with some  practice questions . And it wouldn’t hurt to clear the dust off your high school English notes to review some rheto rica l devices and the proper way to paraphrase.

If you haven’t solved a math problem in years, you will need to brush up on the basics – arithmetic, introductory algebra and geometry, and nume rica l and graphical relationships. You cannot use a calculator on the math section of the CBEST, so in order to mimic testing conditions, practice without one. Try out a  practice test  to see how you do!

This chart breaks down the content of both the Reading subtest and the Mathematics subtest:

CBEST Subtest Question Breakdown

To prepare for the writing section of the CBEST, search for some sample prompts and responses and then get writing. The  CTC  site includes a  CBEST Practice Writing Test  with a detailed scoring rubric and sample responses for each score. Read as many past prompts as possible to familiarize yourself with what will be asked and expected of you. 240 Tutoring also offers a resource to help prepare test-takers for  constructed-response questions .

On the CBEST there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so you should always guess when you don’t know the answer. However, when taking practice tests, take note of the questions you guessed on so you can review the question content, even if you answered correctly.

Read this  CBEST Structure article  for more information about the structure of the exam.

When Should You Study For the CBEST?

As with most exams, it’s best not to wait until the last minute to begin prepping for the CBEST. It might be a long time since you last practiced the skills being tested on the CBEST, so it’s likely these skills will need to be sharpened.

How Much Should You Study For the CBEST?

You should get started a few months in advance and review a little bit every day. Running out of time for a test you already scheduled? Check Dr. Kristy Mulkey’s  “Effective Cramming” tips or read our article on effective cramming for your teacher certification test to make the best of your remaining study time.

Free CBEST resources here.

Need help passing your exams? 240 Tutoring helped 49,649 educators pass their exams last year — and we are ready to help you! 

→ Start studying today

Not sure what to study, or if you are going to pass? We can help!

Question 1 of 3

Where are you hoping to teach?

Question 2 of 3

🤔 Hmmm... Looks like you may have to take a {testSeriesAndURL} exam.

Have no fear! We got you covered! Would you like us to send you over {testSeries} resources?

Question 3 of 3

How would you rate your confidence in passing your exam?

We can help you feel confident in passing your exam. We'd recommend taking a free diagnostic test to see how you perform.

Get access to all exam study guides for {testSeries} and feel rest assured you're ready for exam day, with our money-back guarantee.

Great! Then let's get studying. And no worries, we have a money-back guarantee.

Do you have an education degree?

Do you have a bachelor's degree (not in education)?

Teachers can come from many paths, even if you don't have an education degree.

We built a guide for all the paths teachers can take, and the timeline for each one. Would you like us to send it to you?

If you're interested in how to become a teacher in certain subject areas or states, please visit these resources to get you started.

Question 1 of 2

Question 2 of 2

You may be a great fit for the 240 Alt-Cert Program (ACP), which is a more affordable and quicker option to becoming a teacher in Texas.

You will likely need to get a certification to start teaching. We'd recommend an Alternative Certification program.

What best describes why you are looking to be certified?

What best describes your organization?

Tell us a little about yourself, and we'll be in touch to discuss how we can support your teachers.

Tell us a little about yourself, and we'll be in touch to discuss how we can support your teachers

Thank you for submitting your information! We will be in touch shortly. In the mean time, please visit our EPP page to learn more.

Thank you for submitting your information! We will be in touch shortly. In the mean time, please visit our K12 page to learn more.

CBEST Practice Test

CBEST Writing Samples

Below is a sample response to each of our CBEST Practice Essays . Review these responses for an example of two high-scoring essays. These CBEST sample essays follow the template that’s in our CBEST Writing Guide . Below each example is a short commentary which explains why it is an effective essay and why it would receive a high score.


According to the CBEST Writing Score Scale, essays are given a score ranging from 0–4. This essay would receive a score of a 4. It is a well-written example of a response to a Type 1 Essay Question.

From the beginning, the essay addresses the question with a story about an obstacle the writer has had to overcome, by writing, “We all face obstacles in our lives, but there are no obstacles that are more frustrating than the ones we construct ourselves. The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome in my life is my fear of failure.” The writer chooses to discuss an obstacle that he has constructed for himself, which is a major focus of the entire response. He clearly states his main idea and maintains it throughout the rest of the response.

The following paragraphs explore the moment that the writer learned how to overcome his fear of failure. He begins by explaining (1) how this obstacle has affected him. He then describes (2) the precipitating event that helps him make a change. He finally finishes the story by explaining (3) how things have changed since he has learned to overcome the obstacle. The story is engaging, makes sense, and remains focused on addressing the essay question. The conclusion brings the story back together with the prompt and even discusses how this event will help the writer in the future.

Additionally, the writer’s style is clear, focused, and entertaining. Instead of just dryly responding to the question asked, the writer weaves an entertaining story that proves his point. He spends just the right amount of time telling the story so that it has an impact on the readers without boring them, and effectively concludes in a way that ties the response up nicely and neatly.

According to the CBEST Writing Score Scale, essays are given a score ranging from 0–4. This essay would receive a score of a 4. It is a well-written example of a response to a Type 2 Essay Question.

The introduction to the essay presents a clear thesis, as the writer declares, “I believe that people are more influenced by their environment than by their instinctive human nature.” The writer manages to focus on proving that thesis throughout the rest of the response, using several different examples to support her position.

The examples provided in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs remain on topic, and effectively support the writer’s overall thesis. The writer discusses (1) the impact families have on a student’s success, (2) how The Lord of the Flies proves her point by telling the story of children shaped by their environment, and (3) how people are shaped by the cultural beliefs of the people around them. The logic of these examples make sense, and even though some of the analysis the writer makes is arguable, it is still convincing and effective. The conclusion brings all of the writer’s examples together to drive home the writer’s thesis statement.

Additionally, the writer’s response is focused, clear, and well-supported. The writer’s logic is easy-to-follow and convincing, and she does a great job proving her point. There are no real errors in grammar or mechanics either, which helps elevate this response to a high score.

You should now be fully prepared for the CBEST Writing Section. To review how to create high-scoring essays like the samples above, revisit our CBEST Writing Guide . For CBEST Reading and Math practice please visit CBEST Practice Test .

  • Practice Tests
  • Predictive Index
  • Firefighter
  • Hogan Personality Inventory
  • Leadership Assessment
  • GardaWorld Pre Board
  • Criticall Dispatcher
  • Ramsay Technician Course
  • Watson-Glaser
  • Cubiks Course
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Texas Success Initiative
  • TSA Prep Booster™ Course
  • TSA Practice Test
  • TSA Written Skills Assessment
  • TSA CBT X-Ray Object Recognition Test
  • SHL Assessment Prep Course
  • Practice Test & Answers
  • SHL Practice Tests
  • SHL Test Answers
  • SHL Inductive Reasoning Test
  • SHL Numerical Reasoning Test
  • SHL Verbal Reasoning Test
  • SHL Verify G+ Test
  • SHL Mechanical Comprehension Test
  • SHL Situational Judgment Test
  • SHL OPQ Personality Test
  • Predictive Index Test Behavioral & Cognitive Assessment Course
  • PLI Practice Test
  • Prepare for the PI Cognitive Assessment & Sample Questions, Practice Tests and Study Guide
  • DBS PLI Test
  • Maersk PLI Assessment Test
  • What Exactly Is the PI/PI LI Test?
  • Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
  • Predictive Index Results
  • Professional Learning Indicator
  • Beat the Predictive Index® Assessment And Get Hired
  • Predictive Index Test Samples
  • Caliper Course
  • Caliper Test Prep With Real Practice Test
  • Caliper Test
  • Ace The Caliper Assessment And Secure Your Career
  • USPS Postal Exam
  • Postal Exam 474
  • Postal Exam 475
  • Postal Exam 476
  • Postal Exam 477
  • USPS Postal Exam Prep
  • Pass the 2023 Postal Exam With Practice Tests
  • Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA)
  • General Police Prep Course
  • CJBAT Study Guide
  • Correctional Officer Exam
  • DELPOE Police Exam
  • EB Jacobs Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery
  • Texas LEVEL Test With Expert Guides
  • MTA Police Exam
  • Nassau County Police Exam Course
  • NY State Trooper Exam Prep Course
  • PELLETB Course
  • School Safety Agent Course
  • Suffolk County Police Exam
  • Police Officer NYPD Exam
  • Police Fitness Prep Course
  • FBI Test Phase 1 (Special Agent Exam): Guide with Practice Test [2023]
  • Police Test Preparation Suite
  • Pass a Polygraph Test (Lie Detector): Expert Tips & Questions – 2023
  • Arizona Police Exam
  • California Police Exam
  • Illinois Police Exam
  • Indiana Police Exam
  • New Jersey Police Exam
  • North Carolina Police Exam
  • Ohio Police Exam
  • Oregon Police Exam
  • Pennsylvania Police Exam
  • Texas Police Exam
  • Washington Police Exam
  • Wisconsin Police Exam
  • FCTC Firefighter Prep Course
  • NFSI Firefighter Prep Course
  • FireTeam Prep Course
  • FDNY Firefighter Prep Course
  • Firefighter Test
  • Master the 2023 Hogan Cognitive & Personality Assessment
  • Leadership Assessment Test
  • GardaWorld Pre Board Primer
  • Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test II (BMCT-II) Success Prep Course
  • Beat the 2023 BMCT With Industry Expert Guides & Realistic Practice Tests
  • 911 Dispatcher Test
  • Criticall Dispatcher Course
  • Criticall Dispatcher Test
  • CCAT Course
  • Beat the 2023 Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test & Guide & Free CCAT Practice Test
  • Criteria Pre-employment Testing: Personality, Aptitude & Skill Tests
  • Korn Ferry Course
  • Ace the 2023 Korn Ferry Assessment With Practice Test & Expert Guides
  • Ramsay Electrical Course
  • Ramsay Maintenance Course
  • Ramsay Mechanical Course
  • Ramsay Multicraft Course
  • Ramsay Electrical Practice Test
  • Ramsay Maintenance Practice Test
  • Ramsay Mechanical Practice Test
  • Ramsay Multicraft Practice Test
  • Ramsay Test Prep
  • SIFT Practice Test & Study Guide
  • Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Course
  • Watson Glaser Test 2023: Free Practice Tests, Format, and 5 Sections Overview
  • Take on the Watson Glaser and Secure your Future Career
  • Beat the Watson Glaser and Upgrade Your Career
  • Cubiks Test: Guide on all Test Types and Free Cubiks Practice Test
  • Cubiks PAPI Test: Focus Areas and Test Format (2023)
  • Cubiks Assessment Test to Start Working at KPMG
  • Numerical Reasoning Prep Course
  • Texas Success Initiative Course
  • TSI Practice Test 2023: Math, Reading & Writing
  • TSI Reading Practice Test: 15 Q&A with Explanations
  • Pass our Free TSI Math Practice Test (2023 Update)
  • Take our Free TSI Writing Practice Test (2023)
  • How it Works

CBEST Writing Prompts & Top Tips (2023)

The CBEST writing section is considered by many to be the ‘wild card section’ of the CBEST test due to the fact that one’s score can vary based on a number of factors as well as how lenient the evaluator was when looking over the entirety and style of your essay, making the use of CBEST writing prompts and guides highly vital in preparing for it.

This is because it won’t matter if you have perfect grammar and can write multiple paragraphs in the span of a few minutes because you will be given little to no points if you didn’t conform to the scoring criteria of the exam.

When you take the CBEST writing test, you will have to write two essays:

  • The Expressive Essay – Where you have to write an essay that contains your personal opinion or experiences on the topic given.
  • The Expository Essay – Where you have to make an analytical essay on the topic supplied to you.

This means that you should be careful not to mistake one for the other and make good use of CBEST writing essay samples and other CBEST writing tips and techniques as the mere volume will not get you anywhere and can even prove disastrous to your score if you try to brute force it.

How to Ace CBEST Writing Section։ Top Tips

Write your essay in five parts:.

Ideally, you should write your essay in five paragraphs, but since everyone has their own writing style, it is instead recommended that you compose your essay in five parts for both Expressive and Expository essays, namely:

  • The Introductory Paragraph
  • First Example
  • Supporting Example
  • Most Important Example

For the Expressive Essay, focus on impact:

Since this particular essay requires you to talk about a personal experience, mentioning how it affected you or changed you in some way will bolster your conclusion. Let’s say that the subject given to you revolves around saving money, you can use instances where you realized that it’s better to buy in bulk in the long run due to the convenience of never having to travel to the grocery store too often, saving you gas or transportation costs, among other things.

For the Expository Essay, try to mention statistics:

Due to the analytical format of this essay, it is almost completely vital for you to mention concrete information, recent studies, or recent national events to solidify your narrative or point

Don’t overshoot:

Apart from writing a terrible or mediocre essay, another reason why so many test-takers fail to get a lot of points in the CBEST writing test is because they try to use overly complex examples that they barely understand but wanted to use because it’s somewhat related to the subject given to them in the test. In reality, however, the CBEST essay writing section doesn’t require you to have an intensive knowledge of the topic in your essay, only enough to convey your message or point.

What is the CBEST Test and why is Essay Writing Included in it?

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is an aptitude test that measures the cognitive abilities of aspirant teachers in the states of Oregon and California. Math, Reading, and Writing are the three sections of the test. At Prepterminal we have created the CBEST guide and CBEST practice tests to help you ace the exam and start your career as a teacher.

The writing section was included in the CBEST test to measure a prospective teacher’s ability to write and convey information effectively. Because it is one of the three main sections of the exam, the others being the reading and math sections, preparing for it should just be as important due to how many points you can miss out on for just winging it. That’s why we have developed Math practice and Reading practice tests for you to get a taste of what is going to be on the real exam.

As practicing is the main guarantee that you can ace the CBEST test, Prepterminal offers you the actionable CBEST prep course. Our CBEST preparation course has been developed by experts and psychometric specialists who regularly keep an eye on the exam so that our content is always updated. The course includes 10 core modules and video-based modules on the reading and math sections of the CBEST assessment. These modules contain numerous question banks and practice tests for each subject or subsection, allowing you to be as prepared as you can be.

So, don’t wait, ensure you successfully embark on your teaching career and enroll in our CBEST course today!

CBEST Test Prep Course

  • 1 BONUS Interview Prep Video Guide Buy this Course: Get full access to all lessons, practice tests and guides.
  • 1/2/3/4 Operations - Video Guide
  • 1/2/3/4 Operations - Written Guide
  • 1/2/3/4 Operations Questions
  • Tables - Written Guide
  • Tables Questions
  • Percentages - Written Guide
  • Percentages Questions
  • Ratios Questions
  • Ratio - Written Guide
  • Rates and Proportion - Written Guide
  • Rates & Proportion Questions
  • Graphic Arithmetic - Written Guide
  • Graphic Arithmetic Questions
  • Formal Logic Practice Questions
  • Formal Logic – Video Guide
  • Formal Logic – Written Guide
  • Verbal Reasoning - Written Guide
  • Verbal Reasoning Questions
  • Analogies – Written Guide
  • Analogies Practice Questions
  • Antonyms Practice Questions
  • Antonyms Video Guide
  • Antonyms – Written Guide
  • Essay Writing

Michael Lerner

Created by: Michael Lerner

Bsc, psychometric tutor, prepterminal test expert, 1418 students, 4.3 , 220 reviews.

Hey, I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s CBEST Prep Course expert. I am here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about the CBEST Prep Course. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] .

Unfortunately, your browser does not meet our new security requirements. Before March 17, 2018, upgrade your browser to the newest version to avoid any interruption in accessing PearsonVUE.com.

Online testing for  California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

OnVUE logo

Test with confidence and convenience.

Take your exam online, on your schedule, from your own home.

Navigate your online testing experience with ease

Before test day

On test day, testing policies, faqs and more, run a system test.

Complete a system test and exam simulation before exam day.*

cbest writing usage

Run system test

*Issues? Check out the  technical requirements .

Choose your testing space

Find a private, distraction-free area to take your exam.

cbest writing usage

Get your space ready (Opens in new window)

Get your ID ready

Make sure your personal identification meets requirements.

cbest writing usage

View ID requirements

Once you’ve completed these preparatory steps, get familiar with the unique requirements for testing online .

For even more in-depth information, download our helpful guide to taking your exam online PDF (Opens in new window) .

cbest writing usage

Schedule, reschedule or cancel your exam.

Manage exam appointment

STEP 1. Do any last-minute prep

Be sure your computer and internet pass the pre-exam system test. Clear your desk/workspace of prohibited items and prep your equipment. Get your ID ready to present. Review our  Exam rules / testing advice  for specifics.

STEP 2. Check in

You can begin the check-in process up to 30 minutes before to 15 minutes after your appointment time. Get started here.  

STEP 3. Start your exam

While testing, it’s best to focus on the questions and not get distracted. Observe all the environmental and behavioral rules. If you need help during your exam, use the chat icon to request assistance.

Exam rules / testing advice

To maintain high security throughout online exams, protect exam content, and confirm you’re following online-testing rules, you will be monitored at all times. Audio and video may be recorded, and an exam monitor/proctor may contact you or even stop your exam if they witness any questionable behavior.

  • You must stay in your designated testing space, in view of your webcam throughout your exam
  • You cannot get up and walk around or leave your testing environment, unless breaks are permitted by your exam program
  • Unless requested by a greeter or proctor, do not move your webcam once your exam has started
  • No one can enter or pass through your testing environment
  • You may not communicate with anyone other than your proctor
  • Do not read the test questions aloud; mumbling or speaking out loud will lead to a warning
  • Keep your mobile phone in the room where you’re testing, but out of arm’s reach
  • You must be fully clothed throughout your entire exam
  • A beverage in any container is allowed, as is chewing gum, but eating, smoking, or other tobacco use is prohibited
  • Headphones and headsets (wired or Bluetooth) are not allowed unless explicitly approved by your test sponsor

Advice for a successful online testing experience

When testing online, preparation is key. We have several areas of advice to help you get the most out of your online testing experience.

  • Make sure you have the right equipment (Opens in new window)
  • Use the best internet connection possible (Opens in new window)
  • Take the system test (Opens in new window)
  • Prepare your testing environment (Opens in new window)
  • Start the check-in process (Opens in new window)
  • Tips for capturing your photos (Opens in new window)
  • Remember you’ll be recorded (Opens in new window)
  • Dealing with technical issues (Opens in new window)
  • Creating a support ticket (Opens in new window)

For additional details and even more helpful info, download our guide to taking your exam online (PDF, Opens in new window) .

ID requirements for testing online

Make sure you have acceptable id.

Before testing online, you’ll need to provide identification (ID) that meets the requirements outlined below.

  • All IDs must be valid (unexpired) government-issued originals (i.e., not a photocopy or an electronic version)
  • IDs must include the test-taker’s name and a recent, recognizable photo
  • The first and last name on the ID must match the first and last name used to register for the exam
  • For test-takers under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must present their own ID during check-in and give consent for the test-taker to be recorded. If they have one, the test-taker must also present a government-issued ID. If they do not, a student ID will suffice.
  • International travel passport
  • Driver's license
  • Identification card (national, state or province ID card)
  • Alien registration card (green card or permanent resident/visa)
  • Aadhaar Card (all other forms of Aadhaar IDs such as letter/paper forms and/or digital formats are not accepted)
  • Restricted IDs*, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Common Access Card (CAC) or certain secure access IDs
  • IDs from countries where OnVUE delivery is restricted: North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran and the Sevastopol/Crimea region of Ukraine.
  • Digital IDs

* Pearson VUE cannot accept restricted IDs—those prohibited by law from being photocopied, digitized, or captured on camera—as identification for online testing.

Ready to  check in  for your exam? Sign in now

cbest writing usage

Technical requirements

Thoroughly review these technical requirements to ensure your system is compatible with the OnVUE online testing software. If your system does not meet the requirements and causes a problem during the exam, you will be responsible for any costs associated with rescheduling your exam.

NOTE: The two most frequent causes of technical issues are (1) testing on an employer-issued computer and (2) unreliable internet connections. Firewalls or security settings from employer-issued computers may prevent the OnVUE software from operating properly. Unreliable internet connections (e.g., wireless networks, hotels, VPNs, mobile hotspots) may interrupt connectivity. For these reasons, we strongly recommend using a personal computer (i.e., one not issued by your employer) and a wired, ethernet connection.

OnVUE Technical Requirements (PDF, Opens in new window)

Policies and procedures

Taking an exam with OnVUE is flexible, convenient and easy. However, it also has unique rules and requirements. For the best possible testing experience, we strongly recommend you get familiar with these before taking your exam.

The document below details the standard policies and procedures for online testing. Your program may have additional requirements, which you can find elsewhere on this page. Familiarizing yourself with this information will help your entire testing experience go smoothly—from checking in to logging out.

Download the online testing guide (PDF, Opens in new window)

Frequently asked questions

Prior to testing, checking in, during exam, q. where can i take my exam.

A. You need to test in an enclosed, private space where you can maintain a strong and stable internet connection, prevent interruptions, and protect the integrity of your exam content.

Important: Avoid a testing space with windows or glass partitions that would allow a third party to see your screen, or your exam could be revoked.

Q. How do I know my computer will work with the OnVUE software?

A. To ensure your system will work with our software, first, review the minimum system requirements. Next, perform a system test  and download the OnVUE software prior to your exam day.

On exam day, before your exam begins, we strongly recommend  re-checking your system  by running another system test. If you experience any issues, please  log back into your account  to reschedule your exam. If you can’t reschedule your exam, use the chat feature to ask your program-specific customer service team for assistance.

Q. What does the system test check for?

A. The system test checks for:

  • Download of the OnVUE application and secure browser
  • Unzipping and launching of the secure browser
  • Microphone/webcam/speaker functionality and permissions
  • Download speeds
  • General communications between OnVUE and Pearson VUE servers
  • A live video-streaming connection

Q. How do I schedule my OnVUE exam?

A. Once you’ve verified your computer meets system requirements, sign into your account . Select the exam you want to take, then choose the “home or office” option. Follow the remaining prompts to schedule your exam appointment. You will receive a confirmation email with your appointment details and important information for exam day.

Q. Is my testing space okay for testing?

A. Your proctor will make this decision prior to starting your exam. During check-in, you will be asked to  take photos of your testing space (opens in new window) , which the proctor will review.

For a positive outcome, make sure your space is private and secure. Clear the room of any preparation materials or unauthorized items. Unplug and/or turn off additional monitors (and, if applicable, systems). Any visible materials on the walls—including sticky notes, whiteboards or chalkboards, etc.—may be inspected by your proctor, and we may ask you to remove any such material.

Important: If your testing space fails the room scan, you will not be permitted to take the exam and may forfeit your exam fees.

Q. Can I take my exam using an employer-issued computer?

A. Yes, however, we don’t recommend it. Test-takers typically have a better experience with personal computers. This is because employer-issued computers are more likely to have firewalls, VPNs, and other security policies that may block video streaming during the exam. If you must use an employer-issued computer to take your exam, it’s crucial to review the  technical requirements .

Q. May I connect by tethering to a mobile hotspot?

A. We don’t recommend it. Hotspot technology is not ideal for maintaining a reliable and consistent connection. To ensure optimal performance on exam day, perform a system test .

Q. How do I check in for my test and download the software?

A. You may have two options:

  • Refer to your confirmation, reschedule or reminder email, which might have a Check-in to start exam link. If it does, you can click this link from 30 minutes before to 15 minutes past your appointment start time.
  • Click the “ Sign in now ” button on this page or your test sponsor’s external landing page. Once you’ve logged into your account, your exam will appear under Open Online Exams . Select the exam link and then select Check-in .

With either process, you’ll be asked to download and run OnVUE, our online proctoring software.

Q. I don’t see the Check-in button. What should I do?

A. To check in for your exam, log in to your account no earlier than 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Once logged in, you should see the Check-in button. If it's not visible within 15 minutes of your exam appointment time, contact your program-specific customer service team via chat .

Q. What type of identification will I need?

A. Click the  View ID requirements button  on this page to make sure you have the proper ID for online-proctored testing.

Q. My proctor hasn’t started my exam yet. Where is my proctor?

A. Once you've completed the required check-in steps and have completed taking photos of your face, ID and environment, you will see the following message: You are almost done with the check-in process. Next, you’ll be placed in a queue and will wait momentarily while a proctor reviews your check-in steps. Please be aware, other candidates may be ahead of you in line. The OnVUE application should tell you where you are in queue. Most exams are launched by a proctor within 15 minutes of the appointment start time.

Any delay might mean there’s a problem with your photos or internet connection. For issues with your photos, a proctor will attempt to reach you over chat or via your cell phone. You may not recognize the phone number, which will either have a 617 US area code or say “Pearson VUE” on the caller ID, but please answer so we can assist. If we haven't contacted you within 30 minutes, we may have lost connection to you. In such cases, please contact our customer service team via Pearson OnVUE Support live chat . As a reminder, mobile devices must be kept out of arm’s reach during the testing sessions.

Q. Can other people be in my testing space during the exam?

A. No. You cannot allow anyone else—including children, roommates, colleagues, etc.—to enter or even pass through your testing space once you’ve started your exam.

Q. Can I receive any exam assistance during the test?

A. No. The proctor cannot answer questions related to exam content, and you may not get help from other individuals while taking the exam.

Q. Is technical software assistance available during the exam?

A. Should you experience technical difficulties during your exam, simply raise your hand using the OnVUE application at the top of your screen and a proctor will assist you. If for some reason this is unavailable, you can get help via the chat button on this page or the OnVUE download page.

Most issues can be avoided by completing a  system test  and ensuring that you meet all  system requirements  in advance of testing. Common issues include an unreliable internet connection and third-party applications trying to run during your exam. We strongly recommend that candidates confirm that all applications have been closed and that there is a sufficient and reliable internet connection prior to testing.

Q. What are the rules regarding personal belongings?

A. In general, all personal belongings must remain out of arm’s reach during your exam. However, if your exam program allows personal belongings or testing tools like calculators during an exam, you will find that information in the program-specific policies section of this page.

Q. Can I eat or drink during the exam?

A. Drinking beverages is allowed during your exam, as is chewing gum. Eating or using tobacco products during your exam is prohibited.

Q. Can I take a break during the exam?

A. Each exam program establishes its own break policies. If your program allows breaks, you’ll find that information in the program-specific policies section of this page.

Q. Could I be interrupted by a proctor during my testing session?

A. Yes. Proctors may interrupt exams and take action if they witness any suspicious behavior or rule violations. They may need to offer a reminder (e.g., no talking) or investigate something (e.g., show me the room, your desk, etc.).

Q. What types of prohibited behaviors will the proctor watch for during the exam?

A. Examples of prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, failing to follow proctor instructions, looking off the screen, mumbling or speaking aloud, covering your mouth or face, using unauthorized materials (e.g., mobile phones, recording equipment, writing materials), interacting with third parties intentionally or unintentionally, or leaving the webcam view.

Q. What happens if I lean outside the view of the webcam or leave completely?

A. Unless it’s during a scheduled break built into your exam, leaving the webcam view for any reason or duration , even if you have already completed the exam questions, will result in your exam session being terminated and the exam result being invalidated.

Important: Upon exam completion, you must fully close the OnVUE application before leaving the webcam view.

Q. What happens if my mobile phone rings or issues a notification during an exam?

A. Once your exam has started, keep your mobile phone in the room where you’re testing, but out of arm’s reach in case the proctor needs to call you. Your phone may not be kept in your immediate testing workspace. We recommend placing it on the floor beneath you or a desk/table behind you.

If your phone rings during the exam, limit your interaction to identifying the caller. To do so, you may reach for your phone, but you must stay within the webcam view . The proctor must be able to see you access the phone. Any mobile phone use other than speaking with a proctor is grounds for exam revocation.

When a proctor needs to reach you, they will call, not text. The number will always display as 617-379-0635, and/or caller ID may identify the number as “Pearson VUE.” If this information appears, please answer the call. If your phone rings and the call is not from a Pearson VUE proctor, do not answer it.

If you receive a text or other notification, ignore it and continue testing. If you wish to silence your phone, alert the proctor so they know you are accessing your phone only to silence notifications.

Q. Can tablets or mobile devices be used for OnVUE exams? What about touchscreens?

A. At this time, OnVUE exams may only be taken on desktop and laptop computers running Windows or macOS operating systems that meet these minimum specifications . OnVUE does not support the use of tablets or touchscreens. As noted above, mobile devices are not allowed and should be placed out of arm’s reach.

Q. What happens if my internet connection is disrupted during an exam or the proctor asks me to restart my application?

A. If a disconnection occurs, the exam timer will pause, and a proctor will attempt to contact you either through your computer or by phone. Note: You must respond or your testing session will be revoked.

Should you lose connection, or if a proctor asks you to restart OnVUE, you can relaunch the application as follows:

  • Locate your Downloads folder and reopen the OnVUE application.
  • Complete any necessary check-in steps and then click Next. Your exam should reload and begin. If your exam does not relaunch, contact our customer service team via  chat  for additional support.

Once your connection is reestablished and if necessary, the application restarted, you will resume your exam from the question or moment you left.

Q. Can I adjust my font size during my exam?

A. Yes. Even when the testing computer is locked down during an exam, you may still use CTRL+ and CTRL- to magnify content up to 200%. Do not use touchscreen technology at any time during your exam.

Q. Can I read questions aloud during OnVUE exams?

A. No. If this happens, a proctor will ask you to stop reading the questions aloud. If you continue, your exam may be revoked.

Q. What is the digital whiteboard?

A. Because scratch paper or note boards are not allowed when taking an OnVUE exam, some exam programs allow you to use a built-in digital whiteboard  to do scratch work or take notes (Opens in new window) .

Q. Where can I locate my score report?

A. This differs by exam program. Please review your program’s processes to learn when and where you can access your score report.

Q. Can I use headphones?

A. Headphones and headsets (wired or Bluetooth) are not allowed unless explicitly approved by your test sponsor.

Q. Are OnVUE testing policies different from test center policies?

A. Yes. Because of its remote nature, testing with OnVUE requires that candidates agree to additional policies that help protect exam integrity. These include (but are not limited to) consenting to recording and monitoring throughout the exam, along with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technology techniques. Test-takers must accept these policies during the registration process prior to scheduling an exam.

Q. If an exam is offered in both test centers and via OnVUE, can I book the exam in one delivery method and reschedule it to the other?

A. No, as the rescheduling function cannot be used to change the exam delivery method. Instead, if you wish to change the delivery method, you must cancel the original appointment and then schedule a new one.

Additional polices for CBEST

Please review the complete testing rules on the program website .

Q. Where do I go to schedule my exam?

A. Sign in to your web account to schedule your exam. After you’ve selected the exam you want to take, choose the “home or office” option. Follow the remaining prompts to complete the scheduling process. Once you have successfully scheduled your exam appointment, you will be sent a confirmation email that will provide you with your appointment details and important things to know for your exam.

Q. Is my workspace okay for testing?

A. During the check-in process, you will be asked to take photos of your work area, which will be checked by a proctor prior to exam launch. Please ensure that your desktop is clean and that you are not within arm’s reach of books, notepads, sticky notes, papers, pens, pencils, and other writing instruments/objects. Additional monitors and computers must be unplugged and turned off. Items on the wall with writing on them, such as whiteboards, will be inspected. If your workspace does not pass a room scan, you are not permitted to proceed with taking the exam.

Q. What type of identification will I be required to present?

A. You must present proper identification at the beginning of the test session. Your identification must be a current, government-issued identification printed in English, in the name in which you registered, bearing your photograph and signature. Copies will not be accepted. Acceptable forms of government-issued identification include photo-bearing driver's licenses and passports. The Department of Motor Vehicles provides acceptable photo-bearing identification cards for individuals who do not have a driver's license. Review the complete Identification Policy.

Q. How do I check in for my test on exam day?

A. You will be able to start checking in for your exam 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment time. To start, click the “Sign in” button on this page to sign in to your web account, and then navigate to your “Current Registrations” page.

  • The exam you are scheduled to take will appear once you log in to your account under “Open Online Exams.” Select the exam link and then select “Begin exam.” Important: if the “Begin exam” button is not visible, you are either too early or too late for your exam. Please check your appointment details to make sure you’re trying to start at the proper time.
  • You will be asked to download OnVUE, the online proctoring software, if you haven’t before. Follow the prompts in the application to complete the required check-in steps.
  • Have your acceptable identification available so that the proctor can verify your identity.
  • Shut down any non‐essential applications such as email, chat, Facebook, and Skype.
  • You will be placed in a queue and connected with the next available proctor to begin your exam.
  • The check-in process takes approximately 15 minutes for candidates who have previously completed a system test.
  • Being late is not an option. To allow time for the check-in procedure, please be ready when the check-in window opens 30 minutes before the exam start time.

Q. What are the exam rules on personal belongings?

There should be nothing in arm’s reach that is not specifically allowed:

  • You will be informed of any equipment or materials specifically approved for use during an OnVUE exam; these must be on the desk during check-in.
  • Note: there is a difference between what is allowed at a testing center and what is allowed in an OnVUE testing session.
  • If you plan to use your mobile phone for check-in, be sure to place it out of arm’s reach after you finish using it; otherwise, place it out of arm’s reach in one of your environment photos.

Also, please remember: No one else in the room. Ideally, you should prevent others from entering; if someone does inadvertently enter, say “Please leave; I’m testing.” No other communication is allowed

Q. Can I eat, drink or take a break during the exam?

A. If your exam is long and includes a scheduled break, wait until you see the specific scheduled break message during your exam. At that time, you may leave your desk to use the restroom. If your exam does not include a scheduled break, breaks are not allowed during the exam for any reason. If you leave your computer during your exam the proctor will end your session and you will be unable to continue testing. Water in a clear glass is allowed during testing; however, eating, smoking, and chewing gum are prohibited.

California Educator Credentialing Examinations

  • Assessments
  • Get Results
  • About the Assessment Programs

The California Basic Educational Skills Test™ (CBEST®) was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement does not replace any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation, and practice teaching or field experience applicable to the issuance of credentials. The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics, and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator; the test is not designed to measure the ability to teach those skills.

The California legislation that established the CBEST directed the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in conjunction with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and an Advisory Board consisting of a majority of educators from California classrooms, to develop the CBEST. The development of the CBEST included definition of the primary skills to be tested; test-item writing and review for relevance to the specified skill areas; field testing; a validity study focusing on the accuracy, fairness, clarity, and job relevance of each test item; bias reviews; standard-setting studies; and determination of the passing scores. Since the initial development of the CBEST, new test items have been developed by contractors and all items have been reviewed by committees of California educators to verify that they meet test specifications adopted by the CTC and are free of bias.

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson was contracted by the CTC to assist in the development, administration, and scoring of the CBEST.

The California Basic Skills Requirement

California Education Code Sections 44252 and 44252.6 specify that candidates must demonstrate, in English, proficiency in basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills.

Who Must Satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement?

In California, you must demonstrate proficiency in basic skills if any one of the following conditions applies to you:

  • You are applying for a first teaching credential or services credential. (Candidates obtaining an Exchange Credential, Sojourn Credential, or a services credential based upon completion of a preparation program outside of California may obtain an initial credential without satisfying the basic skills requirement at the request of a California employing agency. During the first year of validity of the credential, however, the individual must satisfy the basic skills requirement. For candidates obtaining an initial credential based upon completion of a preparation program outside of California and who need to complete this requirement, the basic skills requirement must be satisfied within one year of the issuance date for public employment purposes and must also be satisfied for credentialing purposes.)
  • You are applying for the issuance or renewal of an Emergency Permit, such as a 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit (other than vocational), Provisional Internship Permit, or Short-Term Staff Permit, unless you already hold a valid California teaching credential for which a baccalaureate degree is required.
  • You are seeking employment in California. Satisfying the basic skills requirement may also be required under Education Code Section 44830 as a condition of employment. If you are uncertain about whether you must satisfy the basic skills requirement, you should contact the school district or other California agency where you are considering employment.
  • You are applying for admission to a CTC-accredited teacher preparation program, unless you already hold a valid California teaching credential for which a baccalaureate degree is required.
  • You are applying for admission to a CTC-accredited services credential program.

You may take the CBEST only if you have earned, at minimum, a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent or if you are, or have been, a student taking courses for college credit pursuant to a career in education. If you are uncertain about your eligibility to test, please contact the CTC for approval to test.

Who Is Exempt from the Basic Skills Requirement?

In California, you are exempt from satisfying the basic skills requirement if you are applying for one of the following credentials, certificates, or permits:

  • A renewal, reissuance, or upgrading of an existing nonemergency credential, certificate, or permit unless it is specifically indicated as a renewal requirement on the document
  • A credential to teach adults in an apprenticeship program
  • A permit to teach in a children's center
  • A credential to teach a designated subject that does not require a baccalaureate degree, including the 30-Day Substitute Designated Subjects Vocational Education Permit
  • A credential to provide health services, unless the document also authorizes teaching
  • A credential to teach an American Indian language only
  • Any added authorization to a teaching credential (This exemption does not apply to individuals who hold a credential to teach that did not require a baccalaureate degree and for whom the teaching authorization sought requires this degree.)
  • For prelingually deaf individuals only, some certifications that have the basic skills requirement allow for exemption of the basic skills exam. These credentials restrict service to state special schools or in special classes for pupils who are deaf or hearing impaired. Holders of these credentials will be required to complete a job-related assessment in lieu of the basic skills requirement. For specific information, contact the Commission on Teacher Credentialing at [email protected] .
  • A Certificate of Clearance (required for practice teaching)
  • An Eminence Credential

What are the Basic Skills Testing Options for California?

Based on California Education Code Section 44252 and 44252.6 candidates must complete the Basic Skills Requirement through one of nine available options:

  • Pass the CBEST.
  • Pass a basic skills examination from another state.
  • Pass all three subtests of CSET: Multiple Subjects plus the CSET: Writing Skills .
  • Demonstrate proficiency on both the English and Mathematics sections of the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program (EAP), showing status as "College Ready" or "Exempt" in each section.
  • Demonstrate proficiency on both of the California State University placement examinations: the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry-Level Mathematics Test (ELM). For use of the EPT, candidates must achieve a score of 151. For use of the ELM, candidates must achieve a score of 50.
  • Achieve minimum acceptable scores on the College Board SAT examination: a score of at least 500 on the SAT English exam and a score of at least 550 on the SAT mathematics exam.
  • Achieve minimum acceptable scores on the ACT examination: a score of at least 22 on the ACT English exam and a score of at least 23 on the ACT mathematics exam.

As of December 2014, the following additional option for satisfying the basic skills requirement is also available:

  • Achieve minimum acceptable scores on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations: a score of 3 or higher on the College Board AP English and a score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus or the AP Statistics exam.

Sections from different examination options may not be combined; candidates must pass one option in its entirety. However, candidates using only the CSU examinations to meet the basic skills requirement may combine scores from the EAP and the EPT/ELM examinations as long as the candidate passes a section of English and a section of mathematics. Regardless of the option used, once a basic skills examination is passed, the score is valid indefinitely.

As of June 9, 2021, the following additional option for satisfying the basic skills requirement is also available:

On June 9, 2021, Governor Newsom signed the Education Trailer Bill AB 130 (Chap. 44, Stats. 2021). One key provision added a coursework option to the manner in which educator preparation candidates may demonstrate basic skills proficiency. This new provision allows Commission-approved educator preparation programs to verify that a candidate has demonstrated basic skills proficiency by accepting qualifying college level coursework from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as long as the following conditions are met:

The coursework for satisfying BSR must meet the following:

  • Earn a grade of "B" or better (B- would be acceptable)
  • Have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university
  • Three semester units (or equivalent quarter units)
  • Been taken for academic credit (earned units)
  • Be degree applicable (AA degree applicable is OK)
  • For Reading , be in the subject of critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis
  • For Writing , be in the subject of composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing
  • For Mathematics , be in the subject of algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics

The following coursework is NOT acceptable:

  • Professional development or continuing education units
  • In-service training or workshops
  • Courses where credits do not apply toward the requirements for an associate's degree, baccalaureate degree, or higher degree

Access CBEST registration fees and other test-specific information.

Need More Time?

  • Education Specialist CalTPA

Turnitin’s AI detector capabilities

Rapidly innovating to uphold academic integrity

Identify when AI writing tools such as ChatGPT have been used in students’ submissions.

AI writing detection is available to customers using Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+.

From January 2024, the AI detector will only be available to Turnitin customers when licensing Originality with their existing product.

AI Writing Detection by Turnitin Originality

Turnitin's AI detector

Turnitin's AI detector is specialized for student writing and is highly proficient in distinguishing between AI and human-written content.

cbest writing usage

Trouble viewing? View the video on YouTube or adjust your cookie preferences .

Why choose Turnitin’s AI detector?

Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities have been enabled by 98% of our customers. It has also been independently shown to have high effectiveness in correctly identifying AI-generated content, when compared to other commercially available detectors.

Our AI detection technology is highly proficient in distinguishing AI written content from human-written content specifically for student writing, given our 25 years of experience in understanding and safeguarding academic writing.

The AI detector is fully integrated into the Similarity Report, providing customers with a seamless experience. It’s also available via your learning management system.

Academic integrity in the age of AI writing.

88 million papers processed for AI detection since launch in April 2023

Of these, 2.7 million flagged with 80% or more AI-written content

9.1 million have over 20% AI-written content Data as of August 31, 2023

ISTELive 2023

Turnitin’s AI detection feature named best in show by Tech & Learning

Turnitin’s AI detection feature named best in show by Tech & Learning

  • Main content

Yes, ChatGPT can help with your college admissions essay. Here's what you need to do to stay within the rules.

  • Students who use tools like ChatGPT to write their college essays need to walk a fine line.
  • Colleges will likely penalize students who submit completely AI-generated applications.
  • Using AI to edit or draft the essays may be acceptable though, a tutoring company founder says.

Insider Today

The education sector has had a rough ride with generative AI.

After the release of ChatGPT, some colleges and schools were quick to put a blanket ban on the bot when students began using it to write their essays. Professors and teachers were left with the difficult task of navigating the new concept of AI plagiarism.

Now, several colleges have changed their tune and are encouraging students and staff to use generative AI as a tool — as long as they don't use it to cheat. However, the guidance is still pretty vague, especially when it comes to admissions and college essays.

"The landscape is shifting, but colleges are not unified in their approach to GPT," Adam Nguyen, founder of tutoring company Ivy Link , told Insider. "If you look across the landscape of college admissions, especially elite college admissions, there are no clear rules on whether you could use GPT or not."

In February, I tested the chatbot's ability to write college application essays . The results were relatively successful , with two private admissions tutors agreeing the essays definitely passed for ones written by a real student and probably would have had a shot at most colleges, but probably not the most selective institutions.

There are telltale signs when an entire essay is AI-generated, Nguyen said. For example, there tends to be a lot of repetition, and the essays are generally mediocre.

"If an essay is clearly written by AI, I think they will penalize the student and that application," Nguyen said.

While it's clear students should be writing their own work, it's less clear if students are allowed to use the tech to help them draft or edit essays.

As colleges grudgingly accept that AI is not going anyway, Nguyen said there's a fine line for students to walk.

"If you fill in the details, restructure the essay, and provide the specific language and sentences, that will make the essay your own," he said. "I think many colleges would be fine with that."

He continued, "I would suggest not using it as a default. If you're really stuck, you could use it to start." He suggested that, as a general rule, at least 80% of the essays needed to be edited and changed to be on the safe side.

"If an essay's really good, it won't raise any suspicion, and I don't think most colleges will care that you use GPT to start, as long as they can't tell either," he added.

cbest writing usage

Watch: What is ChatGPT, and should we be afraid of AI chatbots?

cbest writing usage

College of Law

Iowa law announcements.

This page will be used to share announcements for the College of Law community. If you have an announcement to add to the page, please contact [email protected] .

Announcements by Department

Admissions office, courses and curriculum.

  • For Fall 2023 information, please check out Exam Information on the Current Students page. 

Boyd Law Building (BLB)

  • The Meditation Room is now open and available for everyone at Iowa Law to use.  It is located on the 4 th floor, room 488.  Reserved hours will be listed on the door.

Campus Emergency Notifications

  • Emergency Notifications:  Hawk Alert is the campus emergency notification system. Hawk Alerts notify the campus community of immediate threats to health or physical safety using phone call, email, text message, and Alertus Desktop.
  • Outdoor Emergency Notification System:  This system includes outdoor sirens and a public address system that may be used for campus-wide critical incidents, such as a tornado or applicable severe thunderstorm warning.
  • Building Notification Systems:  These systems – NOAA weather radios, digital signage, fire alarms and/or other building-specific equipment – may be used to share information with occupants of a specific building impacted by an emergency.
  • This poster has additional information as well: https://safety.uiowa.edu/sites/safety.uiowa.edu/files/2023-09/OCS-EmergencyResponsePoster-Fall2023.1.2.pdf ”

Financial Aid

  • Student Loan Repayment for Legal Careers Webinar - November 2 nd , 2023
  • 12:45 pm-1:45pm
  • Student loan repayment can feel overwhelming, but you can chart a path to a debt-free future based on your specific income and career trajectory. During this event, an Accredited Financial Counselor ®  from AccessLex Institute ® will cover common repayment strategies for different legal careers and essential details regarding repayment plan options, consolidation, and detailing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Attendees will receive an entry into the annual MAX by AccessLex ® Scholarship Drawings. 3L winners of this scholarship can use the funds to repay student debt borrowed in the 3L year.
  • Zoom Link:  https://accesslex-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wscwvnL-TnqBX3g9ch1Arw
  • RSVP to [email protected] for lunch by October 27 th , 2023.

Individual Financial Aid Coaching Appointments - November 2 nd , 2023

  • 9:00am  –  12:00pm and 2:00pm –  4:00pm
  • * Bring log in materials for NSLDS or Loan Servicer.

MAX by AccessLex®

  • 1L Students – Financial Foundations
  • 2L Students – Crafting Your Legal Career
  • 3L Students – Life After Law School
  • And don’t forget to attend any MAX personal finance webinars that look interesting to you for additional entries. Good luck in the upcoming drawing!

Outside Scholarship Opportunities

The $10,000 Mark T. Banner Scholarship

  • This scholarship is part of The Richard Linn American Inn of Court's commitment to fostering the development of intellectual property lawyers of high ethics, civility and professionalism, and especially those from diverse backgrounds.
  • The recipient of the scholarship receives $10,000 to be applied to their legal education. This scholarship is available to law students who have entered into a JD program at an ABA-accredited law school in the United States and who will continue in that program through at least the Fall 2024 semester. For more information about the criteria, see their website:   https://www.linninn.org/Pages/scholarship.shtml
  • Applications need to be submitted by  December 1, 2023 . The application is available on the Linn Inn of Court’s website at  https://www.linninn.org/Pages/scholarship.shtml

Human Resources

Field placement program.

The Field Placement Program offers students the opportunity to earn 6-14 credits (experiential) by working in nonprofit organizations, government offices, judicial chambers, and certain corporate counsel offices.  During the school year, students must complete at least 14 hours per week of field work during the semester and participate in a field placement seminar course.  The law school has pre-arranged field placements with various partners in Iowa; students may also apply for legal internships away from the law school.  Local, pre-approved placements are currently on 12Twenty and more are coming. First round deadlines are now set for Tuesday, October 24, 2023, but placements will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis .  Students must secure and enroll in the Field Placement Program by January 3 .  Before submitting applications, make an appointment ( https://calendly.com/jttai ) and meet with Prof. June Tai to discuss your goals, interests, and proposed class schedule.  Prof. Tai reviews and approves all placements prior to enrollment and enrollment is done by the Registrar (not by the student through MyUI). 

  • Field placement program text updates:   Text @k9egh2 to the number 81010 to receive updates on application materials, deadlines, and other information related to the Field Placement Program.

Student Organizations

*new* 🍳  submit your recipe for the law school collaborative cookbook 🍜.

  • Submission Deadline: November 15, 2023
  • Send Recipes To: [email protected]
  • Interested or Have Questions? Reach out to any of the listed organizations. We cannot wait to see the culinary talent the law school has to offer! Warmest regards, - Asian Pacific American Law Student Association - Black Law Student Association - Hispanic Law Student Association -  South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA)

Student Resources

Academic success.

  • RSVP by noon on Friday to guarantee there will be enough lunch for everyone:  https://tinyurl.com/NovTuesTalk  

Writing Center

*NEW*   You might be thinking about how to finish your final memo assignment. We’re here to help! We are sponsoring a writing workshop on November 8 from 6-9 p.m. in the Student Lounge. Come for the camaraderie; short, fun, legal writing presentations; dinner; and to have your questions answered.   Fun!  

The Writing & Academic Support Center will review complete or partial drafts of your memos this semester. If you have two or three pages of your memo that are finished (or a whole draft), why not give us a try? Note that you can schedule appointments between 24 hours and 3 days in advance of your appointment.

Schedule a tutoring appointment at:   https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/Universi[email protected]/booking  

Contact  [email protected]  with any questions.  

International Student Directory

  • The International Student Directory serves as a means to connect our international student community and foster global connections. It includes information about each of you, your academic interests, and your cultural backgrounds. We encourage you to participate in creating this directory by submitting your information using the following link:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/12-8JAD5nq8M-ZQqFXW_991Q0B3IWgO_TcI5gVU4ytmQ/edit

Unsubscribe process for University of Iowa emails

  • We understand you get a lot of emails! There is some relief available. If you would like to opt out of certain mass emails sent by the University of Iowa, there are directions on how to do so here:  https://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/3778


  1. CBEST essays

    cbest writing usage

  2. Cbest Writing Help

    cbest writing usage


    cbest writing usage

  4. Cbest Cset Writing Update

    cbest writing usage

  5. CBEST Writing Essay Examples, and Tips for Writing with Confidence : Current School News

    cbest writing usage

  6. new cbest writing

    cbest writing usage


  1. Assessing the Text: Distinguishing Facts From Opinions

  2. Story Writing |English Grammar Usage and Writing |Sem 2 |BA BSC BCOM|KERALA UNIVERSITY

  3. CBEST READING Practice Test Quiz 31- 50

  4. OET Writing

  5. CBest Sad#Short➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡➡⬆⬆↕ #2023 #monitized #sad

  6. Reading: Evaluating Texts: Writer's Tone & Intention


  1. CBEST Writing Examples: Test Questions, Tips, and Dates 2023

    The page will include the following: What is the CBEST Writing Exam? CBEST Writing Examples. How Is Your Writing Evaluated? CBEST Writing Tips. CBEST Writing Test Dates. How to Practice for the writing section of the CBEST? Let's dive in. Get more practice with our Free CBEST Practice Test or get full access to our CBEST PrepPack.

  2. CBEST Writing Guide

    5 Minutes — Read and Edit your Essay If you spend a full 10 minutes analyzing the prompt and planning your essay, then it will be easy to write 5 paragraphs in 25 minutes.

  3. A Study Guide to the CBEST WritingTest: & Tips

    Reading Mathematics Writing The CBEST Writing exam specifically evaluates an individual's ability to express ideas clearly and effectively in written form. In the CBEST Writing section, candidates are given two writing prompts and are required to write two essays within 90 minutes.

  4. Essay Writing Practice and Prompts for the CBEST

    The CBEST requires candidates to write two essays as part of the Writing test section. The essays are expected to be in the range of 300 to 600 words each.

  5. Prepare for the CBEST With CBEST Writing Examples

    Reading - 50 multiple choice items, 1 hour and 30 minutes Math - 50 multiple choice items, 2 hours Writing - 2 essays, 1 hour and 30 minutes For the Writing section, test takers will be given two topics: first about a given situation or statement to analyze, and the second about a specific personal experience and their reflections on this.

  6. What You Need to Know Before Taking the CBEST

    A total score of 123 across all three subtests is required. Your results are determined using scaled scores that range from 20 to 80 for each of the three sections (reading, mathematics and writing).

  7. How to Do Well on the CBEST Writing Section

    Step 1: Understand the Prompt. Before you begin writing, it is critical to ensure that you fully understand the essay prompt. This is a crucial step as misinterpreting the prompt could lead you to write an off-topic essay, no matter how well-written it might be. Take a few moments to read and reread the prompt.

  8. CBEST Writing Study Guide (2022) by Mometrix

    Free CBEST Writing Practice Study Guide Watch this video on YouTube CBEST Online Course CBEST Study Guide CBEST Flashcards Punctuation Common Comma Functions Exclamation Point Semicolon Usage Apostrophes Italics and Ellipses Slash Brackets Dash Ellipsis Question Marks Quotation Marks Italicizing and Underlining Parentheses Hyphens

  9. How to Write the CBEST Writing Section Essays

    The CBEST writing portion of the test includes two essays that you have to write within a relatively short time. You are no doubt familiar with the rubric and the scoring criteria, so I won't waste your time with any of that information. Instead, you and I will go straight to the meat of the matter.

  10. PDF CBEST® Practice Test Writing

    Usage: the extent to which the writing shows care and precision in word choice V. Structure and Conventions: the extent to which the writing is free of errors in syntax, paragraph structure, sentence structure, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization) VI.

  11. CBEST Writing Tips

    How well you did at following a logical pattern of thought Tip 2: Access Reputable Study Materials To ensure you use information that is reliable when you are preparing for the CBEST Writing...

  12. How To Pass the CBEST

    The CBEST, or California Basic Educational Skills Test, is broken into three sections that assess your basic knowledge of mathematics, reading, and writing. These sections are administered separately. You can take one, two, or all three at the same time. The entire test is online.

  13. CBEST Writing Study Guide

    CBEST Writing Guide. Candidates will have 1.5 hours to write a response to 2 different types of questions. One essay will require them to respond to a topic with an expressive form of writing.

  14. CBEST Writing Samples

    My transformation started first in English class. I started doing the assigned readings, trying on my homework, and engaging in class. Not only did my grades go up, but I found I was less stressed out. Not doing my work had apparently been causing me more stress than doing my work would have caused.

  15. CBEST Writing Practice Test: CBEST Writing Prompts & Tips

    The CBEST writing section is considered by many to be the 'wild card section' of the CBEST test due to the fact that one's score can vary based on a number of factors as well as how lenient the evaluator was when looking over the entirety and style of your essay, making the use of CBEST writing prompts and guides highly vital in preparing for it.

  16. CBEST Writing Essay Tips & Practice

    Use this lesson to prepare for the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST): Writing exam. Practice with our sample prompts and review the scoring rubric. 2. Using Details to Support an ...

  17. CBEST Writing: Practice & Study Guide

    7 Hours of video 70 Lessons Try five test questions for free Answer practice questions and get explanations for every answer. Answered 0 of 5 questions 0 questions correct 0 questions missed Check...

  18. CBEST

    Session Length Reading and Writing Sections: 1 hour and 30 minutes per section Mathematics Section: 2 hours Sections are administered in separate testing sessions; therefore, candidates must register for each section separately.

  19. California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) OnVUE exam information

    STEP 1. Do any last-minute prep Be sure your computer and internet pass the pre-exam system test. Clear your desk/workspace of prohibited items and prep your equipment. Get your ID ready to present. Review our Exam rules / testing advice for specifics. STEP 2. Check in

  20. Writing Prompts? : r/CBEST

    Hiii okay I took my in-person computer based writing portion last week. The two prompts were basically #1 "during the French Revolution it is said it was the 'best of times and the worst of times' describe if you think we are currently living in the best OR worst of times and provide examples". 2 describe a time in your life where you ...

  21. CBEST

    The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics, and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator; the test is not designed to measure the ability to teach those skills. ... University placement examinations: the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry-Level Mathematics Test (ELM). For use of the EPT, candidates ...

  22. AI Detector

    AI writing detection is available to customers using Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+. From January 2024, the AI detector will only be available to Turnitin customers when licensing Originality with their existing product.

  23. CBEST Writing Study Guide & Practice Test

    Practice questions Videos Lessons Flashcards Get immediate help for CBEST Writing. Easy-to-follow study guides, practice tests and resources. Create Account CBEST Writing Test Format The CBEST Writing Test consists of two essays.

  24. CBEST Writing Prompts 2023: Prepare for the Writing Section

    When ‌preparing for the CBEST exam,⁤ it is essential to understand ⁢the significance of the Writing section. ‍The Writing section evaluates your ability to express ideas clearly, coherently, ⁤and effectively within a‌ specific timeframe.

  25. Yes, ChatGPT Can Help With Your College Admissions Essay

    In the news. Yes, ChatGPT can help with your college admissions essay. Here's what you need to do to stay within the rules. How to use AI for your college admission essays without destroying your ...

  26. Chief Priority! Ignite a Renaissance in Military Scholarship and Writing

    The chief priority of these attendees is to understand how to renew, reinvigorate, and improve professional writing and discourse across the Army enterprise. To punctuate this priority, on Patriot's Day, 11 September 2023, Gen. Randy George, Gen. Gary Brito, and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer published an article calling for ...

  27. Professional versus conversational writing in business, By Ruth Oji

    To make your writing feel like a conversation, it is necessary to be relatable, approachable, and personable; use language that your audience can easily connect with and understand Thursday, 2nd ...

  28. Iowa Law Announcements

    We're here to help! We are sponsoring a writing workshop on November 8 from 6-9 p.m. in the Student Lounge. Come for the camaraderie; short, fun, legal writing presentations; dinner; and to have your questions answered. Fun! The Writing & Academic Support Center will review complete or partial drafts of your memos this semester.