CBEST Math Practice Test: Everything You Need to Pass

Preparing for the California Basic Educational Skills Test or the CBEST takes time and effort. Its three sections: Reading, Math, and Writing, all aim to test different competencies in major subjects. Its Math section focuses on critical mathematical skills that all educators in the state of California must have.

If you are nervous about taking the test, or are particularly worried about your Math skills, then continue reading to know more about this section and what you can do to improve your scores.

CBEST Math Structure

The CBEST is one of the tests that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) offers to individuals who want to be part of the education system. While it is not a strict requirement to pass anymore, it is a good credential to have on your resume, especially when you are just starting out.

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

The Mathematics section will assess integral mathematical skills of aspiring teachers. There are three skills factors tested in this section: estimation, measurement, and statistical principles; computation and problem-solving; and numerical and graphical relationships. These skill factors or skill areas are divided into 30%, 35%, and another 35% of the questions, respectively. Questions in this section will be presented as word problems, although graphs and tables may also appear. They will also vary in difficulty, as some questions need thorough understanding and trick questions and answers in the choices might appear to confuse you.

Due to the nature of the subject, it is important that you brush up your knowledge on basic mathematical concepts, such as conversion, measurements, statistical principles, logic, and interpreting data. It is also more important to take note that calculators are not allowed in this test, although you will be provided with scratch papers.

CBEST Math Practice Test: Sample Questions

You will be given different scenarios and formats in the CBEST Math Section. Prepare yourself for any type of question. See if you can answer our following sample questions:

Sample Question #1:

A bakery produces a total of 500 pastries per day, which consists of pies and cakes. If the ratio of pies to cakes is 3:7, how many cakes does the bakery produce per day?

a. 100 cakes

b. 150 cakes

c. 250 cakes

d. 350 cakes

To solve this question, we need to determine the number of cakes produced by the bakery per day based on the given ratio. Since the ratio of pies to cakes is 3:7, we can calculate the number of cakes using the proportion:

Number of cakes = (7 / (3 + 7)) * Total number of pastries

Number of cakes = (7 / 10) * 500

Number of cakes = 0.7 * 500

Number of cakes = 350

Therefore, the bakery produces d. 350 cakes per day.

Sample Question #2:

Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

If it is raining, Lisa will take her umbrella.

If it is snowing, Lisa will wear her winter coat.

If it is sunny, Lisa will wear her sunglasses.

If Lisa is wearing her sunglasses today, which of the following statements could be true?

a. It is raining.

b. It is snowing.

c. It is cloudy.

d. It is nighttime.

e. It is sunny.

Wearing sunglasses is typically associated with sunny weather to protect the eyes from the sun’s brightness. Therefore, if Lisa is wearing her sunglasses, it suggests that, e. It is sunny.

Sample Question #3:

Table: Sales Data

 Product  Unit Price ($)  Quantity Sold
 Product A 10 50
 Product B 15 30
 Product C 20 20
 Product D 25 10
 Product E 30 5

Based on the table, what is the total revenue generated from the sales?

a. $1,000

b. $1,750

c. $2,000

d. $2,500

To calculate the total revenue generated from the sales, we need to multiply the unit price by the quantity sold for each product and sum the results:

Revenue from Product A: $10 * 50 = $500

Revenue from Product B: $15 * 30 = $450

Revenue from Product C: $20 * 20 = $400

Revenue from Product D: $25 * 10 = $250

Revenue from Product E: $30 * 5 = $150

Total revenue = $500 + $450 + $400 + $250 + $150

Total revenue = $1,750

Therefore, the correct answer is b. $1,750.

Sample Question #4:

A rectangle has a length of 8 units and a width of 2 units. If the rectangle is divided into 16 smaller squares of equal size, what is the ratio of the perimeter of the original rectangle to the total perimeter of the 16 smaller squares?

a. 1:8

b. 1:3

c. 1:9

e. 2:1

f. 8:1

To solve this question, we need to calculate the perimeters of the original rectangle and the total perimeter of the 16 smaller squares. The original rectangle has a length of 8 units and a width of 2 units. The perimeter is calculated by adding all four sides:

Perimeter of the original rectangle = 8 units + 8 units + 2 units + 2 units = 20 units.

Each of the smaller squares has sides of equal length. Since there are 16 squares, the total perimeter is calculated by multiplying the perimeter of one square by 16:

Perimeter of one smaller square = 4 units (as all sides are equal)

Perimeter of the 16 smaller squares = 4 units × 16 = 64 units.

Therefore, the ratio of the perimeter of the original rectangle to the total perimeter of the 16 smaller squares is: 20 units : 64 units, which simplifies to 1 : 3.2. Therefore, the correct answer is b. 1:3.

You can get more free sample questions and CBEST practice tests over at our partners at JobTestPrep!

How to Interpret the CBEST Math Test Score

In order to pass the CBEST, you must get a total score of 123 in all three sections. This means that you must get at least 41 points in each section. However, you cannot go below 37 in any section, or you will automatically fail the entire test, even if you get a higher score in another section and get higher than 123 points in total.

According to the official CBEST Test Result Information, the Math (and Reading) scores are derived from the total number of questions answered correctly. Test takers typically get their results after 2 to 3 weeks. You will see how you performed on each question. For each skill area, you will see one of the designations that appear below:

++++ – If you answered many of the questions correctly (scaled skill area score of 41–60)
+++ – If you answered most of the questions correctly (scaled skill area score of 61–80)
++ – If you answered some of the questions correctly (scaled skill area score of 31–40)
+ – If you answered few or none of the questions correctly (scaled skill area score of 20–30)

These results will help you see where you excel and where you might be lacking, which is helpful if ever you have to take the test.

How to Prepare for the CBEST Math Section

Still feeling a little overwhelmed? Here are some tips to prepare for the CBEST Math Section:

  • Begin with the official CBEST Math Practice Test. This is the best way to begin your review sessions. The skill area worksheet and answer key at the end of the document will show which questions fall under which skill factors, so you can take note of where you should improve and practice more.
  • Practice, Assess, Practice. Improving in math means you have to sharpen your skills with different questions each time. Keep on working towards a higher score each time and check if you are improving on the skill factors that tend to challenge you. Make sure your CBEST Math practice test materials are updated and made by experts.
  • Try Mental Math. Remember, the test is timed and there are no calculators allowed. Make sure to time all your practice test sessions and get tips on how to improve your mental math skills.
  • Start from the Basics. It may sound unnecessary, but refreshing your knowledge of foundational mathematics concepts may help you understand harder concepts in the long run. As learners, we all start from somewhere, and investing a steady foundation in your math skills will be helpful in the long run.
  • Ask for Help. Yes, you may have an undergraduate degree or a GED, but that doesn’t mean you have all the answers already. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether through study groups or simply asking friends and family members who may have a better grasp of the subject.

Calculated Steps Towards Success

Getting a certification such as the CBEST is ideal for professionals who want to begin their teaching journey in California. The skill factors tested in the Math section are estimation, measurement, and statistical principles; computation and problem-solving; and numerical and graphical relationships.

To prepare for the CBEST Math Section, you must arm yourself with good practice materials and the dedication to improve yourself in the areas that you find challenging. Even if you are not aiming to be a Math teacher, you must have the basic knowledge for your students. By making sure you address all your weaknesses and you are properly prepared, you will be ready to take the CBEST in no time. Good luck!