What’s on the CBEST Math Section?

Like G.I. Joe says, knowing’s half the battle, and that’s especially true when it comes to preparing for an exam.  This post looks at the details of the math section of the CBEST so that you know what to expect and prepare for.

The CBEST math section consists of 50 multiple choice questions.  The questions are divided into 3 skill factors, with roughly 1/3 of the questions belonging to each.  The three skill factors are:

Estimation, Measurement, and Statistical Principles
Computation and Problem Solving
Numerical and Graphic Relationships

Math Skill Factor 1

The first skill factor, Estimation, Measurement, and Statistical Principles, assesses basic numerical reasoning skills used to navigate in daily educational life.  The topics in this section include:

Estimation and Measurement

- Understanding and using standard U.S.units for physical quantities such as length, weight, and temperature
- Being able to measure lengths and the perimeters of simple geometric figures.
- Managing time effectively to plan and achieve objectives.
- Estimating the results of basic arithmetic calculations

Statistical Principles

- Performing basic statistical calculations, such as averages, ratios, and percentile scores
- Predicting likely outcomes based on basic probabilistic principles
- Interpreting standardized test scores to discern relative performance

Math Skill Factor 2

The second math skill factor, Computation and Problem Solving, tests your ability to solve problems involving simple arithmetic.  The skills assessed include:

- Performing integer arithmetic
- Adding and subtracting negative numbers
- Performing arithmetic with fractions, decimals, and percentages
- Solving practical problems with arithmetic
- Solve simple algebraic equations with one unknown
- Identify facts and determine if enough information is available to solve a problem
- Using alternate methods to solve problems

Math Skill Factor 3

The third math skill factor, Numerical and Graphic Relationships, involves understanding the relationships between numerical quantities.  Relevant skills include:

- Calculating percent differences
- Determining the relative size of fractions (i.e. less than or greater than)
- Using inequalities to express numerical relationships
- Identifying equivalent mathematical expressions
- Solving problems involving rounding off numbers
- Understanding basic logic rules
- Spotting missing entries in data tables
- Interpreting tables, spreadsheets, and graphs

 Good luck on the CBEST!

Dane Dormio is an online tutor and blogger with an unconventional approach to education.  Visit his tutoring blog at www.synergy-tutoring.com.


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