The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) was developed to assist in the credentialing and employment of teachers in California. The CBEST is intended to assess basic math, reading and writing skills that are vital to the job of an educator. The CBEST, however, is not intended to measure the ability of an educator to teach those skills.
The CBEST exam has three subtests covering the subjects of math, reading and writing. The CBEST math test has 50 multiple choice questions covering the areas of: numerical and graphic relationships; estimation, measurement and statistical principles; and computation and problem solving. The CBEST reading test consists of 50 multiple choice questions and focuses on two key areas: comprehension and research skills, and critical analysis and evaluation.
In California, you are required to take the CBEST if you are applying for your first teaching or services credential. In addition, you are required to take the CBEST if you are applying for an Emergency Permit (e.e.,g substitute teaching permit), or you are applying for admission to a CTC-accredited teacher prep or services credential program.