CBEST Practice Tests

Use our CBEST Practice Tests (updated for 2020) to prepare for your upcoming California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The CBEST exam is intended to measure basic math, reading, and writing skills of students who want to be educators in California. The CBEST consists of 50 multiple choice questions on math and reading topics as well as two written essays.

Reviewing real CBEST questions and answers is the best way to study for your California teacher credential exam.  

CBEST Practice Tests from Test-Guide.com

Test-Guide.com's sample CBEST questions are an excellent way to study for your upcoming  exams.  Our sample tests require no registration (or payment!).  The questions are categorized based on the CBEST test outline and are immediately scored at the end of the quiz.  Once you are finished with the quiz, you will be presented with a score report which includes a complete rationale (explanation) for every question you got wrong.  We will be adding more sample test questions in the near future, so please come back often.  If you like these CBEST practice questions, please make sure to like us on facebook!

CBEST Study Resources

In preparing for your CBEST certification exam, you may find these resources helpful:

CBEST Reading Practice Test (PDF) - from CTC (test provider)

CBEST Math Practice Test (PDF) - from CTC (test provider)

CBEST Writing Sample Test (PDF) - from CTC (test provider)

CBEST Test Specifications (PDF) - from CTC (test provider)

CBEST Practice Test Benefits

There are many benefits of preparing for your CBEST exam with practice tests.  Studying for your  test using sample questions is one of the most effective study practices you can use.  The advantages of using sample CBEST tests include:

  • Concentrating Your Study - As you take more and more sample tests you begin to get a feel for the topics that you know well and the areas that you are weak on.  Many students waste a lot of valuable study time by reviewing material that they are good at (often because it is easier or makes them feel better).  The most effective way to study is to concentrate on the areas that you need help on.
  • Understanding the Test Format - Every standardized test has its own unique format.  As you take practice CBEST tests you will become comfortable with the format of the actual test.  Once the test day arrives you will have no surprises!
  • Increasing Your Speed - The CBEST exam has an overall time limit of 4 hours.  Although most students who take the CBEST feel that there is sufficient time, taking the CBEST practice tests with self-imposed timers help you budget your time effectively.

CBEST Exam Overview

The CBEST Exam covers the following areas:


The CBEST Math subtest consists of 50 multiple choice questions. The questions are presented as word problems and will ask you to solve mathematical problems. Calculators are not allowed on the CBEST math test. The topics on the math test include:

  • Estimation, measurement and statistical principles (approximately 15 questions)
  • Numerical and graphic relationships (approximately 17-18 questions)
  • Computation and problem solving (approximately 17-18 questions)


The CBEST Reading subtest consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Students are presented with written passages, tables, and graphs and expected to understand analyze their content and intent. All information for the questions are provided in the passages - no questions require outside knowledge. The skills assessed in the reading passage include:

  • Critical analysis and evaluation (approximately 20 questions)
  • Comprehension and research skills (approximately 30 questions)


In the CBEST Writing test you will be expected to write two essays. You will be presented with two topics. One essay will require you to write an analysis of a given situation or statement. The other essay will ask you to write on a specific personal experience.  Neither essay requires you to demonstrate any specialized knowledge.

CBEST Test Administration and Test Dates

The CBEST is given as either a computer-based exam or a paper-based test.

CBEST computer-based test

The CBEST computer-based test is given year-round by appointment. Appointments can be made Monday through Saturday, excluding some holidays. Seating is limited and appointments are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The computer test has a 4 hour time limit to complete all three sections. This time limit includes 15 minutes that are required to complete a nondisclosure agreement and tutorial.

The CBEST computer test will cost you $102 ($41 registration fee plus a $61 computer based test service fee)

CBEST paper-based test

The CBEST paper-based test is given 5 times a year. The CBEST test dates are:

September 21, 2019
December 7, 2019
February 8, 2020
April 18, 2020
July 11, 2020

The paper-based test also has a 4 hour time limit.

The fees for the CBEST paper-based test are $41.  Additional fees may be charged for late or emergency registration.

CBEST Scores

Each of the three sections (i.e., Reading, Writing, and Math) have a scaled score that ranges from 20 to 80. A passing score for each section is 41. The score for the entire test is calculated by adding the individual test scores from the three sections. A passing score for the entire CBEST is 123. You must, however, also score at least a 37 on each individual test for you to pass the CBEST.


How can I pass my CBEST Test?

One of the best ways to prepare for the CBEST is by taking free practice tests. At Test-Guide, we offer numerous free practice tests to help you succeed!

How much does a CBEST test cost?

The CBEST will cost applicants a total of $102 - $41 for a registration fee and $61 for a computer based test service fee.

What is the CBEST?

CBEST stands for California Basic Education Skills Test. This test is for those who want to be educators in the state of California. The test measures basic math, reading, and writing skills.