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What is the CBEST?

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A substitute teaching job can be a good short-term employment option for a 20-something looking for work, especially when that new college grad is interested in becoming a teacher. But requirements for substitutes differ markedly from state to state. Both California and Oregon require a bachelor's degree and the CBEST, or California Basic Educational Skills Test.

Like the SAT, the CBEST is divided into reading, mathematics and writing sections. The reading section includes 50 multiple-choice questions based on prose passages, tables and graphs, and are designed to assess critical analysis, comprehension and research abilities. The math exam - again with 50 multiple-choice queries - includes word problems, estimation, measurement, statistics and computation. The writing section asks for two short essays. And you do not have to take all three sections at one time.

Each section is graded on a scale of 20-80, and a passing score is 41 or higher on each section, for a total of 123 points or more. Exceptions can be made if someone gets a 37 or higher on one or two of the exams, as long as the total is still 123 or higher.

Pronunciation: Cee-best

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