What is the CBEST? for CBEST Exam Study Guide
This lesson provides the Who, What, When, Where, and How of the CBEST—those all-important details such as who has to take the exam, what it's used for and what's on it, when and where it's given, how it's scored, and how to register.
California Education Code (Section 44252) requires that teachers, administrators, and other school practitioners demonstrate adequate proficiency, in English, of three basic skills: reading, mathematics, and writing. Administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES®), the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST®) was created to assess and verify these skills. The CBEST is not a measurement of teaching abilities or skills; it is a tool for measuring proficiency in the more fundamental, necessary skills as previously indicated—skills used by all school practitioners at the elementary, secondary, and adult education levels.
By law, the CBEST provides separate scores in each of these three areas, and acceptable scores must be achieved in each area to meet the requirements of the code relative to credentialing and employment in California and Oregon.
In July 1984, the CBEST guideline was adopted by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).Within six months, satisfactory CBEST scores were made mandatory for initial licensure in Oregon as a teacher, personnel specialist, or administrator. The CBEST test requirement is additional to other licensing requirements as set forth in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS, Chapter 342) and the Oregon Rules for Licensure of Teachers, Personnel Specialists, and Administrators (OAR, Chapter 584).
Who Must Take the CBEST?
In California, you are required to take the CBEST if any one of the following provisions applies to you:
- You are applying for a teaching or services credential for the first time.
- You are applying for issuance or renewal of an Emergency Permit (unless you already hold a valid California teaching credential for which a bachelor's degree is required).
- If you have not taught during the 39 months prior to new employment, the CBEST may also be a condition of employment under ECS 44830. If you are uncertain whether the CBEST is required in the school district where you are considering employment, contact the district directly.
- You are applying for admission to either a teacher-preparation or services-credential program approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) (unless you already hold a valid California teaching credential for which a bachelor's degree is required).
Oregon requires passing CBEST scores prior to initial credentialing as a teacher, personnel specialist, or administrator, unless one of the following provisions is met:
- You can document five years of full-time, licensed employment in public schools in another state.
- You already hold one type of Oregon license and are a first-time applicant for a license of a different type. For example, an Oregon-licensed teacher who applies for an initial personnel specialist license does not need CBEST scores.
- You give evidence of passing scores on Praxis I or the NTE Core Battery Test of Communication Skills and General Knowledge.
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