The California Basic Educational Skills Test, also known as the CBEST, tests your competency with reading, writing and math. To pass the CBEST, you need a combined score of 123. That means a minimum score of 41 in each of the three sections, or as low as 37 in one or even two sections so long as you make up the difference in the rest of the exam. The test is given several times a year, and you can choose either paper or electronic format. Ample practice test materials are available with answer keys on the California State Teacher Credentialing website.

Brush Up on Basic Skills

You need to know basic algebra, percentages, weights and measurements, some geometry formulas, statistics and computation. Also, brush up on your vocabulary, basic writing and high school grammar skills, similar to that found on a standard SAT test. A number of test-prep books explain each section of the CBEST in detail and give strategies for taking the test. offers a free online test prep guide. You can also download and review the specs for each test on the California Teacher Credentialing website.The more prepared you are, the greater your confidence and score will be.

Go Through a Dry Run

Take the free practice exams offered on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website in the format that you plan to take the actual test -- print or online. Sample tests are also available in test-prep books, if you feel that you need more than one go at the test. Simulate actual test conditions by practicing within the four-hour span that you are allotted on test day.

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