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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The CBEST, total crap? Or am I just jaded?

   
Author Topic: The CBEST, total crap? Or am I just jaded?
Orincoro
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I took the CBEST today, which is partly just a resume builder in case I want to work for an American school in the future, and partly so that I could pick up some substituting hours at the local school when I next visit my parents.

I did very well, finished in about half the allotted time- which was not at all surprising considering what I've heard about how easy the test is. But really? A test to measure the minimum education level for a grade school teacher?

Not only was it easy, but it was horribly written. I've taken *lots* of reading tests over the years, and the questions were poorly worded, the answers didn't follow a logical pattern, and many were semantically mismatched. For instance, a question about the change in style between two paragraphs would have pairs like: "logical to sad," and "angry to reasoned." "Sad" and "Angry" are not styles, but moods- and sometimes all the answers were like this. I understand that some of these answers were just obviously wrong- but actually a fair number of questions had poorly matched terms even as their right answers. They must have, since I answered the questions right.

Also, I tend to get especially annoyed at "which sentence is least relevant to the overall point of the paragraph" questions. Because these are so often connected with passages in which there is a "point" that the writer is actually making and a "point" that the test is actually willing to acknowledge- and often these aren't the same, so usually you have to analyze the test itself to figure out what they want you to choose- especially if it's between two sentences that "accomplish" different objectives.

In all my experience of standardized tests involving reading comprehension, I recall only ever missing a question due to this kind of vagary. Either it's a perfect score, or one or two questions I'm very aware of having pissed me off.

But anyway, it's my habit to sit down to any standardized test with a weary sense of annoyance. One time I failed a basic writing test as a Senior in college because the sheer idiocy of the prompt made me so angry.

So maybe it's just been a while and I've gotten excessively jaded? Has anyone taken this test? Did it seem stupid to you?

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theCrowsWife
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I have not taken that test, but I ran into the same sort of issues when I took a college placement test recently. It didn't tell me which questions I missed, but I'm quite sure that most or all of them were because I disagreed with the test, as you described.

--Mel

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fugu13
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I've known people who have taken the test. It is everything you describe and more. That it still exists in such a form says volumes about education education in the US.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
That it still exists in such a form says volumes about education education in the US.

Now, don't be silly. I feel the test is fully appreciative of the fact that it's training you for a job that you only really have to work at for a few years before it becomes effectively and permanently impossible to fire you for mere incompetence.
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