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Mathematics Competencies Tested on the CBEST

The math test covers three major skill areas with each skill area addressing a number of sub-skills. An outline showing these skill areas and their major sub-skills is shown below.

1. Estimation, Measurement, and Statistical Principles

• Estimation and Measurement
• Understand and use standard units of length, temperature, weight, and capacity in the U.S. measurement system.
• Measure length and perimeter.
• Understand and use estimates of time to plan and achieve work-related objectives.
• Estimate the results of problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division prior to computation.

• Statistical Principles
• Perform arithmetic operations with basic statistical data related to test scores (e.g., averages, ratios, proportions, and percentile scores).
• Understand basic principles of probability and predict likely outcomes based on data provided (e.g., estimate the likelihood that an event will occur).
• Interpret the meaning of standardized test scores (e.g., stanine scores, percentiles) to determine how individuals performed relative to other students

2. Computation and Problem Solving

• Add, subtract, multiply, and divide with whole numbers.
• Add and subtract with positive and negative numbers.
• Add, subtract, multiply, and divide with fractions, decimals, and percentages.
• Determine and perform necessary arithmetic operations to solve a practical mathematics problem (e.g., determine the total invoice cost for ordered supplies by multiplying quantity by unit price, summing all items).
• Solve simple algebraic problems (e.g., equations with one unknown).
• Determine whether enough information is given to solve a problem; identify the facts given in a problem.
• Recognize alternative mathematical methods of solving a problem.

3. Numerical and Graphic Relationships

• Recognize relationships in numerical data (e.g., compute a percentage change from one year to the next).
• Recognize the position of numbers in relation to each other (e.g., 1/3 is between 1/4 and 1/2; -7<-4).
• Use the relations less than, greater than, or equal to, and their associated symbols to express a numerical relationship.
• Identify numbers, formulas, and mathematical expressions that are mathematically equivalent (e.g., 2/4 = 1/2, 1/4 = 25%).
• Understand and use rounding rules when solving problems.
• Understand and apply the meaning of logical connectives (e.g., and, or, if-then) and quantifiers (e.g., some, all, none). Identify or specify a missing entry from a table of data (e.g., subtotal).
• Use numerical information contained in tables, spreadsheets, and various kinds of graphs (e.g., bar, line, circle) to solve mathematics problems.

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