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
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.