Support Union Test Prep

Support us and begin preparing Ad-free for your tests with
Union Test Prep.

At Union Test Prep, we are a small team dedicated to bringing the best test-prep material to you, free of cost. But we cannot do it without your support.

Support us today and start preparing for your test without the intrusion of ads.

Support Now

Writing on the CBEST® Test

The CBEST® Writing exam is designed to test your knowledge of writing using proper conventions and organization techniques.

What Type of Writing Is Required?

Two essays are required on the CBEST®, each of them requiring you to display the ability to create an essay using supporting details but without diverging from the topic at hand. The first essay is a personal one, in which you will be given a prompt to create an essay based on an experience or a memory, while the second will give you a phrase, topic, or suggestion, and require that you take that topic and write about it, using any information given, and expounding on it to create a fully fleshed, well-thought-out response.

How to Prepare

Because the Writing portion of the CBEST® does not allow for traditional preparation, such as studying via flashcards or memorizing terms, the best possible way to practice is to take writing prompts, create small essays, and have a trusted friend, mentor, or teacher review them and point out any areas in need of improvement, with a focus on conventions (think grammar, punctuation, and word usage).

Writing Topics to Practice

In keeping with the exam format, first practice writing about a personal topic, such as a treasured memory, or the moment that a sudden shift in your worldview occurred. From there, you can then choose to write about a famous quote, an oft-cited scientific study, or something similar, in order to craft an essay that requires you to dig deep into the source material—even if that material is only a single sentence.

Specific Writing Skills to Practice

When writing, there are six main things you must keep in mind: clarity, organization, support, usage, structure, and audience.

  • Clarity in your writing means keeping yourself on topic, and using language appropriate for the topic at hand.
  • Organization refers to the sequence in which you write your essay. Outlines can be helpful in making sure you have clear, readable work.
  • Support refers to the amount of support you have for your ideas in the piece and can refer to descriptions of the event you are writing about, or supporting details.
  • Usage means using words correctly.
  • Structure means choosing the best possible structure for the essay, such as choosing the correct space for paragraph breaks and using grammar correctly.
  • Finally, the CBEST® will be evaluating your tone to determine whether or not your essay is written to correctly reflect your audience.

Keep Reading