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Test Information

GRE | GMAT | LSAT | SAT | CBEST | CSET | RICA

GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

Computer Section-Level Adaptive Test

The GRE General Test is a standardized exam that is administered as part of the graduate school admissions process. Colleges and universities use GRE scores to evaluate a student’s readiness for graduate-level course work.  The GRE assesses critical thinking and reasoning skills that help to determine the probability for successful academic performance. Other factors, such as undergraduate grades, interviews, and letters of recommendation also contribute to the admissions application portfolio.

Resources:

1) Cliffs Notes GRE General Test (2011) with CD/ROM (4 full-length practice tests) – ISBN # 978-1118057605
2) The Official Guide to the GRE (2011) – ISBN # 978-0071700528
3) Official GRE website: www.ets.org/gre (information and computer practice tests)

Test Format:

Section-Level Adaptive Testing:

Multiple-choice questions are presented randomly for the verbal and quantitative sections. The first twenty questions of each section will determine the level of difficulty for the second section of twenty questions. The computer will adjust questions so that all questions contribute equally to the final score. Your final score is based upon the number of questions you answer correctly. Keep in mind that if you are faced with a question that requires multiple answers such as “select one or more answers,” you must select all of the correct answers to receive full credit a correct response.

The multiple-choice sections (verbal and quantitative) each compute a raw score based on the number of questions answered correctly. The raw score is equated and converted into a scaled score from 130-170 for each measure, with 1-point increments. The mean score is 150 on each measure. There is no penalty for guessing.

The computerized test allows you to go forward and backward from question to question within a section. Students now have the ability to skip and return to questions within a section to change previous answers. Students can also mark a question with a check mark as a reminder to answer the question later.  A simple four-function on-screen calculator is available for the quantitative section to help with computations.

Verbal Reasoning Question Types:

There are three different verbal reasoning question types: reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence.  

Quantitative Reasoning Question Types:

There are four different quantitative reasoning question types and six different math content style topics. The focus of each question type is one of the six content style topics.

 

GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)

Computer Adaptive Test

The GMAT measures the skills you have developed throughout your college career in quantitative, verbal, integrated reasoning and analytical writing assessment. This exam helps graduate business schools evaluate the probability for success in advanced study in an MBA program or other graduate program.

Effective June, 2012 the GMAT lasts approximately 3 ½ hours and is composed of one 30-minute essay, 37 quantitative multiple-choice questions (75 minutes), and 41 verbal ability multiple-choice questions (75 minutes) and 12 integrated reasoning questions (30 minutes).

Resources:

1) Cliffs Notes GMAT (2012) with CD/ROM (4 full-length practice tests) – ISBN #978-1118077528
2) The Official Guide to the GMAT (2012) – ISBN # 978-1118109793
3) Official GMAT website: www.mba.com (test information and computer practice tests)

For information and test administration application contact:
Graduate Management Admission Council
Pearson VUE
P.O. Box 581907
Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907
General Inquires: (800) 717-4628

LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

The LSAT is designed to measure the range of your reading and reasoning abilities related to the study of law. The questions on the test evaluate reading comprehension (including comparative reading), logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning. The LSAT is reasoning oriented. Therefore, it is critical to understand the thinking processes involved to receive your best possible score. Your success on the LSAT demonstrates your ability to read with skilled comprehension and to reason clearly under time constraints. These strengths are important to both the study and practice of law.

The LSAT consists of five 35-minute multiple-choice sections, and one 30-minute unscored writing sample. One of the five multiple-choice sections is experimental and does not count toward your score. Four sections count toward your LSAT score. The LSAT sections are: Reading Comprehension (one section), Analytical Reasoning (one section), and Logical Reasoning (two sections).

A total of 96 to 104 questions that are scaled to a scoring range of 120 to 180 to produce an average score of about 150-151. It is necessary to answer approximately 60 percent of the questions correctly to obtain an average score. There is no penalty for guessing on the LSAT, so never leave a question without at least taking an educated guess.

Resources:

1) Barron’s LSAT with CD/ROM (2009) – ISBN # 978-0764195433
2) 10 New Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (2012) – ISBN #978-0984636006
3) Official LSAT website: www.lsac.org

For information about test administration and application contact:
Law School Admission Council
662 Penn Street
Newtown PA 18940
(215) 968-1001

SAT

The SAT is a national standardized reasoning test that is used along with your high school records to assess your competence for college work. The test consists of critical reading, writing, and mathematics. The test lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes and consists of mostly multiple-choice type questions, some grid-in type of math questions, and one 25-minute essay.


Scoring:
  • Each multiple-choice section of the SAT receives a raw score that is equated and converted to a scaled score of 200-800 for each of the three separate sections: critical reading, writing and math.
  • The total possible scaled score is 2400.
  • Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly, minus any penalty points (one-quarter point is deducted for each incorrect answer, except on “numeric entry” math questions).
  • The essay writing section is scored by two readers. Each reader will evaluate your essay and assign a score of 1-6 for a total possible score of 12. Note that the essay writing score and the multiple-choice writing section score are combined to make up a scaled score of 200-800.
  • One 25-minute section is experimental and does not count toward your score. It can appear anywhere on your exam.
  • The order in which the sections appear and the number of questions may vary, and there are many forms of the test.
  • Structure, scoring and the order of sections is subject to change. For information about test administration and application contact:
Resources:

1) Cliffs Notes SAT (2012) with CD/ROM including 7 full-length practice tests – ISBN #978-1118057599
2) The Official Guide to the SAT (2009) – ISBN #978-0874478525
3) The Real SAT (2011) – ISBN #978-0768934403

College Board
SAT Program
P.O. Box 8056
Mt. Vernon, IL  62864-0208
(866) 756-7346
http://sat.collegeboard.org

CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test)

Computer-Based & Paper-Based Testing

The CBEST measures proficiencies in three general areas: reading comprehension, mathematics and essay writing. This test was developed to meet requirements related to credentialing and employment. It is based upon the theory that teachers should be able to use the same skills taught to students – skills essential to students both in the classroom and outside school. All questions (except the essay in the Writing Section) are multiple choice with five answer choices for each question.

Each of the three sections receives a score ranging from 20 to 80. The passing score for each section is 41. The total passing score for the CBEST is 123. If you score below the passing mark on one section (or even on two sections) but your total score is 123 or higher, you can still pass the exam but only if your score in each section is 37 or above. This test is paper based or computer administered.

Resources:

1) Cliffs Notes CBEST (2010) – ISBN # 978-0470454534
2) Official CBEST website: www.ctcexams.nesinc.com (test information and practice test)

For information about test administration and application contact:
CBEST Program
Evaluation Systems
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
(916) 928-4001 or (800) 262-5080

For Questions about CBEST or CSET policies contact:
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)
(916) 445-7254
http://www.ctc.ca.gov

CSET: Multiple Subjects

The CSET: Multiple Subjects computer-based exam is designed to evaluate subject-matter competence and higher-order thinking skills of prospective elementary school teachers. Your success on the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam depends upon your measured knowledge and skill in the subject matter taught in California classrooms. The exam is based upon the California classroom framework, curriculum and instructional materials. This test is a broad-range exam that includes these sections: Reading, Language, and Literature; History and Social Science; Science and Mathematics; and Physical Education, Human Development and Visual and Performing Arts.

The test consists of 143 multiple-choice questions and 11 short constructed-response questions. There are three subtests:

Subtest I – Reading, Language, and Literature (26 mc questions and 2 SCR questions); History and Social Science (26 mc questions and 2 SCR questions)

Subtest II – Science (26 mc questions and 2 SCR questions); Math (26 mc questions and SCR questions)

Subtest III – Physical Education (13 mc questions and 1 SCR question); Human Development (13 mc questions and 1 SCR question); Visual and Performing Arts (13 mc questions and 1 SCR question)

Scores range from 100-300 for each subtest. In each subtest, the multiple-choice section is worth 70% and the short constructed-response section is worth 30%. To pass each subtest, you need about 65-70% correct on the multiple-choice questions and an average score of about “2” on each short constructed- response question. There is no penalty for guessing, so never leave an answer blank. Always attempt a response on the short constructed-response questions since you may get at least partial credit for attempting an answer. A calculator is provided on your computer screen during the test. You may register for 1, 2 or all 3 subtests.

Resources:

1) Cliffs Notes CSET (2012) with CD/ROM including 3 full-length practice tests – ISBN # 978-1118176535
2) Official CSET website: www.ctcexams.nesinc.com

For information about test administration and application contact:
CSET Program
Evaluation Systems
Pearson
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
(800) 205-3334 or (916) 928-4003

RICA

Computer-Based Test

The RICA (Reading Instruction Competence Assessment) is designed to assess knowledge and skills in effective reading instruction for teachers and potential elementary school teachers. It was adopted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) “to measure an individual’s knowledge, skill, and ability relative to effective reading instruction.” The RICA is composed of two different and separate assessments—the RICA Written Examination and the RICA Video Performance Assessment.  Test-takers must pass either one of the two assessments to complete the requirement. The “written examination” is only given by computer.

The test is composed of the following:

  • A Multiple-Choice Section consisting of 70 questions (only 60 questions actually count)
  • Four Constructed-Response Essays that requires candidates to write essays from open-ended questions from Domains II, III, IV, and V
  • One Case-Study Essay addressing all five domains. Test-takers are given a student case study, including the student’s reading background, reading performance, and sample case material. You will be asked to evaluate and assess the student’s reading performance, describe instructional intervention strategies, and provide an explanation why this intervention might be effective.
Scoring

The overall scoring for each domain on the RICA is approximately:

Domain I Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment 10%
Domain II Word Analysis 33%
Domain III Fluency 13%
Domain IV Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge 20%
Domain V Comprehension 23%

The total raw scores for the entire exam are converted to a scaled score of 100–300 possible points. The minimum passing scaled score (the magic number) is 220 to pass the RICA.

Resources

Cliffs Notes RICA (2010) – ISBN # 978-0470587300
Official RICA website: www.ctcexams.nesinc.com

For information about test administration and application contact:
RICA Program
Evaluation Systems
Pearson
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
(888) 793-7999 or (916) 928-4004

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