Welcome to Mometrix Academy’s WEST-B test review page. We’ve created this resource so that you’ll be able to find all the information you need about the exam in one place, without having to skip from one website to another. We’ve also provided links to our extensive library of free WEST-B review videos to help you prepare for this crucial test. We think you’ll find that utilizing these videos as a key part of your WEST-B test prep for the will enable you to get the very best score you’re capable of. If you already have most of the information you need about the WEST-B, and want to start watching the videos right away, you can find the links to them directly below. If you need more information about the exam, just keep reading, and you should find everything you need to know right in this article. After you’ve finished reading, don’t forget to come back and check out the WEST-B test prep videos.

WEST-B Review Course

What is the WEST-B?

The WEST-B, or Washington Educator Skills Tests-Basic test, is a computer-based test that contains questions designed to test a candidates knowledge in basic educator skills in the state of Washington. In 2000, the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) was created in order to determine a way to ensure educator quality standards. The WEST-B is used to assess the basic writing, reading, and mathematics skills of test takers to ensure the necessary minimum level of basic knowledge. In addition to the WEST-B test, test takers can obtain certification in their specific discipline by taking the WEST-E in their discipline, which is offered by NES. Prospective teachers must pass the WEST-B test, or a score on an assessment deemed of equal difficulty by the professional educator standards board (such as certain scores on the SAT or ACT), in order to gain admission into an approved teacher preparation program. In addition, out-of-state candidates who are applying for a Washington State teaching certificate will be asked to meet the minimum passing scores on the WEST-B.

The WEST-B exam covers three subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics (095/096/097). Prospective test-takers have the option to take a single subtest (or single subject) or complete all 3 subtests in a single testing period. There are a total of 170 multiple choice test questions and two constructed-response assignments. The full test with all three sections will have a time period of five hours. Scoring for each of the three subtests is based on a score ranging from 100 to 300. A score of 240 per subtest is a passing score. Each candidate will receive their score within two weeks to three weeks.

WEST-B Study Guide

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What’s on the WEST-B?

There are three testing areas that are dealt with on the WEST-B: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. The WEST-B test questions consist of multiple choice questions and writing assignments. In the Reading section, there are sixty multiple choice questions that have to do with sample reading passages. The writing section contains approximately fifty multiple-choice items that reference reading passages and two constructed-response assignments. The last section, Mathematics, contains sixty multiple choice questions. For multiple-choice questions, the test taker is shown a question and then given many choices to choose from, with one of the choices being correct, and all other choices being incorrect. One major difference with the writing section compared to the other two sections is the constructed-response section, which does not use the same format that multiple-choice questions use.

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In the constructed-response section, the test taker is given a prompt from which they must write and organize an essay of their own ideas and concepts without the guidance of any formal answer choices. This open-ended format means that the test taker must come up with the correct answer completely independently. While the format is different, the challenge for the test taker should be about the same. The knowledge and skills necessary to correctly answer a multiple-choice question by choosing from several different possibilities are the same knowledge and skills needed to generate the correct answer on one’s own. Of course, it’s true that in the case of multiple-choice questions there’s the possibility of a test taker getting lucky and simply picking the correct answer by chance when they don’t know the answer, but that’s a negligible difference. Generally speaking, the constructed-response portion should be no more difficult than the multiple-choice portion.

WEST-B Reading

The reading section is normally the first section in the exam. The WEST-B test questions in this section will cover the following topics:

  • Main idea, supporting ideas, and themes
  • Relationships between given ideas and information within a selection
  • Use critical thinking to read between the lines within a selection
  • Understand the writer’s conveyed purpose and intent
  • Understand a word’s meaning in context
  • Use observation and study skills to understand passages, stories, charts, and graphs

This section is composed of 60 multiple-choice questions. If you take this section without the other two sections, the time period for the exam will be 2 hours.

WEST-B Writing

The writing section is the next section in the exam. This section is composed entirely of multiple-choice questions. The WEST-B test questions in this section will cover the following topics:

  • Specific audience and intended purpose in a passage
  • Idea development, fluidity, and organized format for ideas
  • Recognize properly conveyed messages and ideas
  • Know how to revise and improve a piece of writing
  • Know standard writing conventions
  • Be able to create a well-organized response to a prompt with proper purpose and content towards the correct audience

This section consists of a combination of 50 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response questions. Though multiple-choice answers are graded on whether or not they are the correct answer choices, the constructed-response questions are graded on their effective use of good writing in the following areas:

  • Focus and Appropriateness
  • Cohesive ideas and format
  • Proper support and logic and organization
  • Grammar and word choice
  • Proper writing conventions

Here is an example of a persuasive prompt you could see: “What makes someone family? Some people believe that family is something that you are born into without your choice, while other believe that your family isn’t limited by who you are related to but rather the people you choose to surround yourself with. In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, express your opinion on the matter. Use examples and arguments to defend your opinion.” You could also receive an expository prompt, such as one like this: “What makes a good friend? In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, express your ideas on the prompt.”

The score for this section is divided between the constructed-response questions and multiple-choice questions. The multiple-choice questions count towards 67% of your writing subtest score, and the constructed-response section counts 33% of the overall writing subtest grade. Your results will also disclose how you performed on each individual section of the writing subtest. If you take the writing subtest without the other 2 subtests, you will have a time period of 3 hours to take the test.

WEST-B Mathematics

The reading section is normally the first section in the exam. The WEST-B test questions in this section will cover the following topics:

  • Mathematical operations and processes
  • Measurements, proportions, and ratios
  • Geometry and its applications
  • Statistics and probability in mathematical applications
  • Algebra

This section is composed of 60 multiple-choice questions. If you take this section without the other two sections, the time limit for the exam will be 2 hours. Personal calculators are prohibited and cannot be brought into your test. However, calculators will be provided for you during your test.

Registration and Scores

Registration for the WEST-B test is online. In order to register, you must choose from a nation-wide selection of testing centers and create an appointment at that location. Once you have selected an appropriate location with a set time and date, you may want to review the test policies for what is allowed and the necessary identification you will need to enter the testing location.

As of the time that this was written, WEST-B results for the multiple-choice tests are available at your testing center immediately after the test. The exception to this is the WEST-B writing section due to the constructed-response portion. Score reports for all WEST tests are available 2 to 6 weeks after the test on your account that you registered with.

WEST-B Test Prep

The WEST-B test has a severe impact on your acceptance into a college and certification as a teacher. Not taking the WEST-B seriously and limiting your preparation is a major mistake that may have profound impact. Many have gained entry into the school of their choice due to their successful completion of the WEST-B, while others will receive their scores to find they have not passed.

Being well prepared for the WEST-B is one of the most important things you can do for your future. Taking a few weeks to review with a good WEST-B study guide is key to a successful score. You’ll want to take your time and not rush things. Also, starting early and working methodically on your test prep will give you plenty of time to take an WEST-B practice test (or two). If you don’t do well on your WEST-B practice test, you’ll still have time to go back and review some more, to make sure you’re ready on test day. If you’re looking for WEST-B test prep help, be sure to click on the links at the top of this page. You’ll find an abundance of free video tutorials to help you prepare for the WEST-B.

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Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 06/13/2017
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