Firm Family Man Finally Passes CBEST Math After Multiple Attempts

The Challenge

While simultaneously working full-time, taking teacher-certification courses, and developing his Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, or EDTPA, Mr. Stewart also worked to pass CBEST. He decided to get help preparing to pass the math portion because he didn’t think he’d be able to do it alone. Failing the test again might’ve meant being suspended from his program and losing his teaching job.

Maurice, or Coach Mo, needed a little help becoming comfortable processing number parts, deconstructing and solving word problems, and improving his pacing in testing environments.

The Process

Maurice made first contact with me late-June 2017. After his diagnostic session, which lasted 4.5 hours, he began the first of 27 hours on July 5, 2017. We met both in-person and online. Although he’d never been tested for a learning difference, we both suspected that he may have processing issues. Still, because Maurice was facing a deadline, he opted to move forward with tutoring, hoping the amount of time he’d invest would compensate for any processing issues. He’d had a predetermined test date and wanted to try studying for all three tests, simultaneously. Unfortunately, he didn’t do well.

Fast forward to June 2020: Maurice realized the importance of tackling each test individually, He reached out to me to get help passing CBEST Math. Over the course of 19 weeks, he became better at going beyond simply memorizing formulas to recognizing, to some degree, how an equation might be presented in different ways. With the exception of one occasion, Maurice’s homework was always completed, and he’d arrive at each session ready with questions about anything he didn’t understand.

To help facilitate his learning, we experimented with different whiteboard positions and images on the board, carefully plotting positions of specific notes, and the use of sports-related examples. Maurice confirms it: “The sports examples help because I’m an athlete. I see them a lot.” He adds, “I’m a visual learner, [Kenisha] took the time to write images on the white board that helped me collect my thoughts.”


  • Passed CBEST Math
  • Increased confidence working with numbers parts
  • Improved ability to pace himself in testing situations
  • Improved comfort breaking down and solving word problems.
  • Remains in Credentialing Program
    Maurice continues to season himself as a teacher, and all the work he’s done to get into and remain in his profession won’t go to waste.
  • Keeps Teaching Job
    He’s able to financially support his family.
  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety
    He has one less worry to consider in his daily life and is mentally free to focus on completing other credential-related tasks.

In the Customer's Words

[Kenisha] makes you feel right at home, her warm presence makes you feel comfortable. At the end of our first meeting, she took the time to sit with me and see what I was into, how I learned best, my hobbies, weaknesses, strengths, etc…

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