Mandatory Testing under the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

On January 1, 2014, California Education Code Section 60640 established the CAASPP System of assessments for California students. The CAASPP System includes the following required assessments and additional resources:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessments – The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, Interim Assessments, and Digital Library are all part of the CAASPP System. Smarter Balanced Assessments are required for students in grades 3-8 and 11 for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics unless students are eligible for California Alternate Assessments (CAAs).
  • The California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics are given in grades three through eight and grade eleven. The CAA for science is given in grades five and eight and one time in high school. For the pilot test, all eligible grade twelve students will take the CAA for science, and LEAs have the option to test any grade ten or eleven student who has finished their last year of science instruction. Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAAs.
  • California Science Tests (CAST) will be field-tested in spring 2018. Students will be administered the CAST field test in grades five and eight and once in high school. All grade twelve students will be administered the field test, and local educational agencies (LEAs) can elect to administer the field test to any students in grade ten or eleven who have completed their science coursework. The CAST is aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards.

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is replacing the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) beginning in 2017-18. The Learning Works Testing Coordinator will determine if a student is required to take either test during the enrollment process.


Optional Tests for High School Students
If a student is bound for a four-year college, he/she will need to take the PSAT (given only in October and recommended in the sophomore and junior years). They will also need to take the SAT or the ACT. These are college aptitude tests and should be taken at least by the spring of the junior year. Students may try them before that if they wish. Fees apply to each test.

If a student is going to the University of California or one of the other very competitive colleges, they may need to take Subject Tests. These are subject matter tests and should be taken in the year a particular course is studied. For example, in the spring of the year a student studies Biology, he/she should take the Subject Test in Biology.

  • You can find out more about the PSAT, SAT and the Subject Tests online here.
  • You can find out about the ACT online here. The student site is here.