Statewide Testing


Students across California participate in statewide testing depending on their grade level and English proficiency.

Test results are just one piece of information about how students are doing in school. Together with report cards and other information, test results help in understanding a student’s readiness for success in higher grades, college, and career.

The most common assessments are listed below with general information and the participating grade levels.

Types of Tests for the State of California

CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress)

The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (SBAC) and California Alternate Assessments (CAA) are online tests that measure what students know and are able to do in the areas of English language arts/literacy (ELA) and math. The tests include many different types of questions that allow students to interact with the test questions. Results help identify gaps in knowledge or skills early on so students can get the support needed to be successful in school.

The standards tested are the California Common Core State Standards (Smarter Balanced) or the California Common Core State Standards through the Core Content Connectors (CAA).

Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents/guardians may annually submit to the school a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP assessments.

Eligible students will take either the Smarter Balanced assessments or the California Alternate Assessments.

Smarter Balanced (SBAC)

  • Students in grades 3-8 and 11
  • 2 ELA tests (1 Computer Adaptive Test and 1 Performance Task)
  • 2 Math tests (1 Computer Adaptive Test and 1 Performance Task)
    • The Hybrid Adaptive Test (HAT) can be taken in place of the Computer Adaptive Test for a student who reads braille and does not have access to an embosser capable of producing tactile graphic
  • Districts can open testing windows when 66% of the school year is completed.
  • Understanding the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 8:03)

California Alternate Assessments (CAA)

  • Students in grades 3-8 and 11 who have significant cognitive disabilities and have Individualized Education Program (IEP)'s that indicate the use of alternate assessments on statewide assessments
  • 1 ELA test
  • 1 math test
  • Districts can open testing windows when 66% of the school year is completed.

California Science Test (CAST) and CAA for Science

The California Science Test (CAST) and CAA for Science are online tests that measure what students know and are able to do in the area of science. The tests include many different types of questions that allow students to interact with the test questions. Results help identify gaps in knowledge or skills early on so students can get the support needed to be successful in school.

The standards tested are the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) (CAST) or alternate achievement standards derived from the CA NGSS (CAA for Science).

Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents/guardians may annually submit to the school a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP assessments.

Eligible students will take either the CAST or the CAA for Science.

California Science Test (CAST):

  • Students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (10th, 11th, or 12th grade)
  • Students repeating grade 12 are NOT eligible to test
  • 1 test composed of six segments of test questions: two or three segments of discrete (stand-alone) questions followed by three or four performance tasks, where each performance task is a segment.
  • Districts can open testing windows when 66% of the school year is completed.

CAA for Science:

  • Students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (10th, 11th, or 12th grade) who have significant cognitive disabilities and have IEPs that indicate the use of alternate assessments on statewide assessments
  • Students repeating grade 12 are NOT eligible to test
  • 4 science tests given throughout the school year [(1) life science, (1) earth and space science, and (2) physical science tests]
  • Testing window opens mid-September

English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC):

Students who are classified as English learners will take the Summative ELPAC or Summative Alternate ELPAC every year until they are reclassified as proficient in English.

Identifying students who need help learning English is important so they can get the support they need to do well in school. The Summative ELPAC and Summative Alternate ELPAC are the tests used to measure how well students understand English when it is not the language they speak at home. Information from the ELPAC informs teachers about the areas in which individual students need extra support.

The standards tested are the 2012 California English Language Development Standards (ELPAC) or alternate achievement standards derived from the 2012 California English Language Development Standards (Alternate ELPAC).

Parents and guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. California State law and federal law (Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is a language other than English be assessed for English language proficiency.

Eligible students will take either the ELPAC or the Alternate ELPAC.

ELPAC

  • Students who are English Learners (EL)
  • 4 sections: reading, writing, listening, speaking
  • Testing window February 1-May 31

Alternate ELPAC:

  • Students in grades K-12+ (until age 22 if they are still in school) who are classified as English Learners (EL), have significant cognitive disabilities, and have IEPs that indicate the use of alternate assessments on statewide assessments
  • Testing window: February 1-May 31

Resources for TVIs and other professionals proctoring the CAASPP and/or ELPAC assessments

Contact Information

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Veronica Gunn, MA
Curriculum and Outcomes Specialist, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
vgunn@csb-cde.ca.gov
(510) 936-5515