Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Science Assessments


On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve as required by California Education Code Section 60605.85. The NGSS Appendices A–M also were adopted to assist teachers in the implementation of the new science standards and to aid in the development of the new science curriculum framework. The California Department of Education is developing assessments based on the NGSS.

During the transition to new science assessments, the 2014–15 CAASPP System encompasses federally required science assessments in grades 5, 8, and 10 (i.e., California Standards Tests [CSTs], California Modified Assessment [CMA], and California Alternate Performance Assessment [CAPA]). Information is provided about the content, types of questions, participation criteria, and other key targeted resources to assist with understanding the scope and requirements of these science assessments.

Science Assessments Aligned to the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS)

Frequently Asked Questions
Includes questions and answers regarding science assessments aligned to the CA NGSS.

Science Assessments Implementation Timeline (DOC; Dated 03-Aug-2015)
Includes the implementation timeline for the science assessments aligned to the CA NGSS.

California Standards Tests (CSTs)

CSTs Blueprints
Includes descriptions of the content requirements (i.e., blueprints) for areas assessed on the CSTs for science.

CSTs Released Test Questions
Includes released test questions of the CSTs for science.

CSTs Reference Sheets
Reference sheets for use on the CSTs for science in grade 5 and grade 8, and for chemistry, physics, and integrated science.

California Modified Assessment (CMA)

CMA Blueprints
Includes descriptions of the content requirements (i.e., blueprints) for areas assessed on the CMA for science.

CMA Participation Criteria for Science
Provides assistance to individualized education program (IEP) teams in determining how a student should participate in the CMA for science.

Differences Between the CSTs and CMA (PDF)
Includes a grade 5 science example of the format changes between the CSTs and CMA.

CMA Reference Sheets
Reference sheets for use on the CMA for science.

California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)

CAPA Blueprints
Provides information about the CAPA for science.

CAPA Participation Criteria
Provides assistance to IEP teams for determining when a student should participate in the CAPA.

Appendix A - Eligibility to Participate in the CAPA (DOC)
IEP team considerations for participation in the CAPA.

CAPA Performance Levels (DOC)
State Board of Education-adopted performance levels for the CAPA.

CAPA Core Adaptations
Allowable adaptations to ensure a student's optimal performance.

CAASPP CAPA Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
Includes more information about CAPA, including the testing materials and manipulative list.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 16, 2015
Recently Posted in Testing
  • Final Planning Time (PDF) (added 29-Jul-2016)
    This is the Final Planning Time of the CAASPP Institute training materials.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 162 (added 29-Jul-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, July 27, 2016.
  • Formative Reflection (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is the Formative Reflection and Planning portion of the CAASPP Institute training.
  • Math Assessment Purpose (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    A portion of the Assessment Chapter of the 2013 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools.
  • Four Attributes of Formative Assessment (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is the Four Attributes of Formative Assessment portion of the CAASPP Institute Training.

  • 2014 ELA/ELD Framework, Chapter 8 (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    Chapter Eight of the 2014 English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Framework for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve.
  • Formative Assessment Accessibility (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is the Formative Assessment Accessibility portion of the CAASPP Institute training.
  • Digital Library Part 1 (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is theDigital Library Part 1 portion of the CAASPP Institute training.
  • Digital Library Part 2 (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is the Digital Library Part 2 portion of the CAASPP Insitute training.
  • Digital Library Part 3 (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    This is the Digital Library Part 3 portion of the CAASPP Institute training.