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)

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 Reference Sheets
    Reference sheets for use on the CSTs for science in grades five and eight, 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.

California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)

  • CAASPP CAPA Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
    Includes more information about CAPA, including streaming videos of past Webcasts and supporting materials.
Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 182 (added 08-Dec-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, November 30, 2016.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 183 (added 08-Dec-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, December 7, 2016.
  • CAASPP Student Score Report Information (updated 30-Nov-2016)
    Resources and guides for parents or guardians to help interpret the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) student score report.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 181 (added 23-Nov-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, November 23, 2016.
  • High School—Algebra and Functions (added 10-Nov-2016)
    The Digital Library Instructional Learning Series links Smarter Balanced Digital Library resources with content from Interim Assessment Blocks.

  • High School—Research (added 10-Nov-2016)
    The Digital Library Instructional Learning Series links Smarter Balanced Digital Library resources with content from Interim Assessment Blocks.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 179 (added 09-Nov-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, November 9, 2016.
  • Introducing the Smarter Balanced Digital Library (PPT) (added 09-Nov-2016)
    An in-depth look at the Smarter Balanced Digital Library.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 178 (added 03-Nov-2016)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, November 2, 2016.
  • Transición del CELDT al ELPAC (added 03-Nov-2016)
    Línea de Tiempo Propuesta Para la Transición del Examen California English Language Development Test a los Exámenes English Language Proficiency Assessments for California.