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California Science Test

California's statewide science assessment for students in grades five and eight and once in high school.

Program Overview

The statewide California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System includes federally required science assessments in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve).Since the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS) in 2013, the California Department of Education has been developing a new science assessment—the California Science Test (CAST)—aligned with these standards.

All eligible grade twelve students must take the CAST if they did not participate in the 2017–18 CAST field test. In addition, local educational agencies (LEAs) have the option to test any or all students in grades ten or eleven; however, it is recommended that LEAs select grade ten or eleven students who are enrolled in their last high school science course. Note that once a high school student takes the CAST, that student is ineligible to take the test again.

The following links provide additional information about the program:

  • CAASPP—CalEdFacts web page provides a more detailed overview of the tests.
  • California Assessment Timeline (PDF) presents the assessment administration timeline for the 2018–19 and 2019–20 school years.
  • Assessment System Chart (PDF) lists the tests of the 2018–19 California assessment system by subject content, test name, test type, student participant groups, grade levels, and testing window time frame.

Resources and Communication Materials

Resources for Communicating with Parents

CAST—Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF)

2018–19 California Student Assessment Accessibility for Science (PDF)

Available CAST Resources Flyer (PDF)

CAST Training Tests Now Available (PDF)

CAST video

Talking to Parents About the CAASPP (PPTX; 5MB)

Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit provides resources, including key messages, a reporting timeline, transition to operational status, frequently asked questions, letter templates for LEAs, and other tools to assist LEAs in providing information about the preliminary indicators for the science assessments to educators, parents and guardians, and other stakeholders.

Partner Organizations

Test Administration

CAST Administration Research File

Test Administration Coordination website External link opens in new window or tab.

Science Test Administration for High School Students (PDF)

Quick Reference Guides, which provide step-by-step instructions on how to start a:

  • CAST training test session
  • CAST operational test session (This resource is intended for California educators and requires district log-in credentials.)

CAST Training Test and Scoring Guide External link opens in new window or tab.

Science reference tools for students in grade eight and high school External link opens in new window or tab., includes resources available online to all students:

  • Periodic table of elements
  • Reference sheets that include formulas and constants

Student Accessibility Resources

Scores and Results Reporting

The CAASPP External link opens in new window or tab. website will contain the preliminary indicator summary results for the 2017–18 administration of the California Alternate Assessment for Science, year 2 pilot in fall 2018. Those aggregated results will be reported by the state, county, LEA, and school levels as well as by student groups. Caution should be used when interpreting the preliminary indicator results, given that the assessments are not yet operational.

Reporting Science Assessments Results—2017–18 Timeline provides LEAs, schools, and other stakeholders with information about releasing the science results to parents/guardians and the public.

Laws, Regulations, and Requirements

California Education Code Section 60640 External link opens in new window or tab.

CAASPP Regulations (DOC)

Apportionment reimbursements to LEAs

Technical Documents

CAST Blueprint (PDF)

California Science Curriculum Framework

Accessibility Supports for Operational Testing

CAASPP Technical and Research Reports

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 30, 2018
Recently Posted in Testing
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 23 (added 06-Dec-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, December 5, 2018.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 20 (added 04-Dec-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, November 15, 2018.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 21 (added 04-Dec-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, November 21, 2018.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 22 (added 04-Dec-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, November 28, 2018.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 18 (added 29-Nov-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 31, 2018.

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 19 (added 29-Nov-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, November 7, 2018.
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    This is a historical look at the high school equivalency scoring standards for each of the three testing vendors.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 17 (added 30-Oct-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 24, 2018.
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    These research files contain results from the English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) administration. The data is intended for educators or researchers use to perform advanced analyses and preparation of customized reports.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 16 (added 18-Oct-2018)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 17, 2018.