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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 developed the California Science Test (CAST), which is 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, the student has met the science assessment requirement.

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

CAST—Key Messages

Resources for Communication with Parents/Guardians

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

CAST Informational Video

CAST Assessment Fact Sheet flyer (PDF)

Introducing CAST Items Specification flyer (PDF)

California Student Assessment Accessibility for Science flyer (PDF)

Available CAST Resources flyer (PDF)

CAST Training Tests Now Available flyer (PDF)

Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit provides resources, including key messages, a reporting timeline, 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/guardians, and other stakeholders.

Partner Organizations

Test Administration

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

CAST Training Tests, Practice Tests, and Scoring Guide External link opens in new window or tab.

CAASPP Portal Quick Start Guides web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides guides with instructions on how to start the following:

  • CAST—How to Start a Training Test
  • CAST—How to Start a Practice Test
  • CAST—How to Start a Test Session (This resource is intended for California educators and requires district log-in credentials.)

CAASPP Portal CAST web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes online science resources available to all students:

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

Student Accessibility Resources web page

Scores and Results Reporting

CAST administration research files contain the results from the 2017-18 CAST field test. CAST aggregated results are reported by the state, county, LEA, and school levels as well as by student groups. The data is intended for use by educators or researchers to perform analyses and prepare customized reports. Caution should be used when interpreting the preliminary indicator results, given that these results are from an assessment that was not operational.

Reporting Science Assessments Results 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)

Assessment Apportionment Reimbursements to LEAs

Technical Documents

CAST Blueprint (PDF)

CAST Item Specifications

2016 Science Framework web page

Accessibility Supports for Operational Testing

CAASPP Technical Reports and Studies web page

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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