Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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 developed the California Science Test (CAST), which is aligned with these standards.

High school students will have only one opportunity to take a science test (i.e., in grade ten, eleven, or twelve). Local educational agencies (LEAs) can elect to administer a science test to students in grade ten or eleven. Students in grade twelve, who have not yet taken a science test, will automatically be registered to test. Students repeating grade twelve are not eligible to test.

The following links provide additional information about the program.

Resources and Communication Materials

Science: It's Elementary!

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 Item Specifications flyer (PDF)

2020–21 California Student Assessment Accessibility Graphic for Science (PDF)

Available CAST Resources flyer (PDF)

CAST Practice and Training Tests flyer (PDF)

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

Suggested Pausing Points for the California Science Test (PDF)

Science Test Administration for High School Students (PDF)

Student Accessibility Resources web page

Scores and Results Reporting

CAASPP Student Score Report Information

CAASPP Results website—For directions on how to view results, go to the Quick Reference Guides.

CAASPP Starting Smarter website External link opens in new window or tab.

The CAST Reporting Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) (PDF) document provides descriptions of the four levels possible for a student’s overall performance on the CAST and the three levels possible for a student’s performance by science domain.

CAST Scale Score Ranges provides the scale score ranges by grade and achievement level.

CAST 201718 administration research files contain the results from the 2017–18 field test. CAST aggregated results are reported by the state, county, LEA, and school levels as well as by student groups. These research files are 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 a timeline for reporting 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) was used to build the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 assessments.

Revised CAST Blueprint (PDF; 2MB) will be implemented with the 2020–21 administration of the CAST.

CAST Item Specifications

2016 Science Framework

Accessibility Supports for Operational Testing (PDF)

CAASPP Technical Reports and Studies

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 102 (added 12-Aug-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, August 7, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 101 (added 12-Aug-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, July 31, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 100 (added 12-Aug-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, July 24, 2020.
  • Summative ELPAC (added 07-Aug-2020)
    Information about the Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).