California Science TestCalifornia's statewide science assessment for students in grades five and eight and once in high school.
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.
- CAASPP–CalEdFacts web page provides a more detailed overview of the tests.
- California Assessment Timeline (PDF) presents the assessment administration timeline.
- Assessment System Chart (PDF) lists the tests of the 2022–23 California assessment system by subject content, test name, test type, student participant groups, grade levels, and testing window timeframe.
Resources and Communication Materials
- Achieve NGSS Resource
- California Science Project
- California Science Teachers Association
- National K–12 Science Framework
- National Science Teachers Association
- Next Generation Science Standards
CAASPP Portal Quick Start Guides web page 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 includes online science resources available to all students:
- Periodic table of elements
- Reference sheets that include formulas and constants
Scores and Results Reporting
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.
Research Files for California Science Test web page , which provides research files from previous administrations of the CAST.
CAST 2017–18 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.
Laws, Regulations, and Requirements
CAST Blueprint (PDF) was used to build the 2018–19 through 2020–21 administrations of the CAST.
Revised CAST Blueprint (PDF; 2MB) will be implemented with the 2021–22 administration of the CAST.
CAST Interim Assessments
The CAST Interim Assessments (IA) in grades three, four, and five will each assess all three science domains. Middle school and high school will each have three interim assessments that assess a single science domain. Each CAST IA will consist of two segments: one discrete segment and one performance task (PT) segment. The PT consists of four to six items, including one constructed response item worth 2 points that must be hand-scored.
The CAST IAs will be available for preview in mid-September 2023, with full access to administer in mid-October 2023.