State and National Test DescriptionsTop of Page

Advanced Placement (AP) - This is a program created by the College Board offering college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. Colleges often grant college credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System - CAASPP was established on January 1, 2014. The CAASPP System replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, which became inoperative on July 1, 2013.

For 2014–15, the CAASPP System encompasses the following 3 assessments and student participation requirements.

1. Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English–language arts (ELA) and mathematics. At the high school level only students in grade 11 will be tested.

2. Alternate assessments for English–language arts and mathematics is for students with significant cognitive disabilities. At the high school levels students in grade 9 through 11 will be tested.

3. Life Science Test based on the California Science Standards. At the high school level only students in grade 10 will be tested.

CAASPP Tests Descriptions:

The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are delivered by computer consist of two sections: a computer-adaptive test and a Performance Task based on the Common Core State Standards for English–language arts and mathematics. The computer-adaptive section includes a range of items types such as selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, etc. The Performance Tasks are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness.

Alternate assessments for English–language arts and mathematics for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments will be based on alternate achievement standards derived from the Common Core State Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The alternate assessments are anticipated to be delivered on the computer, with a field test preceding the operational administration.

The Life Science Test is a paper-pencil test based on the California content standards for science adopted by the State Board of California in October 1998. The test is comprised entirely of multiple-choice questions.


California English Language Development Test (CELDT) - This test helps schools identify students who need to improve their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. Schools also give the test each year to students who are still learning English.

California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) - This is a basic skills exam that students must pass in order to receive a diploma. Students are given this exam for the first time in the 10th grade. Eleventh graders are given two more opportunities in November and May of their Junior year. Twelfth graders are given five more opportunities to pass it in their senior year.

Early Assessment Program (EAP) -

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a voluntary program designed to provide students, their families, and high schools with early signals about students’ readiness for college-level English and mathematics. Beginning in 2014-15, the grade 11 Smarter Balanced computer adaptive assessments for ELA and mathematics will replace the augmented CSTs that are used for EAP. A determination of college readiness is built into the new standards. Therefore, the SBAC test will still include an assessment of college readiness. (Taken from the EAP website 10/28/14

International Baccalaureate (IB) - This is a two-year educational program for students that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognized by universities worldwide. College credit is given to students who obtain high scores on these exams.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) - This is a national assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Selected seniors from some high schools are assessed in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.

Physical Fitness Test (PFT) - The State Board of Education (SBE) designated the FITNESSGRAM® as the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for students in California public schools. The FITNESSGRAM® is a comprehensive, health-related physical fitness battery developed by The Cooper Institute measuring flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) - Students in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades participate in STAR testing. 9th graders will take a math, English, and science standards tests. Tenth and eleventh graders will take a math, English, science, and social studies standards tests.