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State Testing

Smarter Balanced Assessments for English Language

Arts/Literacy and Mathematics:  

Students in grades three through six will receive full-length summative tests for both English language arts/literacy and mathematics, with approximately seven to eight hours of total testing time for each student.

California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)

The summative California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science are administered to eligible students. The CAAs are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments.

California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online test based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five will administer a pilot CAST. The CAST pilot uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test delivery system and will only be administered online. Students will not receive scores for the pilot test; however, student participation data will be collected and reported for accountability.

Who takes the CAST pilot? Participation in the CAST pilot is required for all students in grades five and eight.

Primary Language Assessment—Standards-based Tests in Spanish for Reading/Language Arts

General Information

The optional Standards based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts (RLA) are multiple-choice tests that allow Spanish-speaking English learners (EL) to demonstrate their knowledge of the California content standards by taking an RLA assessment in their primary language. Biliterate, bilingual California educators and test developers constructed the STS for RLA items.

Students may take the STS for RLA in addition to, not in place of, the Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy (ELA) assessments. EL students who are within their first 12 months of enrollment in a U.S. school as of April 15 of the previous year have a one-time exemption from the Smarter Balanced for ELA.

Who Takes the STS?

The STS for RLA tests are optional for Spanish-speaking English learners in grades two through eleven who meet the following criteria:

  • Whose primary language is Spanish and who is receiving instruction in Spanish; or
  • Who is recently arrived EL and whose primary language is Spanish.
Physical Fitness Testing (PFT)

The physical fitness test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity.

Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity.


California English Language Development Test (CELDT)

Students in kindergarten through grade twelve whose home language is not English are required by law to be assessed in English language proficiency (ELP). In California, the ELP assessment is the CELDT.

The CELDT allows schools to 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.


English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

The ELPAC will be the successor to the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The CELDT is the current required state test for English language proficiency that must be given to students whose primary language is other than English.

State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of English language proficiency (ELP) to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve. The California Department of Education (CDE) is transitioning from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state ELP assessment by 2018. The ELPAC will be aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards.


California Department of Education Testing Information