Overview of the CAHSEE
Upon realizing local standards were inconsistent and below grade level, the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) was implemented to promote and improve grade-level academic competency among high school graduates. The test is a requirement for graduation and administered to high school students beginning in grade 10. The CAHSEE began implementation on a volunteer basis since 2001, and in 2004 become a graduation requirement for the class of 2006.
Purpose of the CAHSEE
The CAHSEE serves as a benchmark tool to measure and improve academic performance among California students. It was implemented to ensure students graduate from high school with competency in mathematics, reading and writing commensurate at grade level. The test also assists schools in identifying students in need of further assistance in these areas. The CAHSEE is also used to inform state accountability figures for the federal No Child Left Behind Act
Who Takes the CAHSEE?
All California public school students, except those with disabilities must pass the CAHSEE among other requirements to graduate from high school. Students with disabilities may claim exemption or a waiver according to California Education Code (section 60851(c) and 60852.3). English language learners are required to take the CAHSEE, but must be afforded a translation dictionary or the opportunity to hear the test directions in their own language.
In grade ten, students take the math and ELA portions of the CAHSEE one time. In subsequent years, students may only take the portion of the CAHSEE not previously passed. Students may retake the CAHSEE up to two times in grade eleven, five times in grade twelve, and three times per academic year for adult students.
What is a Passing Score?
A scale score of 350 (out of a possible 450) is required to pass a given section. Students do not have to pass all sections in the same sitting.
Understanding the CAHSEE
The CAHSEE consists of two subject areas: Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). The mathematics section includes components of both reading and writing. Specific areas covered include grammar, spelling, punctuation, analysis, vocabulary and comprehension. Test content is at grade ten. The mathematics portion covers the sixth and seventh grades and algebra 1 (normally taught in eighth grade). Specific areas include geometry, number sense, statistics, data analysis, measurement and mathematical reasoning.
Since the year 2000, the CAHSEE has been externally evaluated for validity and reliability. The evaluation includes a breakdown of test performance according to ethnicity, socio-economic status, grade level, gender, and performance by test section. The test is further evaluated to ensure it is not a predictor or indicator of post-secondary behavior including college attendance, drop-out, and retention rates. The test is evaluated bi- annually and each evaluation report is available for public review.
Get Your Child Ready for the CAHSEE
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