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CA Standardized Test Description

CA Standardized Test Description

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 10th, 2014

ca standardized test

Parents of children in California often look for a description of the CA standardized test. In California, the standardized test given to elementary and high school students goes by several names. Officially known as the Standardized Testing and Reporting examination (or programs), the name is often shortened to the STAR exam, STAR program or STAR test. Regardless of what name you know it by, the CA standardized test is an important part of every California student’s academic career.

What it Does

The CA standardized test and the program which it represents have two main goals. These are promoting an excellent standard of education for each student and ensuring that graduating high school seniors are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need as they move forward in their lives.

The CA standardized test accomplishes these goals in two separate ways. One is through regular annual testing which begins in grade two. Students are tested in the spring, within ten days of 85% completion of the school year.

Subjects tested depend on grade level. Students in grades two through eleven will receive the English language arts (ELA) and math portions of the test battery. Grades four through seven will also be tested on writing as part of their ELA portion. Grades five through eleven include a science portion, while grades nine through eleven also include history-social science. For more information on the STAR test, visit

The next and final way CA standardized test batteries are used is through the California High School Exit Examination. This standardized test replaces the STAR test in a student’s senior year of high school, and is intended to ensure that each graduating senior has fully and thoroughly learned the curriculum required by the state of California. Students who fail the Exit Examination are not allowed to receive their diplomas until their skills reflect an adequate amount of learning.

The ultimate goal of both CA standardized test batteries is simple – graduating seniors fully equipped to not only survive but thrive in the ‘real world’ after high school.

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