High school students take several different types of school-wide
tests and optional tests. Passing one test, the California High School
Exit Exam (CAHSEE), is a requirement to receive a high school diploma.
Several other tests, such as the ACT and SAT, are used by colleges and
universities as part of their entrance requirements. these tests are
optional for our students, however we encourage all students to take the exams.
California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)
All students must pass the California High School Exit Exam to
receive a diploma. Your first opportunity to take the test is in 10th
Grade. A majority of students pass the test the first time; others will
have additional opportunities before graduation and generally pass the
It is made up of two parts: English-language arts and math.
In reading, this includes vocabulary, decoding, comprehension, and
analysis of information and literary texts. In writing, this covers
writing strategies, applications, and the conventions of English (e.g.
grammar, spelling, and punctuation).
The mathematics part of the CAHSEE addresses state standards in grades
six and seven and Algebra I. The exam includes statistics, data
analysis and probability, number sense, measurement and geometry,
mathematical reasoning, and algebra. Students are also asked to
demonstrate a strong foundation in computation and arithmetic,
including working with decimals, fractions, and percents.
There are two major college tests, the SAT and ACT. Here are some tips on deciding to take one or both tests.
Visit the website for the universities and colleges that you will be
applying to in order to make sure you meet each university's and college's
California State Universities (CSU's) require the SAT Reasoning or ACT with writing.
University of California schools (UC's) require the SAT Reasoning or
ACT with writing and two SAT Subject Tests. See the individual
University websites for more detailed information. Some campuses
prefer certain subject tests depending on campus and major.
Private colleges and universities require the SAT Reasoning or ACT
w/writing. Some private schools do not require the writing test. See
the individual website for each individual school for admission
requirements.It is best to take the writing portion in case it is
required. If it is not, it will not be considered or count against
Highly selective private colleges and universities also require two or
three SAT Subject Tests. See individual school website for admission
requirements. Some campuses prefer certain subject tests depending
on major, etc.
Community colleges do not require any entrance exams. However, you
will be required to take math and English placement tests when you
apply to determine your math and English levels for course enrollment.
Advanced Placement Tests
If you are enrolled in an Advanced
Placement (AP) course, it is
strongly recommended that you take the AP test for that course in the
spring. You will need to sign up for the tests in advance and there may
be a fee. For more information see your AP teacher or counselor for
dates and fees.
The PSAT is the practice test for the SAT (Scholastic Achievement
Test). It is offered one time a year in the Fall. Students
will receive their test booklets back as well as a score report with
information about ways to improve scores. Check with your counselor for more information.