Student Testing Resources

CA Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System was established on January 1, 2014, replacing the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) system. The new assessment system represents the next step in California's plan to provide high-quality teaching and learning in every school. The assessments are designed to determine whether students are on track to be ready for college or a career when they graduate from high school. Test results help identify gaps in knowledge so students can receive the support they need to succeed.

CAASPP includes the following assessments:

  • Smarter Balanced summative English language arts and mathematics assessments for students in grades 3–8 and 11
  • Alternate assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics for students in grades 3–8 and 11
  • Science assessments for students in grades 5, 8, and 10
  • Standards-based tests in Spanish for reading/language arts for students in grades 2–11 (optional)

The resources on this page are intended to help schools and school districts better understand the various components of CAASPP and provide information to students and their families, teachers, and others.

Communication Tools

A Family Guide: Part I
​The initial installment in the Family Guide series, Part I provides an overview of the new Smarter Balanced tests as well as tips for families about preparing and supporting their children for the upcoming tests.

Translations provided by the SCOE in collaboration with the California Department of Education's Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents.

  • English [PDF | Word]
  • Spanish [PDF | Word]
  • Arabic [PDF | Word]
  • Armenian [PDF | Word requires Sylfaen font]
  • Chinese Simplified [PDF | Word requires SimSun font]
  • Chinese Traditional [PDF | Word requires PMingLiU font]
  • Hmong [PDF | Word]
  • Korean [PDF | Word requires Batang font]
  • Punjabi [PDF | Word requires Raavi font]
  • Russian [PDF | Word requires Arial Narrow font]
  • Tagalog [PDF | Word]
  • Vietnamese [PDF | ​Word]

A Family Guide: Part II
Part II of the Family Guide series provides more specific information about the type of test questions and testing experience students will have this year. Sample test questions are provided and the terms "computer-adaptive test" and "performance task" are defined.

A Family Guide: Part III (Coming Soon)
The final installment in the Family Guide series will focus on understanding results from the spring 2015 testing. It will explain how to use those results to identify strengths and how to identify areas where students might benefit from extra help.

Principal Newsletter Blurbs
This resource, developed by WestEd for Smarter Balanced, includes talking points that school district administrators or school principals can use in their communication with families about testing this spring.

Presentation Materials​​

Overview of California's New Testing System
This slide presentation is designed for use with parents and other stakeholder groups. It provides an overview of the changes in the new CAASPP System and includes sample questions. It may be customized for use in your school or school district.

New Future, New Test
​This 34-slide presentation was developed by WestEd for Smarter Balanced. It provides highlights of the new Smarter Balanced assessments, plus sample test questions. It may be customized with your school or district logo.

Practice Tests and Sample Items​

Smarter Balanced practice tests can be taken by parents, teachers, students, and others and will show the type of questions that students can expect to see when they sit down to take the tests this spring. Some questions required students to select one answer, others require students to type a short answer, draw a graph, drag and drop, or complete another type of task. These questions are very different from the multiple-choice questions that typically appear on paper and pencil tests.