Current law requires students to pass an examination in language arts and mathematics in accordance with the statewide academically rigorous content standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Students are allowed to test once during their sophomore year, twice during the junior year and five times during their senior year in order to qualify for a high school diploma.
The purpose of the CAHSEE is to improve student achievement in high school and to help ensure that students who graduate from high school can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics.
All grade 10 students participate in CAHSEE. Students in grades 11 and 12 and adult students who have not previously passed also participate in CAHSEE. Students with disabilities may be exempt from meeting the CAHSEE requirement as a condition of graduation or receiving a diploma.
The CAHSEE is a two-part exam covering English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.
- The ELA part addresses state content standards through 10th grade.
- Students must be able to demonstrate reading comprehension, knowledge of grammar conventions, decoding and analysis of information and literary texts.
- Writing skills are shown in essay format, and the student must usually need to know how to write a basic five-paragraph essay with logical flow, fairly good grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Mathematics subjects include basic arithmetic through understanding of basic algebra. Students must demonstrate knowledge in probability, measurement, basic geometry, basic statistics, number sense and first year high school algebra skills.
For further information, the California Department of Education provides answers to frequently asked questions about the California High School Exit Examination.