CSU California Academic Partnership Program

The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)

The purpose of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is to ensure that students who graduate from California Public high school's can demonstrate grade level competency in the state content standards for reading, writing, and mathematics.
Education Code Section 60850 (a) states the following:
"The Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the approval of the State Board of Education, shall develop a high school exit examination in language arts and mathematics in accordance with the statewide academically rigorous content standards adopted by the State Board of Education…” These state content standards are guidelines for districts to use in developing local district content standards. The content standards also serve as the basis for the curriculum frameworks, and all adopted instructional materials. State tests are aligned with the adopted standards.

When Do Students take the exam?

Education Code Section 60851 (b) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide the high school exit examination to students who "shall take the high school exit examination in grade 10 beginning in the 2001-02 school year and may take the examination during each subsequent administration, until each section of the examination has been passed.” Some students were given the opportunity to take the CAHSEE as 9th graders in the 2000-01 academic year.

AB 1609, Calderon (2001), amended Education Code 60851 (b) and removed the option for ninth graders to take the exam beginning with the 2002 administration. The exam has two parts: English-language arts and mathematics. Students must pass both parts of the CAHSEE to receive their high school diploma, beginning in spring 2004. Students must also meet the district's requirements for graduation.

What is tested on the CAHSEE?

The California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is aligned to the English-language arts and mathematics content standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The exam blueprint can be found on the CDE Website CAHSEE page, under "Administrative Documents." The content standards in English-language arts are from the 9th/10th grade. The content standards in mathematics are from the 6th and 7th grade (e.g., number sense; algebra and functions; measurement and geometry; statistics, data analysis, and probability; and mathematical reasoning), and from Algebra 1.

Content Contact:
CAPP Office
(562) 951-4780
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: June 09, 2016