The CAHSEE as an Exit Exam





Important Aspects of CAHSEE Exit Exam

The High School Exit Exam or CAHSEE is administered for the students of public schools in California, who want to obtain High School Diploma. This test is to be taken compulsorily by all the students of California except for those belonging to the category of disabled students having an Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Plan.

The test is divided into the following categories:

  • English Language Arts or ELA: The English section tests the skills and abilities of the students in Reading and Writing. In the Writing portion, the candidates must prove their competence in customs, techniques and applications of writing. Additionally, they have to respond in writing towards an impromptu passage, literature or a text containing information.

  • Mathematics: In Mathematics, the topics of the test include Number Sense, Measurement and Geometry, Data Analysis and Probability, Statistics, Algebra and Mathematical Reasoning.

What are the basic features of this test? Let us analyze them in the following points:

  • The basic purpose of CAHSEE is to measure the fundamental skills of the students in Reading, Writing and Math required for obtaining High School Diploma.
  • It also intends to enhance the rate of success among the high school students of California.
  • The contents of this test correspond with the State Board of Education in California. The candidates taking this test should also fulfill the other requirements of the State and those related to local graduation before obtaining the High School Diploma.
  • In the English Language Arts section, the candidates have to answer multiple-choice questions that are based on Reading and Writing. Similarly, in the Math section of CAHSEE, the test takers must have the basic skills of computation for answering the multiple-choice questions.
  • The candidates of this test have to answer about 43-44 questions in both sections of the test correctly in order to pass the test or obtain scaled scores of 350. There are 73 and 80 questions that are asked in English and Math respectively.
  • The students get the individual score reports of this exam about eight weeks after CAHSEE administration. The score report of each student can be viewed only by a student and his/her parent or guardian. However, an authorized district personnel is also allowed to view the reports, but not the fellow participants.
  • The High School Exit Exam is taken by students of grade ten during the second half of the year and they get an opportunity to take several retests until they are able to obtain the desired scores. Besides this, the students of grade eleven can also consider the option of retest twice and the candidates of grade twelve from two to five times.

The approximate time of CAHSEE English administration is around 2 hours and that of Mathematics is 1 hour 30 minutes and both the sections are conducted in two different sessions. Thus, no restriction or constraint of time is imposed on the test takers.

In order to score well in the test, the applicants may consider different preparatory modes such as books, online modules or tutoring. The following points include some of the prep resources for this exam:

  • Barron's How to Prepare for the CAHSEE Math and CAHSEE ELA from Barron's by Christina Lacie may help the students, who prefer to study from books.
  • California School Tutoring Academy and Elite Tutoring can be explored for tutoring options of CAHSEE.
  • The small online course modules from The Borderlink Project are meant to assist those students, who prefer to learn at their own pace through online programs.

The CAHSEE prepares the candidates of Californian High Schools for greater challenges through the High School Diploma that the students obtain after appearing and passing in this test. For the students, knowing the important aspects of this test is necessary to understand the real essence of the test and enables them to reach their desired targets.




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