CAHSEE Test Preparation

As a high school student studying in California, have you set an aim for yourself? Do you want to pursue higher studies for building a successful career? Before you achieve your ultimate aim in life, there is another aim that you will have to set for yourself and that would be to pass the California High School Exit Exam (also known as CAHSEE) or else you will not be able to earn your high school diploma and all your dreams for higher studies and a rewarding career will come crashing down. If you are studying in a public school in California, then it is inevitable that you will have to take CAHSEE. This is because all grade ten students studying in public schools in California have to take CAHSEE compulsorily.





CAHSEE has been formulated and designed to assess the basic academic skills in English and Math that high school students graduating from public schools in California should ideally possess.  Passing CAHSEE has been made mandatory by the State of California as one of the requirements for being eligible to earn a high school diploma.

The Importance of Passing CAHSEE

Although, CAHSEE is a test of academic skills in English and Math of the high school level, do not attempt to take CAHSEE without adequate preparation. If you fail in any of the CAHSEE parts, then not only will you risk earning your high school diploma, but you will also waste unnecessary time while attending grade eleven and twelve in studying for the CAHSEE retests. Do not forget that CAHSEE is not the only test that you will have to take for higher studies. There are other tests that have to be taken after earning your high school diploma which will decide the course of your future and the college you get admitted to for higher studies. You will be busy preparing for these tests when you are in grade twelve.

Moreover, you will also need time to attend to your high school assignments and tests which are another requirement for earning your high school diploma. So, if you want to avoid wasting precious time in grade twelve, study while you are still in grade ten and pass CAHSEE at the earliest.

Studying for CAHSEE

It will not be possible for students to prepare well for CAHSEE if they have not set an aim for themselves. There is no doubt that all students study with the aim of passing CAHSEE, but they need to be aware of how well they should perform in CAHSEE in order to be able to pass the test. You need to keep the following two aspects in mind before you can work out a CAHSEE preparation plan that will lead to success in passing CAHSEE at the earliest.

  • CAHSEE Test Format: Visit the official website of CAHSEE,   www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs and go through the CAHSEE test format. Ensure that you browse the website and make a note of each of the following:

 

-           The subject areas being covered by each strand in both the CAHSEE test parts: Once you have gathered this information, you will have an idea of the content that will be tested. You will be able to assess the books that you have at hand and whether they will be sufficient for your studies. You can plan on acquiring additional study materials like study guides for helping you in your preparation for taking CAHSEE.

-           The types and number of questions being asked: You will jeopardize your chances of passing CAHSEE if you are not aware of the types of questions that will be asked in CAHSEE. Make it a point to deliberate upon the description of the questions given in the official website. Go through the Mathematics and Language Arts Blueprints from the official website to learn more details about the types and number of questions that will be asked in each strand. An understanding of the types of questions will help you in planning your preparation for taking CAHSEE as you will now be in a position to check how well prepared you are to tackle the questions.

-           Guidelines and policies for taking the test as explained in the official website: You should be aware of the guidelines and policies that govern the conduct of CAHSEE. These will help you in your preparation because you will be able to plan the course of action that needs to be taken if you do not meet any of the testing requirements. For instance, if you are an English learner, you will be permitted to take CAHSEE with test variations like hearing test directions in your native language, provided such accommodations are regularly used by you in the classroom. If you are an English learner and you go on to take CAHSEE without being aware of such a policy, think of the loss that you may have to bear because of this ignorance. Similarly, make a note of the waivers of the test requirements. You may be eligible for a waiver if you fall in a particular category.

-           The list of frequently asked questions: This is a very important aspect of preparing for CAHSEE. As a test-taker, you may have some doubts regarding taking CAHSEE or its conduct. The official website contains lists of frequently asked questions regarding CAHSEE. Make sure that you go through all such available lists. Not only will you be able to clear your doubts if any, but you will also be able to learn about some aspect of CAHSEE that you were unaware of.

-           CAHSEE passing scores: Your CAHSEE prep will be aimless if you are not aware of the scores that you need in order to pass CAHSEE. You will require a minimum scale score of 350 in each CAHSEE part for passing it. Download the pdf document, ‘CAHSEE Interpretation Guide for the Student and Parent Report’ for understanding the scoring system and the retesting options available.

  • Your Strengths and Weaknesses as per the Subjects Areas Being Tested

 

This is the most important aspect of your CAHSEE prep. Once you are aware of the CAHSEE test content, carry out a self-assessment to gauge your knowledge and skills being tested and compare them to those required for passing CAHSEE. Work out a study plan that allots more time for studying the subject areas that you need to improve upon. Do not completely ignore the subject areas that are your strong points. You can take the assistance of any of the following for help and guidance in preparing for CAHSEE:
-           CAHSEE prep workshops or classes: You will get information about such classes being held in your neighbourhood from your high school and also from the internet.
-           Feedback from students who have already passed CAHSEE: They will be able to give you sound advice regarding the best study method for passing CAHSEE. However, always remember that what seems as the best study option for someone else need not be the same for you as well. So, ponder well before investing time, effort and money on a particular method for CAHSEE prep. 
-           The official website: Utilize these resources given in the official website at the link, www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/resources.asp for assistance in preparing for CAHSEE:
1.         Released Test Questions: You can go through the released Math and English Language Arts test questions. These questions have been picked from the CAHSEE administrations since 2000-2001. The questions are divided as per the strands. You will also be provided with the correct answer for each question along with the standard being evaluated by the question and the year in which that particular question appeared on CAHSEE.
2.         Study Guides: You can download the Mathematics and English-Language Arts study guides. These guides will prove to be immensely useful in your CAHSEE prep.

Working out a Prep Plan is not Sufficient!

Learning the test format, understanding the conduct of CAHSEE, collecting study materials, working out a study plan etc. cannot compensate for the hard work that you have to put in your studies for passing CAHSEE. You will have to dedicate time for serious studies on a daily basis for at least 2 months before the CAHSEE test date so as to be able to pass the CAHSEE with flying colours. Put in your level best by making optimum use of the study materials and you are sure to pass both the CAHSEE parts in your first attempt!




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