Details of Mathematics Under CAHSEE

All That You Need to Know about Math CAHSEE

The California High School Exit Examination or the CAHSEE has been developed by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) and it administers and scores the test. Every high school student in California has to take up and pass this test to obtain the high school diploma. There are two subject areas tested here: English/Language Arts and Mathematics.


The syllabus that was covered in grades six and seven and Algebra-I are tested in this section of the test. Algebra is tested because the educators in California feel that Algebra is an important subject as it helps one to understand and learn math reasoning and this skill is essential in any profession one may choose to pursue.

Six major subject areas or strands are tested here and these are:

Topic What is Tested? No. Of Questions
Probability, Data Analysis and Statistics Collection, Analysis, Organization and Display of data 12
Number Sense Understanding of umbers and the different ways in which they are represented 14
Algebra and Functions Formalization of patterns, functions and generalizations, Solving of linear equations and understanding of the concept of variables 17
Measurement and Geometry Usage of appropriate units, Estimation and calculation of area, volume of geometrical figures like circle, square, Dimensional analysis and conversion of one unit to another unit 17
Algebra I Calculation with symbols and demonstration of symbolic reasoning 12
Mathematical Reasoning Problem analysis, use of reasoning to solve problems 8


In the Math portion, the score range is between 275 and 450. This is a pass/fail test and the minimum score you must attain to pass the test is 350 or 55%.

Time Duration

The Math paper is conducted in two sessions in a single day and each session contains 46 questions. There is no time limit for the test but usually the test can be completed in about 3 hours.


A thorough preparation is required to pass this part of the test. The most important aspect one should understand is that the best way to prepare for the test would be to pay attention during class hours.

There are many study guides available for preparation and each school offers study help to its students and one can contact the school counselor for the same.

Many free practice tests are available online which prove to be very useful because math is a subject where with constant practice, one can understand and solve problems in easier and simpler ways.

The following are links to some of the free online practice tests:

Other Important Points...

  • The test is administered more than once in an academic year.
  • The test can be taken up when you are in grade 10.
  • If you fail the test, you can take it up twice in grade 11 and up to five times in grade 12 until you pass the test.
  • You can retake the sections that you have failed in the consequent attempts.
  • Schools should provide assistance to those students who do not show any improvements in the subject.
  • It is not mandatory that students with disabilities pass the test to attain a high school diploma but they are advised to take up and pass the test.
  • All the topics taught in grades 6 and 7 are not tested in the Math paper. In the blueprint of the test, the struck-out topics are not tested in the exam but are still taught in school. This is the link to the syllabus/blueprint,
  • There is no negative marking for incorrect answers and therefore, you must try to answer all the questions.
  • The CAHSEE is an important test because only if you pass this test can you obtain your high school diploma.
  • The only way to ace the test is with a sincere and in-depth preparation.

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