Each year, California students take several statewide tests as part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These tests provide parents/guardians, teachers, and educators with information about how well students are learning and becoming college and career ready in English, mathematics, and science.
Some students take the English Language Proﬁciency Assessments for California (ELPAC). The ELPAC consists of two separate English language proﬁciency assessments.
- The Initial ELPAC is used to determine the English proficiency of students entering California schools for the first time. Identifying students who need help learning in English is important so students get the support they need to do well in school while receiving instruction in all school subjects.
- The Summative ELPAC is used to measure progress toward English proficiency and to help determine if a student is ready to be reclassified fluent English proficient. This is important to ensure that students continue to receive the support they need to do well in school.
For more information visit the Parent/Guardian site at;
Statewide summative assessments are required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to help provide consistent measures of student progress. These assessments are essential components of an equitable, valid, and balanced assessment system. More than ever, assessments are critical in providing student-level data to inform potential learning loss due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They help provide actionable data for informing teaching and learning.
CAASPP and ELPAC: Required Assessments by Content and Grade
|Test Name and Content||Participants||Designated Grade Levels||Statewide Testing Window|
|Smarter Balanced for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics|
All students at designated grade levels, except:
|3–8 and 11||February 22–July 15, 2021*|
|CAAs for ELA and mathematics||Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose active individualized education program (IEP) designates the use of an alternate assessment||3–8 and 11||January 12–July 15, 2021*|
|California Science Test||All students in designated grade levels, except eligible students participating in the CAA for Science||5 and 8, and once in high school (i.e., grade 10, 11, or 12)||January 12–July 15, 2021*|
|CAA for Science||Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose active IEP designates the use of an alternate assessment||5 and 8, and once in high school (i.e., grade 10, 11, or 12)||September 8, 2020–July 15, 2021*|
|California Spanish Assessment in reading/language arts||Students seeking a measure of Spanish reading/language arts||3–8 and high school||January 12–July 15, 2021*|
|Students whose primary language is not English as indicated on the Home Language Survey; administered within 30 calendar days of enrollment||K–12||July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021|
|Identified English learners, who participate annually until reclassified fluent English proficient||K–12||February 1–May 31, 2021|
* Districts and schools select their own testing window within the available testing window based on their instructional year.