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 ContentParticipantsDesignated Grade LevelsStatewide Testing Window
Smarter Balanced for English language arts/‌literacy (ELA) and mathematics

All students at designated grade levels, except:

  • Eligible students participating in the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics
  • ELA only—English learners in U.S. schools less than 12 months
3–8 and 11February 22–July 15, 2021*
CAAs for ELA and mathematicsStudents with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose active individualized education program (IEP) designates the use of an alternate assessment3–8 and 11January 12–July 15, 2021*
California Science TestAll students in designated grade levels, except eligible students participating in the CAA for Science5 and 8, and once in high school (i.e., grade 10, 11, or 12)January 12–July 15, 2021*
CAA for ScienceStudents with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose active IEP designates the use of an alternate assessment5 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 artsStudents seeking a measure of Spanish reading/language arts3–8 and high schoolJanuary 12–July 15, 2021*

Initial ELPAC

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
Students whose primary language is not English as indicated on the Home Language Survey; administered within 30 calendar days of enrollmentK–12July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021

Summative ELPAC

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
Identified English learners, who participate annually until reclassified fluent English proficientK–12February 1–May 31, 2021

* Districts and schools select their own testing window within the available testing window based on their instructional year.