CHSPE FORMAT AND TEST DATES

WHAT IS THE CHSPE?

The CHSPE, or California High School Proficiency Exam, is a standardized test administered two to three times a year by the California Department of Education. It is for students who would like to explore alternative options for their education and professional life. The test measures students’ skills in the language arts and mathematics. Passing both sections earns a student a Certificate of Proficiency, which is the equivalent of a high school diploma.

SHOULD MY CHILD TAKE THE CHSPE?

Students who are under 18 can take the CHSPE to gain the equivalent of a high school diploma. This might be necessary if you are in entertainment or competitive athletics and cannot fit in a regular school curriculum at the same time as your other responsibilities. Other students take the CHSPE because the high school environment just isn’t a good match for them and are looking to attend a community college or university without the typical high school requirements. See our blog post What is the CHSPE? And Should My Kid Take It? for more info.

CHSPE FORMAT

The CHSPE is a 3 hour 30 minute exam, consisting of two sections: English Language Arts and Mathematics. The English Language Arts section has two subtests (Language and Reading) as well as one Writing task.

CHSPE Test Section # of Questions and Types Content Timing
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: READING SUBTEST 54 multiple-choice reading comprehension

30 multiple-choice vocabulary

 

Reading comprehension: Initial Understanding; Interpretation; Critical Analysis; Strategies

 

Vocabulary: Synonyms, Multiple-meaning Words, Context Clues

Student is responsible for managing testing time.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: LANGUAGE SUBTEST 48 multiple-choice

 

Language mechanics: Capitalization; Usage; Punctuation

 

Language expression: Sentence Structure; Prewriting; Content and Organization

Student is responsible for managing testing time.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: WRITING TASK 1 expository essay Writing proficiency and student’s ability to address the subject Student is responsible for managing testing time.
MATHEMATICS 50 multiple-choice Number Sense and Operations; Patterns, Relationships, and Algebra; Data, Statistics, and Probability; Geometry and Measurement Student is responsible for managing testing time.

The CHSPE is a paper-based test administered in California on select dates throughout the year. As of current, students are allowed to take the test as many times as they want until they have received a Certificate of Proficiency. The CHSPE will undergo changes after the June 20, 2020 test which may affect this re-taking policy.

CHSPE SCORING/GUESSING PENALTY

The CHSPE does not deduct any points for an incorrect question. This means that you should not leave any questions blank on the test. With the test’s time being managed by the student, pacing and timing are crucial. Your tutor will help you master these skills.

The CHSPE measures passing by the successful completion of both sections. Please see the table below.

Score Type Scaled Score Range Details
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: READING SUBTEST 250 – 450 Must be 350 to pass
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: LANGUAGE SUBTEST & WRITING TASK

If your writing task score is 2 or lower, you cannot pass.

If your writing task score is 2.5, your multiple-choice score must be at least 365.

If your writing task score is 3, your multiple-choice score must be at least 350.

If your writing task score is 3.5, your multiple-choice score must be at least 342.

Passing this section is a combination of your Language multiple-choice scores and writing task scores.
MATHEMATICS 250 – 450 Must be 350 to pass

TEST TIMING

The test allows a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes to be used. The sections and related subtests are not confined in time in any way; students are responsible for managing their use of time throughout.

RE-TAKING POLICY

The CHSPE allows students to choose which sections and subtests (if not all three) they take on test day. Students may choose to take only the Mathematics section, only the English Language Arts Language subtest (including the Writing task), only the English Language Arts Reading subtest, or any combination thereof. To pass, students must both the Mathematics section and English Language Arts section (i.e. passing both subtests). Students do not have to retake a section or subtest that they previously passed through the June 20, 2020 test administration. As of current, there is no limit to the number of times students can take the CHSPE. Since changes are coming to the CHSPE, please note that this may change.

CHSPE TEST DATES

Below are official test dates for the CHSPE 2019-2020 season. To view CHSPE’s official release of test dates, please reference this link. Official results are typically mailed 5 weeks after the test. Unofficial scores are generally posted online a few days prior to being mailed.

2019-2020 Test Dates Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Emergency Registration Deadline Official Results Mailed
March 21, 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Mar 06, 2020 Mar 17, 2020 Apr 24, 2020
June 20, 2020 May 22, 2020 Jun 05, 2020 Jun 16, 2020 July 24, 2020 (estimated)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Don’t stop here! Check out our blog for new posts about preparing for the CHSPE. Below are a few posts you may find useful.

Change is Coming to the CHSPE
The California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) is scheduled to change after the October 2020 administration. Exactly how it is changing hasn’t yet been revealed, but it might have a big impact on prospective test takers… READ MORE

How to Prepare for the CHSPE Exam
This step-by-step guide breaks down the process so you can pass by the end of this school year. First, familiarize yourself with the test. Review the test breakdown and sample questions… READ MORE

CHSPE vs. GED: What’s the Difference?
For individuals in California who wish to receive a certificate of high school equivalency, passing the GED (General Education Diploma) test and the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) will serve the same function. There are, however, some important differences… READ MORE