California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)

General Information

The summative California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science are administered to eligible students. The CAAs are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments.

Eligible students are those whose disability prevents them from taking the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics and the California Science Test.

ELA and Mathematics

The CAA for ELA and CAA for mathematics are available in grades three through eight and grade eleven and are delivered one on one by a trained CAA test examiner familiar to the student.

The CAAs for ELA and mathematics will be administered using the secure browser and test delivery system.


The pilot test for the CAA for science is available in grades five and eight, and one grade in high school (grade ten, eleven, or twelve) as well as students in ungraded programs.

The CAA for science will be administered as an embedded performance task that is part of classroom instruction. View the CAA for Science Informational Video (7:09) for more information about the design of the embedded performance tasks.


Student post-testing survey—A survey is administered to the student by the test examiner immediately after the student tests. Survey questions are included at the end of the embedded performance task (PT) that is downloaded from the Test Operations Management System. Survey responses must subsequently be entered into the test delivery system for the student to be counted as participating in the 2016–17 CAA for Science pilot. The dates of test delivery system availability are determined by the LEA’s selected test administration window.

Test examiner post-testing survey—Test examiners respond to a general online survey external icon after administering the CAA for Science to students. Because the test examiner survey asks general questions and is not student-specific, the test examiner responds to the survey once only. The test examiner survey must be completed before July 17, 2017.

Manuals and Version Assignments


Links to archived Webcasts and supporting materials. Note that you have the option to view the streamed video or download it.

Additional Resources

Training Materials

Training Test Directions for Administration (DFA) for the CAAs for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics (Updated 01/09/16.)

ELA and Mathematics Practice Test DFAs:

CAA for Science Sample Embedded Performance Task