California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online test based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight will administer a pilot CAST. LEAs with eligible students in high school (i.e., students in grades ten, eleven, or twelve) will be pre-selected and only one grade will participate in the spring 2017 pilot. The CAST pilot uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test delivery system and will only be administered online. Students will not receive scores for the pilot test; however, student participation data will be collected and reported for accountability.

Who takes the CAST pilot? Participation in the CAST pilot is required for all students in grades five and eight, and for the pre-selected high school grades with the exception of eligible students who will take the California Alternate Assessment for Science pilot.

View the CAST Informational Video (8:19) external icon or download the video to learn more about CAST’s alignment to the California NGSS.

2016–17 CAST Pilot Test Materials


Student post-testing survey—After students have finished testing, they will complete a survey to report on their experience with the CAST. The survey appears at the end of their test in the test delivery system. The survey is estimated to take an additional five to seven minutes. The dates the test delivery system is available are determined by the LEA’s selected test administration window.

Test administrator post-testing survey—Test administrators also will be asked to respond to a general online survey external icon, which they may complete at any time after administering the CAST to students. The test administrator survey must be completed before July 17, 2017.



Online Test Administration Manual for CAASPP Testing—Select this link to expand or collapse the list of downloadable options. (Updated 03/22/17.)

Science Reference Tools:

The CAST pilot assessments for grades eight and high school include a periodic table and a reference list of formulas that students may access during online testing as universal tools. The reference list provides all formulas that a student may need to use in responding to a test item; however, it does not imply that the student will receive a specific item type. The purpose of the reference tools is to signal that students do not need to memorize what is on the sheets and to ensure that students have equal access to the tools during testing. These reference tools are not meant to guide instruction.

In addition, these grade-level reference materials may be printed and used as non-embedded designated support for the CAST. See the Printing Enlarged Science Reference Tools quick start guide if the student requires the science reference tools to be enlarged and printed on 11x17 paper by the test administrator. Note that the science reference tool PDFs do not currently meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Periodic Table

Reference Sheet