California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online assessment based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight and in high school will administer the CAST field test. (Additional information about high school grade assignments is forthcoming.) The CAST field test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system and will be only administered online. Students will not receive scores for the field test; however, student participation data will be collected and reported for accountability.

Who takes the CAST field test? The CAST is administered in grades five and eight and once to each student while that student is in high school. For the 2017–18 field test, all grade twelve students will take the CAST. Additionally, LEAs have the option to test any grade ten or eleven student based on the guidelines set forth by the CDE external icon. Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAST. Students assigned to take an alternate assessment should take the California Alternate Assessment for Science.

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

2017–18 CAST Field Test Materials

Survey:

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, 2018.

Manuals:

Science Reference Tools:

The CAST field test assessments for grade 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.

Periodic Table

Reference Sheet

  • Grade Eight Reference Sheet (Posted 11/01/17)—The grade eight reference sheet will be used on the 2017–18 field test and the training test that will be updated in spring 2018. Note that this reference sheet is not associated with the current training test.
  • High School Reference Sheet (Posted 11/01/17)—The high school reference sheet will be used on the 2017–18 field test and the training test that will be updated in spring 2018. Note that this reference sheet is not associated with the current training test.