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 operational test. The CAST operational test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system and will be administered online only.
Who takes the CAST operational test? The CAST is administered in grades five and eight and once to each student while that student is in high school. All students must take the CAST by the end of grade twelve, but have the option of testing in grade ten or grade eleven. 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.
Please watch this video to learn about the new standards and how they are being built into the new California Science Test (CAST). The video has information about the structure of the CAST and the types of questions students can expect to see on the assessment.
CAST Testing Materials
Test Coordinator Resources
- Available Resources for the California Science Test (Posted 03/31/20)
- Suggested Pausing Points for the California Science Test (Posted October 2019)
- Science Test Administration for High School Students (Posted 09/05/19)
- CAST Practice and Training Test Flyer (Posted 12/30/19)
CAST Paper–Pencil Test Administration Directions for Administration (DFAs)
Requests for CAST paper–pencil tests are reviewed and approved by the CDE.
- Grade five DFA (Posted 02/01/21)
- Grade eight DFA (Posted 02/01/21)
- High school DFA (Posted 02/01/21)
- CAASPP Paper–Pencil Testing Test Administration Manual (Posted 02/23/21)
- CAST Materials Return Instructions DFA (Posted 02/01/21)
- Data Entry Interface User Guide (Posted 02/16/21)
CAST Scoring Guides
Note: The CAST practice and training tests include all accessibility resources found in the operational assessments.
Students taking the CAST will have access to the Desmos calculator during the entire test. These calculators will be automatically assigned to students based on their grade level. Students can resize and reposition the calculator on the screen as needed. The Desmos calculator is free and available all year via the Desmos website ,and is accessible for students using Job Access with Speech (JAWS®). Students can use this calculator during the school year to build familiarity with this resource.
Translated Test Directions
Science Reference Tools
The CAST assessments for grade eight and high school include a periodic table and a reference sheet of formulas that students may access during online testing as universal tools. The reference sheet provides all formulas that a student may need to use in responding to a test item; however, this does not imply that the student will receive a specific item type. The purposes of these reference tools are to signal that students do not need to memorize formula sheets and to ensure that students have equal access to the tools during testing. These reference tools are not meant to guide instruction.
An updated and accessible periodic table is available for all students on the practice and training tests. This periodic table can be resized and moved within the item and is accessible for students using JAWS.
A printable CAST periodic table has been provided as a resource intended for classroom use. This printable version closely resembles the online periodic table available in the CAST and can be downloaded and printed to give students practice using the periodic table in a format similar to the online version. We encourage students to practice using both types of periodic table resources throughout the year.
Files that contain a periodic table of elements and reference sheet of formulas—.brf and .prn files—are intended to be printed using a braille embosser.
Refer to the Printing Enlarged Science Reference Tools quick start guide if the student requires the science reference tools to be enlarged and printed on 11×17 paper.
- Periodic Table of the Elements for Grade Eight and High School (Updated 10/01/19)
- Braille Periodic Table of the Elements for Grade Eight and High School (PRN) (Posted 12/21/18)
- Grade Eight Reference Sheet (Updated 11/18/19)
- High School Reference Sheet (Updated 11/18/19)
- Braille Grade Eight Reference Sheet (BRF) (Posted 12/18/18)
- Braille High School Reference Sheet (BRF) (Posted 12/18/18)
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 23, 2020