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2015 CAASPP Paper-based Test Results

About 2015 CAASPP

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Program Background | CAASPP Reports

The 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System includes online and paper-based summative assessments:

  • Online
    • ­ Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments —English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics
    • ­ California Alternate Assessment—field test for ELA and mathematics
  • Paper-Pencil
    • ­ California Standards Tests—science
    • ­ California Modified Assessment—science
    • ­ ­California Alternate Performance Assessment—science
    • ­ ­Standards-based Tests in Spanish—Reading/language arts (RLA)

Online Summative Assessments

Smarter Balanced

The online Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are comprehensive, end-of-year assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness. Each test, English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics is comprised of two parts: (1) a computer adaptive test and (2) a performance task; administered within a 12-week window beginning at 66 percent of the instructional year for grades three through eight, or within in a 7-week window beginning at 80 percent of the instructional year for grade eleven.

The summative assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and mathematics. The tests capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing—efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and timely turnaround of results.


California Alternate Assessment (CAA)

For the 2014–15 school year, the CAPA ELA and mathematics tests were replaced by the field test of the online California Alternate Assessment (CAA). The CAA field tests for English–language arts (ELA) and mathematics were administered to students in grades three through eight and grade eleven whose individualized education program (IEP) teams have determined that the student’s cognitive disabilities prevent him or her from taking the online CAASPP Smarter Summative Assessments.

The CAA tests give students the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by taking a test commensurate with their abilities. The CCSS are assessed using alternate achievement standards called the Core Content Connectors (CCCs) developed by the National Center and State Collaborative. CCCs take the main achievement standards from the CCSS and were re-written to allow students to receive instruction on the CCSS through alternate standards that are more accessible for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The 2015 results from the CAA field tests will not be scored nor reported.

Paper-pencil Tests

California Standards Tests (CSTs)

The CSTs for science in grades five, eight, and ten are administered only to students in California public schools. All questions are multiple-choice. These tests were developed specifically to assess students' knowledge of the California content standards for science. The 2015 CSTs were required for students who were enrolled in grades five, eight, and ten at the time of testing.

The CST for Science was administered to students in grades five, eight, and ten:

  • Grade five covered science content standards for grades four and five
  • Grade eight covered science content standards for grade eight
  • Grade ten (CST for Life Science) covered middle school life science and high school biology content standards.

The CST for science has 60 multiple-choice questions for each grade level.

California Modified Assessment (CMA)

The CMA for science was administered to eligible students in grades five, eight, and ten. The CMA is a standards-based test for students with an individualized education program who meet the eligibility criteria adopted by the State Board of Education. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act called for a range of assessments appropriate to students' abilities. The CMA provides an appropriate assessment for a small percentage of students, allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge of skills in the California academic content standards for science.

The CMA for Science tests was administered to eligible students in grades five, eight, and ten.

  • Grade five covered content standards for grades four and five science
  • Grade eight covered content standards for grade eight science
  • Grade ten (CMA for Life Science) covered content standards for middle school life science and high school biology.

The number of operational items in each CMA varies by content area and grade. There are 48 operational items on the CMA for science in grade five, 54 operational items on the CMA for science in grade eight, and 60 operational items on the CMA for Life Science in grade ten.

California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)

The CAPA is the paper-pencil alternate assessment for science. This test is designed for students in grades five, eight, and ten, who have an individualized education program and who have a significant cognitive disability. Students are required to participate in the CAPA science assessment until there is a successor assessment aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The CAPA is organized into four levels, representing specific grade spans. Most students eligible for the CAPA take the level corresponding to their enrollment grade. The CAPA tests were administered to eligible students in grades five, eight and ten.

Table 1. CAPA Levels

  • Level I
    - Students in grades five, eight and ten

  • Level III
    - Students in grade five

  • Level IV
    - Students in grade eight

  • Level V
    - Students in grade ten

Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) Optional

The STS for Reading Language Arts (RLA) consists of multiple-choice tests in Spanish that assess RLA in grades two through eleven. Local educational agencies had the option of administering the STS for RLA to the Spanish-speaking English learners (ELs) in grades two through eleven who either were receiving instruction in Spanish or had been enrolled in school in the United States for less than 12 months when testing began.