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California STAR Test Prep

About California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR Test)

In California, all students in second grade through eleventh grade participate in the state’s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, which is comprised of a battery of standardized tests. The test taken by the majority of students is the California Standards Tests (CST).

The CA STAR tests are a measure of how well students achieve the educational standards taught in California schools. In 2nd grade through 11th grade, the CST covers English-language arts. In 2nd grade through 7th grade, the test also covers math. Additional tests are added at various grade levels. The CST adds a history-social science test for 8th grade, 10th grade and 11th grade. The CST adds a science test for 5th grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade. The CST also adds a math and science test for students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. The test they take depends on which math and science course they are enrolled in that school year, such as algebra, geometry, physics, or chemistry.

The STAR program used to include the California Achievement Test, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6), but this test was eliminated in the 2008-2009 school year.

Based on STAR tests and the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), California assigns an Academic Performance Index (API) rating and growth target to each school and district. Ratings range from 200 to 1000, with a goal of 800 API for all schools statewide.

For more information, you can visit California Department of Education Testing and Accountability.

Other California Standardized Tests

In California, high school students must also take and pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) to graduate. As a standards-based test, the CAHSEE determines whether students have mastered key skills in English language arts and mathematics, as defined by the state. The CAHSEE, a pass/fail, untimed test, is administered to all students in 10th grade so that those who don’t pass have time to get help and retake the test before graduation.

The CAHSEE tests students on math and English language arts. The math section tests academic content standards for 6th grade, 7th grade and algebra I. The English language arts section tests for content standards learned through 10th grade, including vocabulary, reading, and writing strategies and conventions. The test is comprised of multiple-choice questions as well as a written essay on a specific topic.

Preparing for the California CST and Other Standardized Tests

For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page. The real preparation for STAR tests, and all standardized tests that assess a wide range of fundamental skills, is to steadily build and master fundamental skills in math, reading and writing.

To help students succeed in school, parents should make a special effort to get involved in their children’s education. You should ensure your children are doing their homework every night and reading and writing on a daily basis. In addition, families can hire tutors or use an online learning program such as Time4Learning to supplement their children’s schoolwork and help to build fundamental skills.

To help your children prepare for state standardized tests such as CA STAR tests, you can enroll your children in a test prep program or buy books to help them become familiar with test formats and terminology, to learn test-taking strategies (when to guess, when not to), to become comfortable with time restrictions, and to practice answering different types of questions.

For instance, when a reading passage is followed by comprehension questions, many test prep programs teach students to scan the questions prior to reading the passage so that they can pay special attention to the areas addressed by questions.

Most states release copies of tests or sample test questions from previous years. Parents can use these released test questions as resources to help students practice test skills and students can spend the majority of their time reviewing the key concepts within the sample test questions.

Time4Learning is not a test prep program; instead, it is a program that builds the skills that will be tested.

Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today’s technology. It’s a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games.

The online language arts and math curriculum comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided for most grades.

Kids like using the computer to learn and to develop their skills. Time4Learning’s educational teaching games give students independence as they progress at their own pace.

Parents like that it tracks progress and helps kids advance by teaching through individualized learning paths that assure mastery of the skills and concepts that makes kids succeed.

Have a child with math and reading skills at different grade levels? No problem, just tell us in the online registration process.

Time4Learning is proven effective, has a low monthly price, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can be sure that it works for your family, risk free!

For more information or resources on California education, visit:
California Homeschooling Information
California State Parent Forum

PreK - 8th

  • Monthly First Student
  • $14.95/month for each additional student

9th - 12th

  • Monthly Per Student
  • Includes 4 courses

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