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 What the New Assessments Will Look Like for Students

Students across the state will take new assessments for the first time this spring, and parents may be wondering what the new exams will look like.

The exams will be completely online and feature a variety of different types of questions as well as the typical multiple-choice ones. With more short answers and extended responses, the assessments will require a deeper understanding of key concepts. The computer-based testing will include embedded supports when needed that will give all students the opportunity to fully demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of the state standards in English language arts and mathematics.

Students in grades 3 through 8 along with those in grade 11 will take the new online assessments, which will identify how prepared our students will be for college and careers by the time they graduate.

After logging on to a computer, students will answer questions in clusters with the ability to flag and return to ones they weren't sure about. There will be about 60 questions in the first part of the two-part assessment. Depending on whether students answer the questions correctly or not, the test will adjust with easier or more difficult questions.

Students will take the second part of the assessment on other days. It includes the performance tasks, which will require students to complete more in-depth projects that demonstrate analytical skills and real-world problem solving. This typically is given over a two-day period.

The English portion is expected to take a total of between four and 4 ½ hours, depending on grade level. The math portion is expected to take between three and four hours over the course of a few days.

Universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations are available to students with disabilities, English learners, and other students as needed.

For more information about the assessments, visit the California Department of Education's CAASPP website.