State Assessments of Students in Grades 2–11
Each spring, the state requires students in grades 2 through 11 to take the
California Standards Tests (CSTs) as part of the Standardized Testing and
Reporting (STAR) program to assess grade-level mastery in math and English
Language Arts. At some grade levels, students are also tested in science,
social studies, writing, and physical fitness. All students must take the tests,
including students learning English and students in special education. A
student may be excused from taking the CSTs by parent request.
The STAR tests are administered in April or May, and most parents receive the results (“The STAR Student Report”) in the mail in August or September.
The report shows the results of the CSTs within a range of performance
levels: far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced. A change
in performance level from one year to the next may be more significant than
changes within the same level. Consider these scores along with student work
and grades when you talk with your child’s teacher about his or her strengths
and areas that need improvement.
The STAR report also includes your child’s California Reading List number, which you can use to access a list of books appropriate for his or her reading
level as determined by your child’s score on the CST in English Language Arts.
English Language Learners also take the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) each year, to assess their progress in mastering
English. A score of 4 or 5 indicates proficiency. It is very important to speak
with teachers or the principal if your child’s score does not improve from
one year to the next.
To see sample test questions, click here
If you have more questions about the CSTs or the STAR program, visit the
California Department of Education website at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/