Skip To Main Content

California Science Tests

California Science Tests (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online assessment based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) Link to external site. All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight and in high school (grade ten, eleven, or twelve) administer the CAST. Every device used for testing must have the secure browser Link to external site installed. Stable, high-speed Internet is required.

Who takes the CAST? 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.

Visit the California Department of Education (CDE) California Science Test Link to external site web page for additional information.


The California Science Test (CAST) and the Next Generation Science Standards video presents an opportunity to learn about the standards and how they are built into the CAST. The video has information about the structure of the CAST and the types of questions students can expect to see on the assessment.

Testing Materials

Administration Materials

Test Coordinator Resources

Paper–Pencil Test Administration Directions for Administration (DFAs)

Requests for CAST paper–pencil tests are reviewed and approved by the CDE.

Desmos Calculators

A student taking the CAST can access to the embedded Desmos calculator during the entire test. The calculator that appears in the test delivery system is assigned on the basis of the student's grade level. The student can resize and reposition the calculator on the screen as needed.

Administration of the CAST is estimated to take approximately two hours. Note that the CAST is an untimed test.

The CAST is composed of six segments of test questions: two or three segments of discrete (stand-alone) questions followed by three or four PTs, where each PT is a segment. It is strongly recommended that a PT be started and completed in a single test session and that students only pause the test after the end of a segment.