CHSPE: Study, Exam Basics

The California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) awards qualified candidates with the equivalent of a high school diploma. The CHSPE, given only in English, evaluates your proficiency in basic math, writing, and reading.

The total exam is 3-1/2 hours long and is divided into two sections:

  • English-language Arts: Further divided into two subtests

    • Language: 48 multiple-choice questions, plus one persuasive essay

    • Reading: 30 vocabulary questions, 54 multiple-choice questions on reading comprehension

  • Mathematics: 50 multiple-choice questions

The test starts at exactly 8:00 a.m. — if you arrive after that, you won't be allowed to take the test; you'll be counted as absent; and you won't get your money back — no refund or credit. On test day, plan to arrive well before 8:00 a.m., to allow time to sign in, get settled into your seat, and to relax for a few moments.

You must bring

  • An official photo identification such as a driver's license, high school photo ID card, passport, or U.S. military photo ID card. Previously you could bring a school yearbook along or a notarized statement with photo as ID; these are no longer acceptable.

  • Your admission ticket

  • A few No. 2 pencils, sharpened and with erasers

  • A basic calculator (optional). Not all calculators are acceptable, so check with the CHSPE for details.

If you have any questions, call the CHSPE toll-free at (866) 342-4773.