Frequently Asked Questions about the California High School Exit Exam: Math

Have a look at answers to the most commonly asked questions about the California High School Exit Exam: Math exam. Knowing what to expect on test day will go a long way toward alleviating your nervousness.

What does CAHSEE Math cover?

CAHSEE Math tests state content standards in Grades 6 and 7, and Algebra I. The exam covers number sense (including computation), statistics, data analysis (graphs and charts), probability, measurement and geometry, mathematical reasoning, and algebra.

How much time do I have to complete the test?

There is no time limit for the exam. If you do not complete the test in the time period given, simply ask the proctor for additional time. You should be allowed to take the time you need within the school day to finish the exam.

How is the exam administered?

The exam is administered in two sessions. Each session will have 46 questions. In each session you are only allowed to work on the questions given in that session. The approximate working time for each session should be 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Can I use a calculator on the exam?

No. Calculators are not allowed on the exam unless there is a modification specified on the student's record.

Can I use scratch paper on the exam?

No. The use of scratch paper is not permitted during the exam. All scratch work must be done in the question booklet.

When will I first take the test?

You will take the exam for the first time in the second part of 10th grade.

What is a passing score?

Raw scores (the actual number of correctly answered questions) are converted to scaled scores ranging from 250 to 450. A passing score is 350 or higher. Because this is a new exam, you might wish to check with your school district to confirm the passing scores.

When do I find out if I passed?

Score reports are mailed to the school district and to your home about two months after you take the test.

What if I don't pass the exam in 10th grade?

You have several chances to take the test as a junior and senior.

How should I prepare?

Keep up with your class work and homework in your regular classes. There is no substitute for a sound education. As you get closer to your exit-level tests, using an organized test-preparation approach is very important. Carefully follow the Study Plan in this book to give you that organized approach. It shows how to apply techniques and strategies and help focus your review. Carefully reviewing the Study Guide for each exit-level exam available from your school district or the California Department of Education (CDE) also gives you an edge in doing your best.

Should I guess on the tests?

Yes! Because there is no penalty for guessing, guess if you have to. If possible, try to eliminate some of the choices to increase your chances of choosing the right answer.

Can I write in the test booklet?

Yes. You can do your work in the test booklet. Use the test booklet for scratch paper and to mark problems or draw diagrams. Your answer sheet must not have any stray marks, but your test booklet can be marked up.

Is the test given in more than one language?

No. The test is only given in English. All students must pass CAHSEE Math in English to be eligible to get a high school diploma.

How can I get more information?

More information and released exam questions can be found on the California Department of Education Web site.