California High School Proficiency Examination

For any freshmen or sophomores interested in graduating high school before your junior year, there is a way! The California High School Proficiency Examination is a test that determines whether or not someone is proficient in reading, writing and mathematics taught in all California public high schools. The primary purpose for the examination is to serve as a way to let students graduate high school earlier than usual by allowing them to skip their junior and senior year of high school.
The CHSPE costs $130 to take and can be taken three times each year. The test dates for the 2019 school year is October 20th, March 16th and June 15th. In addition, a student can take the test if they are either 16 years old at the time of the test being taken, or if they are enrolled to complete all of the 10th grade.
The CHSPE covers mathematics and English based language arts. To pass the CHSPE, one must pass the mathematics and English-based language art sections. Most of the test consists of multiple choice questions, with the grading scale ranging from 250-450 points but only a minimum score of 350 points in each section is needed to pass.
The English language arts section consists of two subsections. A reading multiple choice test and a language subtest, which includes an essay that’s graded from 1-5 points.
The reading subtest covers several topics, such as reading comprehension, vocabulary, context clues etc. While the language subtest covers areas such as showing comprehensive usage of correct grammar, expressions, sentence structure etc.
The mathematics portion of the examination follows a very similar style of testing. It is a multiple choice that contains questions that include geometry, statistics, probability and more.
The CHSPE is administered by the Sacramento County Office of Education, which provides students with the opportunity to take the CHSPE three times each year in testing facilities across the state of California.
In California, if a student passes the CHSPE they receive a “Certificate of Proficiency” by the California State Board of Education which is the legal equivalent to a high-school diploma. However, only having a CHSPE certificate can come with some unexpected downsides.
“Most employers and most colleges outside of California would consider a CHSPE certificate to be valid for a High School diploma requirement.” said Sherry Fazzio, a guidance counselor at Fremont, “But l think that’s kinda taking a risk, you can’t know for sure.”
Additionally, passing the test does not automatically allow a student to stop attending high school. A student would still need parent or guardian approval in order to drop-out of high school.
Students can still pursue other options that do not have to end necessary with leaving high school early. Instead, some students may wish to take a different, less abrupt path like participating in the Middle College program.
Middle College is a program that allows students to earn college credits, depending on the class being taken, while still being in high school. In addition, a student can get some first-hand experience when it comes knowing how colleges work. This can be especially useful for students when the time comes to start applying for colleges. However, these college class would most likely need to be taken outside of general school hours.
“I felt like if l had taken [the CHSPE] test then I would have had more freedom to do whatever I wanted because there are no classes besides art that l would like to do here [at Fremont],” Uma Naik, a sophomore at Fremont said. “I’m considering doing middle college right now which is where you become a full-time student at De Anza… But l would still be a student here.”
Either way, students have many options when it comes to a viable path for a successful future after high school.