Administration Information for the CAST

Overview of the Assessment

The CAST is an online, summative assessment based on the CA NGSS. All LEAs are required to administer the CAST to eligible students in grades five and eight and one time in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve). High school students have only one opportunity to take the CAST. LEAs can elect to administer the CAST to students in grade ten or eleven. Students in grade twelve who have not yet met the science testing requirement will automatically be registered to take the CAST. Students repeating grade twelve are not eligible to test. All students will receive their CAST scores in a Student Score Report after they have tested.

End-of-Assessment Survey

Students in grades five and eight will complete a three-question survey that appears at the end of their test in the TDS. Students in high school will complete a four-question survey. The survey is estimated to take an additional five minutes. The questions are intended to gather more information about the student’s experience with the CAST and science education in general. The responses to these survey questions will not count toward a student’s test score. Individual responses provided by students will be kept confidential and not shared with teachers, schools, or parents/guardians.

Test Administrator Materials

Directions for CAST administration, which include the script that must be read prior to test administration and provide instructions on approving student tests, can be found in Scripts for Administering Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Science Test.

Student Accessibility Resources

A listing of the available universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations can be found in the CAST Accessibility Supports for Operational Testing. This document provides information for classroom teachers, English language development educators, special education teachers, and instructional assistants to use in assigning universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations for those students who need them.

The complete list of embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations available for the CAST are listed in the CDE California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix web document.

Tests will include embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations.

Practice and Training Tests

Practice and training tests for the CAST are linked on the CAASPP Practice and Training Tests Portal web page. Practice tests can be accessed either through the secure browser or through a standard internet browser. Scoring guides are available on the Online Practice Test Scoring Guides and Directions for Administration (DFAs) web page.

User Responsibilities

Table 1 shows the tasks CAASPP users can perform for the CAST:

Table 1. User Role Participation in the CAST

Role Task
LEA CAASPP coordinator
  • Create the users at schools who will be involved in the CAST
  • Set up test administrations and assign schools to the administrations
  • Assign student designated supports, accommodations, or request unlisted resources
  • Provide training to CAASPP test site coordinators
CAASPP test site coordinator
  • Work with the CALPADS coordinator to ensure that students are in the correct grades
  • Assign student designated supports, accommodations, or unlisted resources
  • Designate test administrators
  • Participate in training provided by the LEA
  • Provide training to CAST test administrators
Test administrator
  • Participate in training provided by the LEA or test site coordinator
  • Administer the CAST