Statewide Testing

Each spring, students in Irvine Unified School District participate in statewide assessments to provide information about their skills in English language arts/literacy, mathematics, science, and physical fitness. In IUSD, we see these assessments as an academic checkup. Like class assignments and report cards, these assessments provide one piece of information about student progress toward college and career readiness. Statewide assessment results should always be interpreted as one of multiple measures of a student's skills.  

testing graphic

Click here for a video on the importance of academic check-ups!


caaspp testing overview




The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) includes the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) in English-language arts/literacy and mathematics for students in grades 3-8 and 11. The assessments use computer adaptive technology to provide more accurate information about student performance.


If your child participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessments, you will receive an automated e-mail from when your child’s test scores are available in Parent Portal (  Please note that student score reports will no longer be mailed home.  If you are not able to view your child’s report online, you can ask for a copy at the front office of your child’s school.  If your child’s scores do not appear in Parent Portal, the state may still be processing the results.  Science results for students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will be available in winter 2019.  Results for the California Alternate Assessments will be available in the fall.


For additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessments, including assessment blueprints, information about achievement levels, and other resources please visit the California Department of Education website at the following link: Smarter Balanced Assessment System - California Department of Education.



The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) includes a summative science assessment in grades 5, 8, and high school.  In the spring of 2019 students participated in the first operational test of the California Science Test (CAST), an online test based on the Next Generation Science Standards.  The new CAST replaced the old California Standards Test, or CST.  Results for the CAST will be available in Parent Portal in winter 2019.




The California Alternate Assessments (CAA) for ELA/literacy, mathematics, and science are designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities.  The goal of the CAAs is to ensure that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for postsecondary options. 




In the spring of 2019, eligible students in grades 5, 8, and high school participated in the CAA for science pilot.  This pilot was a ‘test of the test’, and not a test of student performance.  To meet federal waiver requirements, the state will release preliminary scores for the science test in 2018-19.  These preliminary scores will provide a general indication of student science content knowledge, but should be interpreted with caution since the CAA for science is still being developed.  Official scores will not be reported until the test is operational in 2019-20.


English Language Arts / Mathematics

Eligible students in grades 3 - 8 and 11 participate in the CAAs for ELA and mathematics, which replaced the CAPA for ELA and math.  These computer-based assessments are delivered one-on-one by a trained test examiner familiar to the student.


For additional information about the CAAs, including information about test content and guidelines for determining whether the CAA is the most appropriate assessment for a student, please visit the California Department of Education website at the following link: California Alternate Assessment - California Department of Education.


Each spring, students in grades 5, 7, and 9 participate in the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT).  The physical fitness test used in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM, a comprehensive health-related physical fitness assessment.  The purpose of the PFT is to assist students in establishing lifetime habits of regular physical activity.



For additional information about the Physical Fitness Test, including test options, information about healthy fitness zones, and other resources please visit the California Department of Education website at the following link: Physical Fitness Test - California Department of Education.

English Language Proficiency (ELPAC)

This annual language assessment is required for students identified as English Learners.  The ELPAC provides a measure of student progress toward English language proficiency.  For additional information, please see the Language Development Program page.





    • California PTA website
      California’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) website provides resources for parents on a variety of topics, including information about understanding and interpreting your child’s state assessment results.


    • California Department of Education CAASPP 
      California Department of Education’s CAASPP website includes additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessments, California Alternate Assessments, and California Science Test.



    • Understanding Proficiency: Learning from Student Work on Performance Tasks 
      This website explores student work on Smarter Balanced performance tasks to develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards.  Tools include sample student responses to performance task items (including both scored and unscored responses and samples from English Learners), scores with annotations by educators, and tools and videos to support professional learning.


    • CAASPP Teacher Guides
      These guides provide information about the Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA/literacy and mathematics, including examples of the range and types of items that appear on the assessments.  Guides are organized by grade span to highlight changes in expectations as students move through grade levels.