California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) w/CD

California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) w/CD

by Stephen Hearne Ph.D.

Paperback(Second Edition, Revised)

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REA's California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) Test Prep with Practice Tests on CD Helps California High School Students Get a High Score

Updated 2nd Edition

The California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) test prep is designed for students who are taking the CHSPE to test out of high school and earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.

Prepared by California teachers, this test prep is fully aligned with the official exam and reinforces the Mathematics and English-Language Arts material that California students need to know for test day.

Our test prep gives you everything you need to succeed:

• Focused content reviews
• Proven test-taking strategies
• 3 confidence-building practice exams
• Detailed explanations of questions and answers
• Powerful diagnostic software to boost your score

The Mathematics review covers: number sense and operations; algebra; data, statistics, and probability; geometry and measurement.

The English-Language Arts review includes: language mechanics; language expression; synonyms; multiple-meaning words; context clues; initial understanding; interpretation; critical analysis; and strategies.

The book includes 3 exams based on the official CHSPE — balanced to include every topic and type of question you can expect on the actual exam. Two practice tests on CD are given in a timed format with automatic, instant scoring, allowing you to practice what you've learned before taking the actual exam. Each practice test comes complete with detailed explanations of answers, so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and focus on areas in need of further study. Our study schedule, test strategies, and helpful tips ease anxiety and build the confidence you need for exam day.

If you're taking the CHSPE, prepare for the exam with the test prep designed for today’s California students!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738611563
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication date: 11/28/2013
Series: California (CHSPE) Test Preparation
Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 746,987
Product dimensions: 8.54(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Maria Suzanne Scafuri
Cathedral School for Boys
San Francisco, CA

Stephen Hearne, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Skyline College
San Bruno, CA

Read an Excerpt


The CHSPE and You

Congratulations on making the decision to take the CHSPE! As a California high school student, you may have any of several reasons for taking the exam. Perhaps you want to leave school early to start working in a vocational trade or take part in a family business, or maybe you’ve decided that high school just isn’t right for you. On the other hand, many students who take the CHSPE continue to attend school even after they’ve earned the equivalent of a high school diploma.

Whatever your reasons for taking the CHSPE, this test prep will provide you with all the information you need to score high and pass the test. Prepared by California teachers, our review chapters and practice exams reinforce the English-language arts and mathematics material that you need to know for test day.

If you are eligible to take the CHSPE, you can earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma. The CHSPE consists of two sections: an English-language arts section and a mathematics section. If you pass both sections of the exam, the California State Board of Education will award you a Certificate of Proficiency, which by state law is equivalent to a high school diploma (although not equivalent to completing all the coursework required for regular graduation from high school).

Students who are interested in military service should check with their recruiter in advance for details about applying the Certificate of Proficiency to military enlistment. If you are planning to attend a university or college, contact the individual institutions to verify their entrance requirements.

Please note that passing the CHSPE does not exempt minors from attending school. Minors who have a Certificate of Proficiency must also have verified parent or guardian permission to stop attending high school. Many students who pass the CHSPE continue to attend school. Talk to your guidance counselor or school administrator for more information about leaving school after passing the CHSPE.

The CHSPE and the Law
The California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) is a testing program established by California law. Legally, all persons and institutions subject to California law that require a high school diploma must accept the certificate as satisfying the requirement. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management accepts the Certificate of Proficiency in applications for federal civilian employment.

Students who leave high school after passing the CHSPE and are no more than 18 years old may re-enroll in the school district in which they were registered with no adverse consequences. If they do re-enroll, they may be required to meet new or additional requirements established since they were previously enrolled. Students who re-enroll and then leave school again may be denied re-admittance until the beginning of the following semester.

Dropping out of school after registering for the CHSPE or while awaiting test results is unlawful for students under 18 years old. It may also result in failing grades for courses in which they are enrolled.

Eligibility to Take the CHSPE

You may take the CHSPE only if, on the test date, you

- are at least 16 years old, or

- have been enrolled in the tenth grade for one academic year or longer, or

- will complete one academic year of enrollment in the tenth grade at the end of the semester during which the next regular test administration will be conducted. (Regular test administrations are the fall and spring administration each school year.)

An Overview of the Test

CHSPE English-Language Arts Section

Format and Scoring

The CHSPE English-Language Arts section includes two subtests: Language and Reading. You must get a passing score on both subtests to pass the English-Language Arts portion of the CHSPE. The two tests do not have to be passed at the same test administration and can be taken separately.

The Language subtest consists of 48 multiple-choice questions and a writing task, both of which must be completed at the same administration. The multiple-choice questions measure language mechanics and expression. The writing task requires you to write an essay which will be scored on the basis of your writing skills, not on your knowledge of the subject.

The Reading subtest has a total of 84 multiple-choice questions: 54 reading comprehension questions and 30 vocabulary questions.

Your score for the multiple-choice questions on both sections of the English-Language Arts test is based on the number of questions you answer correctly; you do not lose points for incorrect answers. Your essay in response to the writing task is scored on a 6-point scale, with 1 the lowest score and 6 the highest. The essay is scored independently by at least two trained scorers, resulting in two scores. Your writing task score is the average of the two scores.

Multiple-choice results on both subtests of the CHSPE English-Language Arts section are reported using scale scores that typically range from 250 to 450. Raw scores (i.e., the number of questions answered correctly) are converted to scale scores to correct for any differences in difficulty across test forms. Regardless of the particular test form taken, or the particular test date on which the test is taken, equal scale scores represent essentially the same level of performance.

CHSPE Mathematics Section

Format and Scoring
The mathematics section of the CHSPE has 50 multiple-choice questions that assess skills in the
following content areas:

- Number sense and operations
- Patterns, relationships, and algebra
- Data, statistics, and probability
- Geometry and measurement

The questions also assess the following mathematical process skills:
- Communication and representation
- Estimation
- Mathematical connections
- Reasoning and problem solving

The mathematics section of CHSPE is scored in the same way as the multiple-choice questions of the language arts section. The raw score (i.e., the number of test questions you answer correctly) is converted to a scale score to adjust for any differences in difficulty across test forms. Regardless of the particular test form taken, or the date on which a test is taken, scale scores represent the level of performance. A scale score of 350 or higher is passing. That translates into a raw score of about 30 or more correctly answered questions.

You will be allowed to use a calculator while working on the CHSPE Mathematics section. All problems can be solved without the use of a calculator. If you wish to use a calculator, however, you may bring a solar-powered or battery-powered basic, nonstatistical, nonscientific, nonprogrammable calculator.

A basic calculator has 25 or fewer buttons and can perform no more than the four standard mathematical functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Calculators with percentage signs, square root, and negative signs are also acceptable, as well as calculators that have simple memory.

You have a total of three and a half hours to take the CHSPE. You determine how much time you want to spend on each section. You do not have to pass the entire test on the same day. Once you pass a section or subtest, you do not have to take it again. You do have to pay the entire test fee each time you take the test.

Taking the CHSPE

When and Where Can I Take the CHSPE?
The CHSPE is given three times a year (in March, June, and October) at more than 60 test centers throughout California. Visit to find a test location near you.

How Do I Register for the CHSPE?
To register for the exam, you must submit a registration form with proof of eligibility and a cashier’s check or money order for payment. Be sure to register as early as possible to increase your chances of getting a seat at a test site in your preferred location. Registration procedures and a registration form are included in the Information Bulletin on the CHSPE website:

Do I Have to Take All Three Sections of the CHSPE on the Same Day?
No. On the day of the test you can decide to take either of the English-Language subtests, or the Mathematics section, or any combination of the three. Remember though, the test fee is the same regardless of which parts of the test you take. To receive a Certificate of Proficiency you must pass the English-Language Arts section and the Mathematics section. You do not have to retake a section or subtest that you previously passed. There is no limit to the number of times you may take the CHSPE, but you must register and pay the test fee each time.

When Will I Get My Scores?
CHSPE test scores will be posted online about a month after the exam. You can access your results online by providing an email address and password when you register for the exam. Your official score results will be mailed to you a few days after the unofficial results have been posted online. For more information and the latest updates on the CHSPE, visit

Studying for the CHSPE
When confronted with taking a test like the CHSPE, everyone has a different reaction. Some people are nervous about the time length, while others are concerned about content material. Some people even look forward to taking these kinds of tests because they are like a rite of passage from one level of schooling to the next. Others like the fact that the test, other than the essay on the language arts section, is all multiple-choice questions.

Whether you feel confident or unnerved, REA’s California High School Proficiency Exam is here to help you. Studying the review chapters, taking the practice tests using our TestWare® on CD, and reading through the answer explanations will help you fine-tune your knowledge of the material on the test while also familiarizing yourself with the test’s format. This preparation will ensure that you do your best.


REA’s 4-week CHSPE Study Schedule

This study schedule will help you prepare for the CHSPE. Although the schedule is designed for 4 weeks, it can be condensed into 2 weeks by combining two weeks of study into one. If you choose the 4-week schedule, plan to study for at least one hour a day. CHSPE test-takers who are following a 2-week program need to set aside at least two hours for studying every day.

Find a study routine that works for you and stick to it! Some people like to get up early and study for an hour or two before going to school. Others might choose to study during their lunch break, at the library, or at home after school. Whatever schedule you choose, be sure to study every day—even on weekends.

Week 1: Read our introduction to the CHSPE. Be sure you understand the format and know exactly what is tested on the exam. Start your study routine by taking the Pretest to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself 3 1/2 hours after school, on a weekend, or at another convenient time to take the exam. You will need to concentrate, so take the Pretest at a time and place where you will not be disturbed. After you have finished the test, record your scores. This will help you track your progress as you study.

Later in the week, study the detailed explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly. Take notes and pay attention to sections where you missed a lot of questions. You will need to spend more time reviewing the related material.

Week 2: This week, focus on the English-Language Arts and Writing Reviews and become familiar with all the topics discussed. Study our examples and answer the practice questions as you complete the review for each subtest. The more practice you get now, the better prepared you’ll be for the actual CHSPE.

Read the suggestions and examples provided in the Writing Section, and make sure you understand everything. Now is also a good time to review any supplemental materials (such as a writing and/or grammar handbook) that will help you write clearer, better-focused essays. Try a few practice essays on your own and ask a teacher, parent, or friend to give you feedback.

Week 3: This week study the Mathematics Review. Go through each section slowly and pay close attention to our examples and practice questions. Later this week, take Practice Test 1 on CD. Record your scores for each section and see how well you did. Study the detailed explanations of answers for any questions you answered incorrectly. Make sure you understand why you answered the question wrong, so you can improve your test-taking skills. If you find yourself in need of extra review or don’t fully understand a topic, consult your textbook or ask a classmate or teacher for additional help.

Week 4: This week, take Practice Test 2 on CD. After you finish the test, review the explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly. Use your remaining study time to revisit any sections of the CHSPE in which you need improvement. Re-read the review sections or retake the Pretest and see how much you’ve improved in just a matter of weeks!

Congratulations! You’ve studied hard and you’re ready for the CHSPE!

Table of Contents

About Research & Education Association


The CHSPE and You
Eligibility to Take the CHSPE
An Overview of the Test
CHSPE English-Language Arts Section
CHSPE Mathematics Section
Taking the CHSPE
Studying for the CHSPE
Study Plan
Test-Taking Tips
The Day of the Test


Pretest Answer Key
Pretest Detailed Explanations

English-Language Arts Review
Reading Comprehension
California Reading Standards
The Basics of Literature
Literary Response and Analysis
The Basics of Writing

Mathematics Review
Math Basics

Practice Test 1
Practice Test 1 Answer Key
Practice Test 1 Detailed Explanations

Practice Test 2
Practice Test 2 Answer Key
Practice Test 2 Detailed Explanations

Answer Sheets
Installing REA’s TestWare

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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