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The California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) was established via California law to allow students to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.

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CHSPE Eligibility

To be eligible for this exam, you must be at least 16 years old, have been enrolled in the 10th grade for at least one academic year, or will complete one academic year of enrollment in the 10th grade at the end of the semester.

CHSPE Exam Outline

The CHSPE contains 182 multiple-choice questions and one writing task, and you will be given a time limit of 3.5 hours.

The exam is split into two sections.

Mathematics (50 questions)

The questions in this section are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Number sense and operations (9 questions)
  • Patterns, relationships, and algebra (15 questions)
  • Data, statistics, and probability (12 questions)
  • Geometry and measurement (14 questions)

English Language Arts (133 questions)

This section is divided into two subtests: Reading and Language.

Reading Subtest
The 84 questions in this subtest are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Comprehension: initial understanding (10 questions)
  • Comprehension: interpretation (20 questions)
  • Comprehension: critical analysis (14 questions)
  • Comprehension: strategies (10 questions)
  • Vocabulary: synonyms (12 questions)
  • Vocabulary: multiple-meaning words (6 questions)
  • Vocabulary: context clues (12 questions)

Language Subtest
The 49 questions in this subtest are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Mechanics: capitalization (8 questions)
  • Mechanics: usage (8 questions)
  • Mechanics: punctuation (8 questions)
  • Expressions: sentence structure (10 questions)
  • Expressions: prewriting (5 questions)
  • Expressions: content and organization (9 questions)
  • Writing task (1 question)

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CHSPE Registration

To register for the exam, you must submit a registration form, proof of eligibility, and $162 testing fee. You will then receive more information about scheduling the exam appointment.

Test Day

You should arrive to take the test between 15 and 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled testing time. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the exam.

When you arrive, you will be asked to show proof of identification and a copy of your admission ticket. You will also be asked to leave behind your cell phone and any bags and accessories.

The proctor will then lead you to the testing area and provide instructions on how to take the exam.

How the CHSPE is Scored

Your final score for the Mathematics section and the Reading subtest is determined using a scaled scoring method. This method takes your raw score, which is how many questions you answered correctly, and converts it to a numerical score on a scale from 250 to 450. A passing score for the Mathematics section and the Reading subtest is 350 for each one.

Your final score for the Language subtest is determined using a mix of the scaled scoring system for the multiple-choice questions and a custom writing task scoring system for the writing task. There are a few combinations of scores you can achieve that will allow you to pass this subtest.

Writing Task ScoreScaled Score


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How many questions are on the CHSPE exam?


There are 182 multiple-choice questions and one writing task on the exam.


How long is the CHSPE exam?


The time limit for the exam is 3.5 hours.


What is the passing score for the CHSPE exam?


To pass the exam, you must achieve a minimum scaled score of 350 on the Mathematics section and the Reading subtest, and you must achieve a minimum combination score of 2.5 and 365 on the Language subtest.


How much does the CHSPE exam cost?


The testing fee is $162.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: December 29, 2023