Carlos Santana Academy

Academics » Testing Resources

Testing Resources

Testing Resources

Los Angeles Unified School District relies on testing as a useful instrument to provide information on student progress and school performance. These tests are important for parents and their children because they can indicate the child’s strengths and weaknesses and help students determine areas of improvement on their path toward college and career readiness.

These exams are:

1. LAUSD Diagnostic Assessment

“The 5th grade Math Diagnostic Assessment is a tool used by middle school
counselors to help determine which math class a student will take in the 6th
grade. The data from this exam also helps middle school math teachers and
administrators to determine the math needs of their incoming 6th grade class.” –LAUSD testing website

Your student will also take a diagnostic exam in 8th grade before they enter high school to determine their math level and again in the 9th grade to determine student readiness for the California Academic High School Exit Exam.

Although there are no preparation materials for these exams, the best way to prepare students is to ensure that they are completing their homework, checking their work and explaining concepts they do not understand. If you are unable to help your student, ask his or her teacher for supplemental materials or aid or visit the homework center online.

2. LAUSD Periodic Assessment

Periodic Assessments are ongoing tests that occur multiple times throughout the school year. These tests assess your student’s progress toward mastery of concepts contained in the California Standards Test (CST). For information on what you can do to help your student, check out this Informational brochure.


3. California Standards Test (CST)

Taken at the end of the year for students in 2nd through 11th grades, the CST tests students on math, language arts, science and history. Here is some more information on the CST and its different versions, according to the California Department of Education. Langdon Elementary School has a wonderful collection of resources to help prepare your student for this exam.

4. CST Writing Test

Students will take the CST Writing Test in 4th through 7th grades.

5. California Academic High School Exit Exam

Although your student is still in elementary school, it is important to remember that their goal is to pass the CAHSEE and graduate from high school. Getting your child ready to pass this key exam starts now. For more information about the CAHSEE, click here.

6. California English Language Development Test (CELDT)

The CELDT is designed to determine a student’s level of proficiency in the English language. This test designates students who need additional English language instruction. For more information, click here.

7. Gifted and Talented Supplemental Screening

Having your child screened for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) provides opportunities for your child to flourish through higher-level thinking in stimulating social and educational environments. For more information about GATE screening, click here.

Athough testing can be hard on students, teachers and parents, the information it provides is invaluable in assessing individual student progress. Before any test, make sure your child gets enough sleep the night before and eats a good breakfast that morning. Make sure your child knows that you value the importance of testing so he or she knows to take it seriously, but also instill a sense of confidence in your youngster by letting him or her know you believe they will do well. After the exam, don’t punish or reward your child based on his or her performance and do not compare the test results to those of another sibling, relative or friend. Testing can be a difficult process, but in doing these things, you are helping to make it a bit easier.