Cahsee california High School Exit Exam cahsee faqs

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  • Overview
  • Testing Dates:
  • Passing both sections of the CAHSEE is a
  • diploma requirement for all students in
  • California

CAHSEE website

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  • “Testing and Accountability” Tab
  • California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) Link
  • Counseling

What should you know about the CAHSEE?

  • No time limit
  • Vocabulary, Reading
  • Comprehension, Writing
  • Conventions,
  • And an essay
  • 350 to Pass;
  • Go for 370!
  • 72 multiple
  • choice questions
  • ELA section of the

CAHSEE Test Composition

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  • CAHSEE Math Exam
  • 92 Multiple Choice Questions
  • CAHSEE English Language Arts
  • 79 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 1 Essay Question

ELA Breakdown

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  • 45 points = Reading passage questions
  • 15 points = Writing Conventions
  • 12 points = Writing Strategies
  • 18 points = Writing a short essay

What Exactly is on the CAHSEE?

  • Approximately 72 multiple choice questions about reading and writing strategies
  • One essay response question
  • The nitty-gritty: You have to be correct on a little more than half of the questions (including a passing essay score) in order to pass. You a have to have about a 70% to be marked “Proficient” on the test.


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  • CAHSEE Writing
      • Writing Application
      • On the writing portion of the CAHSEE exam, you will be given a “Writing Task” which is one essay question. It is NOT timed.
      • You may be asked to do one of the following:
      • Biographical Narrative
      • Expository Essay
      • Response to Literature
      • Persuasive Essay
      • Business Letter

CAHSEE Sample Essay Prompts

  • Biographical Narrative
  • Expository
  • Response to Literature
  • Persuasive
  • Business Letter
  • Biographical Narrative
  • Tells the story from the life of a real person.
  • Often, this type of CAHSEE essay question will ask you to write about someone who is important in your life.
  • Expository Essay
  • Expository essays (also called compositions) are most often nonfiction, meaning that it deals with real people, things, events and places.
  • The question may ask you to write about an important moment in history or technology, or a question about school.
  • Response to Literature
  • You read a (literature) text and are asked to respond (write an essay) based on a question regarding that passage.
  • This type of question asks that you first comprehend the text, then write about it.
  • Make sure to include quotes to support ideas!
  • Persuasive Essay
  • A persuasive essay (or composition) asks you to
  • defend a position or argue for your side of an issue about which people disagree.
  • Anticipate and respond to the counterargument.
  • Remember to try and include a call to action in the conclusion.
  • The readers want you to think about the other side of the argument and keep that in mind as you defend your ideas
  • Business Letter
  • A Business Letter is a formal correspondence about a business related matter.
  • When you’re writing a business letter, your purpose may be
    • to apply for a job
    • to complain
    • to request information

Business Letter Requirements

  • Parts: I. Heading: Your address & the date II. Inside Address: The reader’s name (spelled correctly) & address for example: Mr. Tom Key, Counselor Independence High School 1776 Educational Park Drive San Jose CA 95133 III. Salutation: (Notice the colon)
  • Dear Sir or Madam:
  • IV. Body: Purpose of the letter Usually 3 SHORT paragraphs
  • V. Introduction: State your name and purpose (WHY) VI. Body: Explain what you want (WHAT) VII. Conclusion: Thank you & Contact Info/Number
  • VIII. Complimentary closing: Sincerely, Yours truly, Yours sincerely, IX. Signature: Sign your letter personally, then type your name

Essay Reminders

  • Always spend a few minutes before writing the essay to ________________. This can include the do-what chart, a bullet pointed outline, etc.
  • HBIT
  • TS => EX => CM => EX => CM => CS
  • Restate thesis, summarize ideas, tie to society

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