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How to Pass the CAHSEE

By Edited Nov 1, 2016 0 0

This guide will help any student pass the California High School Exit Exam(CAHSEE).

Things You Will Need

A willingness to practice and a desire to learn.

Step 1

Many students are petrified at the idea of a two-day exam that will determine whether or not they graduate from high school. Can you really blame them? The thought of a 200-question exam covering concepts that haven't been studied in years is enough to scare even the best of students. So what is the best way for students to prepare for a test that covers such a large amount of material? The best and most effective way for high school students to prepare for the CAHSEE is to do as many practice problems as possible.

Statistics have consistently shown that students who attempt at least 100 practice problems prior to taking the actual CAHSEE perform significantly better than their counterparts. Why is that the case? Spending time solving practice problems does two things that help student performance on the CAHSEE: 1. It familiarizes students with the style and format of the problems that will appear on the actual exam. 2. It helps students focus their review of the underlying concepts in math and English-language arts.

There are several reasons why these are both very critical to success on a test like the CAHSEE. Students who attempted at least 100 practice questions reported very low anxiety levels on the morning of the exam. This was a stark contrast to the high anxiety levels that were generally reported. These students identified "Test Familiarity" as a major factor for their low anxiety levels. It is a well-known fact that students who are relaxed will generally perform better on exams than those who are anxious, so test familiarity should be an important goal for any student preparing for the CAHSEE.

It is certainly true that test familiarity is important, however, it's even more important for test-takers to have a clear and organized study plan. This makes reviewing the underlying academic concepts much easier. The CAHSEE covers a huge amount of material and students are often uncertain of what to study when. When students shif the focus to practice problems, this enables them to work more efficiently. As they learn to solve each type of problem, they inherently review the specific academic concepts. Since on the CAHSEE, each practice question is married to a specific state standard, everytime a student solves a problem, they are reviewing a core concept. This is especially important since the California High School Exit Exam does not test every instruction standard. Students should avoid wasting time by studying material that will not be tested. Centering the preparation around problems ensures that students get the exact standards tested. It also helps to make sure students don't go into too much depth in one particular area while simultaneously neglecting other areas. This type of focused and consise study plan is critical to improve student acheivement.


The obvious next question is where can students find quality practice problems that are standards based? Thankfully there are several great resources available for students to practice online. The California Department of Education offers plenty of practice questions free of charge at their website. Many websites also offer CAHSEE prep online. Students should take advantage of all of these great CAHSEE test prep resources.

Tips & Warnings

Study one content area at a time. There are 6 content areas in math and students should practice with questions from one area at a time. Once they have a basic understanding of questions in one area they can move on to questions from the other subject areas.
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