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California High School Proficiency Exam



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The CHSPE is a program established by California law. If Eligible (you are at least 16 years of age or have been enrolled in the tenth grade for one academic year or longer or will complete one academic year of enrollment in tenth grade at the end of the semester during which the next regular administration will be conducted) to take the test, you can earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the CHSPE. There are two sections to the exam: an English-language Arts section and a Mathematics sections. You must pass both to be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency, which by state law is equivalent to a high school diploma. However, it is not equivalent to completing all coursework required for regular graduation from high school. 


High School attendance: You are not exempt completely from attending high school just because you pass the CHPSE. Minors who have a Certificate of Proficiency must also have verified parent/guardian permission to stop attending school. Many students continue to attend school and just have the Certificate as an additional option. If you are under 18 and leave school after passing the CHPSE, you can re-enroll in the district you are registered in with no adverse consequences. Please note, that if you leave and re-enroll, you may be required to meet new or additional graduation requirements established since you were previously enrolled. If you re-enroll and then leave school again, you may be denied re-admittance until the beginning of the following term. 

**It is unlawful to drop out of school after registering or while awaiting results for those under 18 years old.

Employment: All persons and institutions subject to California law that require a high school diploma for any purpose must accept the certificate as satisfying the requirement. Federal government agencies are not bound by state laws, however, applications will be accepted for federal civilian employment.

Education: Federal Student Aid recognizes the CHPSE as equivalent to a high school diploma in applications for federal financial aid. If you plan on attending college, you will need to check with each institution to verify its college entrance requirements, obtaining the Certificate of Proficiency is not equivalent of completing all the coursework required for college admission.

Military: Military service policies vary. Check with your recruiter for details.


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