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California English Language Development Test (CELDT)

What is the California English Language Development Test?

State and Federal laws require all school districts in California to give an annual test to determine English Proficiency to students whose home language is not English. This test is the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Its purpose is to determine how well each student tested can listen, speak, read, and write English. CELDT scores are used to help determine the level of assistance needed and to ensure the student's placement in an appropriate program.

Each year, the California Department of Education makes guides for CELDT testing available.

2012-2013 Test interpretation guides are available in ENGLISH, SPANISH, CHINESE  and in many otrher following languages (click on highlighted text to download):


For more information, please see the brochure CELDT Information for Parents and Guardians.

You may also refer to the California Department of Education's CELDT page:

What is the purpose of the CELDT?

The purpose of this test is:

  • To identify new students who are English Learners, in kindergarten through grade twelve.
  • To determine their level of English proficiency.
  • To annually assess their progress in learning English.

Who is an English Learner?

An English Learner is a student, with a home language other than English, who is not yet proficient in English.

Who must take the CELDT?

All students whose primary language listed on the Home Language Survey is not English must take the test within 30 calendar days after they are enrolled in a California public school for the first time. The CELDT also must be given once each year to English learners until they become proficient in English. Parents and guardians cannot remove (opt out) their children from this requirement.

CELDT Schedule

  • July 1, 2012 - October 31, 2012 - Initial & Annual - Grades K-12th
  • November 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013 - Initial Only - Grades K-12th