Most Washington state public high school students will fulfill the assessment portion of the graduation requirements by passing state exit exams. If students don’t pass on their first attempt, there are retake opportunities.
Some students, however, may need to demonstrate their skills in a different way. For these students, state-approved alternatives are available, called Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) options.
A student’s grades in English courses and/or math courses are compared with the grades of students who took the same courses and passed the exit exam. This option is available to students in their 12th-grade year who have an overall grade-point average of 3.2. Students must attempt an exit exam at least once before attempting this CAA option.
Students may use their math, reading and/or writing scores on the SAT reasoning test, ACT or ACT Plus Writing tests, specified Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, or Smarter Balanced assessments (starting in 2015) to show they have key skills expected of high school graduates. They may also use scores from specified AP or IB exams to meet the science graduation assessment requirement, which starts with the Class of 2015. Students must attempt an exit exam at least once before attempting this CAA option.
The COE is an evaluation of a set of work samples based on classroom work prepared by the student with instructional support from a teacher. Students must meet eligibility criteria and must attempt an exit exam at least twice before attempting this CAA option.