Sep 10

What Is the CHSPE (Showbiz Term of the Day)?

What Is the CHSPE ?


Barron's CHSPE Guide

Don’t you hate it when everyone uses acronyms, like CHSPE, and you don’t know what they mean?  I know I do. In this particular case, the term CHSPE is not uniquely a showbiz term (view showbiz terms in myShowbiz Term of the Day” posts).


In fact, the CHSPE really has nothing to do with acting or showbiz.

So why talk about the CHSPE here on my acting blog?

Well, it just so happens that as my daughter, who is a child actor, gets closer to the age of 16, the CHSPE is something of great interest to us. For those of you who have teen children who are trying to work in the entertainment industry in California, you may know how frustrating it is that so many roles for 12- to 17-year-olds are being filled by 18-year-olds and older, also known as 18TPY.

The CHSPE can also be important for reasons that have nothing to do with the entertainment industry.


“What Is the CHSPE ?”

The acronym CHSPE stands for California High School Proficiency Exam. The CHSPE is one of many exams that high schoolers in the state of California can take.

This exam should not be confused with the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) that students need to take and pass in order to graduate from high school.


The CHSPE is an exam that can be taken by high school students who are 16 or are in at least the second semester of their sophomore year.  Upon passing this exam, a student receives a Certificate of Proficiency.

This Certificate of Proficiency is legally considered the equivalent of a high school diploma. It allows a student to legally stop attending school — but only with the consent of the student’s parent or guardian.

This certificate differs from a high school diploma in that it allows a student to continue attending school just as he or she did before passing the test. Passing the test is not a substitute for classes that are needed to graduate from high school or get into college. So except in rare cases, after taking and passing this exam, the student should continue in school.

Having this certificate does, however, allow a student to interview and work in jobs requiring a high school diploma.

What is included in the CHPSE?

There are two subtests on the CHSPE, one for English and another for Math. In order to obtain the certificate, you must take and pass both subtests of the CHSPE. A student may take one or both sections of the exam at a time, and it is not required that both sections be passed at the same time.

The CHSPE is offered at limited locations three times each year.

You can read more details about the test and exactly what it entails by clicking on the link below:

What Is the CHSPE?

If you are planning to take the CHSPE, how do you prepare for it? Guides such as the Barron’s Guide pictured above can certainly be helpful in preparation for the 3.5 hour exam.

So exactly how does having this certificate help a teen actor who is pursuing a showbiz career? Is it a good idea to take the CHSPE for this reason?

The next post on my blog will continue the discussion of the CHSPE specifically as it applies to young actors, models, and performers.

For more on this and many other topics related to showbiz, be sure to subscribe to my emails by signing up with your name and email address in the form in the right sidebar on this blog.

To your success,



1 comment

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  1. Should Your Child Actor Take the CHSPE ? | Your Young Actor

    […] « What Is the CHSPE (Showbiz Term of the Day)? […]

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