San Diego State University logo

California Government Exam



Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Article 5, Section 40404 requires that all students demonstrate an understanding of American history, the United States Constitution, and California state and local government. According to the SDSU General Catalog, a student may elect to complete the California state and local government portion of the American Institutions requirement by either:

1. Taking the California Government examination available through the Testing Services office, OR

2. Completing one of the SDSU courses listed in the appropriate section of the American Institutions Requirement section of the General Catalog.


General Exam Information

The California Government Exam is composed of 40 multiple-choice questions and five identification items in which the examinee must define and explain in one paragraph the significance of a term related to California governance. Each multiple choice item is worth two points, and each identification item is worth four points. A score of 60 or more will be necessary to pass. The assessment is 60 minutes in length, and there is no penalty for guessing.

Recommended Study Guide: David G. Lawrence, California: The Politics of Diversity, 8th edition, Thomson Wadsworth, 2015.


Fee Information

The exam fee is a non-refundable $20.00 and may not be transferred to another individual or to a different exam. To transfer to a different exam date and/or time, you must bring a printed copy of your Admission Ticket to Testing Services (SSW 2549) no later than 12:00 p.m. the business day prior to the exam date. Testing Services is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Once you have registered and paid for the exam, your Admission Ticket will be available to print. You must bring a printed copy of your Admission Ticket to be admitted to your exam. Electronic copies are not acceptable. You can access and print your Admission Ticket here.


Registration Information

Sign up and take the exam at SDSU. Exam dates, times, and deadlines are listed below. You may register one of three ways, although online registration is preferred.

- Online registration: California Government Exam

- Mail-in registration: Mail-in Registration Form

- In-person registration: Come to SDSU Testing Services (SSW 2549), Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for instructions.


Test Date Time* Reporting Location Registration Deadline Scores Released by**
Saturday, March 10, 2018
10:30 a.m.
GMCS 333
March 5, 2018
March 25, 2018
Saturday, April 7, 2018
10:30 a.m.
GMCS 333
April 2, 2018
April 22, 2018
Saturday, April 28, 2018
10:30 a.m.
EBA 245
April 23, 2018
May 13, 2018

*Sessions will be closed when testing capacity is reached regardless of registration deadline or posted times.

** Please note that some test results may not be available prior to the next scheduled test date, so plan your test date accordingly.


Students Requesting Accommodations

1. If you have not already met with SDSU Student Ability Success Center (SASC), register for a regularly-scheduled exam (see above).

2. Register with SASC, who will authorize appropriate accommodations for each test requested.

3. Once SASC has placed the appropriate accommodations on the Testing Services reservation system for the specific exam you are requesting, email SDSU Testing Services at with your name, Red ID number or SDSUID, the exam(s) for which you registered, the date(s) of the exam(s), and a request for testing accommodations.

4. Once your test is reviewed and approved, Testing Services will email reporting instructions to you. Please carefully review the information and bring a printed copy of the email as your Admission Ticket.

5. Accommodation requests must be received at least 2 weeks prior to the exam to ensure your accommodation(s) are available.


Directions and parking information: Click here for exams proctored at SDSU.


Test information, fees, and exam dates and times are subject to change without notice.