California Government

About The Test (Updated with Covid-19 measures)

This examination fulfills GE American Institutions, Area US3. It does not yield unit credit.

The test is a 60 minute multiple-choice examination that can be taken twice (2) to pass.
35 correct items out of 50 is passing. There is a 2 week waiting period between retests.


Suggested Reading List

    1. Gerston, Larry N. & Christensen, Terry. (2017) California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach (14th edition)
    2. League of Women Voters of California. (2015) Guide to California Government (16th Edition)

Reading both texts is advised. Older editions (2013 or newer) may be substituted.
The following topics should be studied:

    • California's Early Constitution
    • Growth and Population Characteristics of California
    • Political Parties
    • Direct Democracy
    • Elections
    • Campaigns
    • Interest Groups
    • The Courts, the Legislature, the Governor and the Executive Branch
    • Local Government
    • Major Issues in Public Policy (such as education and immigration)

For questions about how to prepare for the California Government Waiver Exam, contact Professor James Brent, Department Chair, at 408-924-5550.

Scheduling an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, e-mail our office.

Currently, only available for SJSU Students: $11 w/Tower Card and email office for details. For non-sjsu students, please wait for the office to reopen before you can take this exam. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please email the office. You will be taking this exam via Respondus Monitor on Canvas.

Results will be available within 2-3 business days. SJSU students will be notified via MySJSU messaging.

For scores to be accepted by SJSU, you will need to follow the instructions below and abide by all of them for the proctored assessment through Respondus:

1. Clear recognizable US State or Federal Issued ID or foreign passport
2. Do not use any electronic devices including calculators, smart watches, cell phones, tablets and etc. except your laptop at any time during the proctored assessment
3. Do not wear hats and/or face coverings or attempts to obscure the face at any time during the proctored assessment
4. Do not use books, note cards, notepads, any other publications or papers with formulas on them at any time during the proctored assessment
5. Do not take any breaks for the entire duration of the assessment unless you have Accessible Education Center accommodations.