The CHSPE is a proficiency exam that is legally equivalent to a high school diploma in California, similar to the GED. The test may be taken at age 16, and even if you are under 18 allows you to start working full time or enter college. Universities may have other requirements than a high school diploma such as a-g classes that must be completed before admittance. But a youth who has passed this test may go straight to community college. The test is offered three times a year and costs $130, though homeless youth and foster youth may receive a fee waiver.