Ideas for constructing a high school examination can be found by examining the types of questions that are posted on the end-of-year examinations. California provides sample tests of this type on the website for its Department of Education.
The California Department of Education provides practice tests for both mathematics and English language arts. The website also contains criteria that each student should meet before graduating. When constructing an English high school examination, factors to consider are whether a student demonstrates fluency with the language, whether she can analyze and respond to pieces of literature, and whether she can construct her own arguments in essay format.
For mathematics, a student should demonstrate sampling errors in data sets, use variables and equations appropriately, plot graphs and charts as well as show adequate mastery of statistics and probability. Both sets of criteria are publicly listed under Testing and Accountability on the Department of Education's website.
Additional resources include sample questions that are found on the same Web page. These tests are available for download in PDF format. English questions test whether students can identify sentence errors, infer information from a passage, and typify a character or passage according to the writer's tone. Math questions often involve the analysis of charts, proper plotting of the included data or computing the square footage of an area.