We witnessed firsthand how the new assessments will challenge students to think critically and problem solve.Parent from HawaiiThese sample questions illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English language arts and math items and performance tasks that students will encounter on Smarter Balanced assessments. They are intended to help teachers, administrators, and policymakers get a snapshot of Smarter Balanced questions. Although the questions and performance tasks are not intended to be used as sample tests, educators can use them to plan the shifts in instruction that help students meet the demands of the assessments.
The test simulation platform formerly used for Sample Items and Tasks is undergoing updates to ensure that all samples are representative of the range of items used in the operational Smarter Balanced assessments. The English language arts and math sample items also include Practice Test scoring guides, which contain items and tasks in their entirety. You can also explore the Practice Tests for sets of questions used by teachers and students to gain experience with the test software.
Types of Questions
The Smarter Balanced assessment system includes a variety of question types:
- Selected-response items prompt students to select one or more responses for a set of options.
- Non-traditional response questions take advantage of computer-based administration to assess a deeper understanding of content and skills than would otherwise be possible with traditional item types. These kinds of questions might include drag-and-drop, editing text, or drawing an object.
- Constructed-response questions prompt students to produce a text or numerical response in order to collect evidence about their knowledge or understanding of a given assessment target.
- Performance tasks measure a student’s ability to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world problems. They can be best described as collections of questions and activities that are coherently connected to a single theme or scenario. These activities are meant to measure capacities such as depth of understanding, writing and research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with traditional assessment questions. The performance tasks are taken on a computer (but are not computer adaptive) and will take one to two class periods to complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
These tasks are delivered as part of the interim and summative components of the assessment system, with more extended tasks available in the Digital Library as part of the Smarter-developed exemplar instructional modules and inventory of currently available resources.