Practice and Training Tests

The Smarter Balanced Practice Test (originally released in spring 2013) and the new Training Test provide students with an early look at sets of assessment questions aligned to the Common Core for grades 3-8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The release of the Practice and Training Tests follows the Smarter Balanced Pilot Test, the first large-scale tryout of items and performance tasks conducted in spring 2013.  Both resources will help teachers and students prepare for the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test.


An Early Look at Smarter Balanced Assessments

Practice Tests

Available since May 2013, the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests allow teachers, students, parents, and other interested parties to experience a full grade-level assessment and gain insight into how Smarter Balanced will assess students’ mastery of the Common Core.  The practice tests include a variety of items (approximately 30 items each in ELA and math) as well as an ELA and math performance task at each grade level (3–8 and 11).

Training Tests

The Training Tests were designed to provide students and teachers with opportunities to quickly familiarize themselves with the software and navigational tools that they will use on the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test. The Training Test includes all new item types organized by grade bands (grades 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and high school) that will be available on the Field Test and the full suite of accessibility and accommodations features. Students and teachers can now access all accessibility and accommodations resources that will be available on the Field Test, including American Sign Language (ASL) videos for all listening items.

The Training Test serves as a complement to the Practice Test and includes the following features:

  • Training tests are available by grade band (grades 3-5; 6-8 and high school)
  • There are approximately 14-15 items per grade band (in ELA and math combined)
  • New item types, not previously included in the practice test, are featured
  • The training test does not include performance tasks
  • All accessibility and accommodations features planned for the spring 2014 Field Test and 2014-2015 operational tests are included.

This summary details the distinctive features of the practice and training tests.

Accessing the Practice and Training Tests

The Practice and Training Tests are not compatible with all operating system versions and web browsers.  See Operating System and Browsers Compatible with the Practice and Training Tests for detailed information on compatible operating systems and browsers.


Important Limitations: The Practice and Training Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments, but they do not encompass the full range of content that students will encounter on the spring 2014 Field Test or on the operational assessments, and should not be used to guide instructional decisions. In addition, students and teachers will not receive reports or scores from the Practice or Training Tests. Although the operational assessment system will be computer adaptive, the Practice and Training Tests follow a fixed-form model.


Resources and Support
Visit http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/ for the following resources and information:

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)


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