The Smarter Balanced Practice Test (updated in May 2014) and the Training Test (released in February 2014) 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. Both resources will help teachers and students prepare for the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
An Early Look at Smarter Balanced Assessments
The Smarter Balanced Practice Test allows 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 mirror the year-end assessment. Each grade level assessment includes a variety of question types and difficulty (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). The May 2014 version of the Practice Tests include additional universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations that were not available in the previous version. All language supports, including translated glossaries and stacked Spanish translation, are available on mathematics Practice and Training Tests.
The Training Tests are 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 and/or the spring 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessments. The Training Test is organized by grade bands (grades 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and high school) and each test contains six questions. The questions on the Training Test were selected to provide students with an opportunity to practice a range of question types. The Training Tests do not contain performance tasks. Similar to the Practice Test, the the Training Test includes all embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations.
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 Test-Taking Devices and Approved Secure Browsers for detailed information on compatible operating systems and browsers.
To experience the text-to-speech functionality, the Secure Browser application is required.
Important Limitations: The Practice and Training Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments and a more accurate depiction of both the testing environment and item types, 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
The Equation Response Editor tool is available for students to preview and practice with outside the testing environment.
Calculators are available for students to preview and practice with outside of the testing environment.
Please see the Resources and Documentation page for the following information:
- Manuals and User Guides
- Classroom Activities
- Scoring Guides
- Annotated Anchors for Performance Tasks
- Performance Task Writing Rubrics