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. 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 Field Test and the spring 2015 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. Some language supports, including foreign language glossaries and full stacked Spanish translation, are not yet available for the Practice Test math performance tasks. These features will be added by the end of June 2014.
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 14-15 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 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:
- Manuals and User Guides (Under Resources and Documentation)
- Classroom Activities ((Under Resources and Documentation)
- Scoring Guides ((Under Resources and Documentation)
- Performance Task Writing Rubrics (Under Resources and Documentation)