Smarter Balanced Essentials for Educators

The Smarter Balanced assessment system is a key part of implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing all students for success in college and careers. Developed in collaboration with K-12 teachers and higher education faculty, these new assessments provide an academic check-up and are designed to give teachers better information to help students succeed.

Smarter Balanced assessments replace existing tests in English and math. Administered online, they offer significant improvements over tests of the past by including writing at every grade, expanded accessibility features to meet the needs of all students, and performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills.

More than Just a Year-End Test

In addition to a year-end summative assessment, the Smarter Balanced assessment system includes optional interim assessments that allow teachers to measure student progress during the year. Schools will have two ­flexible administration options: Interim Comprehensive Assessments that mirror the year-end assessments; or Interim Assessment Blocks that focus on smaller sets of related standards and provide more detailed information for instructional purposes.

Teachers also have access to the Digital Library, an online collection of resources aligned to the Common Core and designed to help improve classroom-based assessment practices. More information about the Digital Library is available below.

Used by Higher Education

More than 250 colleges and universities in ten states have already decided to use the assessments as a factor in determining whether students are ready for credit-bearing courses. Learn more about how Smarter Balanced scores are used by colleges and universities.