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Educators Encouraged to Take an Early Look at New, Online Smarter Balanced Practice Tests

June 20, 2013

The California Department of Education is encouraging students, educators, and parents to try out the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests launched recently to familiarize themselves and the public with the new generation of computer-based assessments students will take starting in the 2014-15 school year.

“These practice tests give teachers, students, and parents a glimpse into understanding the skills and abilities our children will need to do well on test day and in preparation for college and career,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) placed online for public access the set of practice tests for grades three through eight and grade eleven. For each grade, practice tests will be available in both English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics.

The practice tests are available on the California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page.

The practice tests include test questions with the same features that students will experience in 2014-15, when the tests are scheduled to be given to more than 19 million of the nation’s public K-12 students, including California’s students. Smarter Balanced assessment items and performance tasks were written and reviewed in collaboration with K-12 teachers and higher education faculty and aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Online access to the practice tests will not require a unique username and password, so schools and districts can use them for teacher training as well as discussions with parents, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders.

Members of the public are also allowed access. There will be no immediate scoring of the tests, but scoring keys will be made available later in the year.

The release of the practice tests follows the administration of the Smarter Balanced Pilot Test, which was the first large-scale tryout of items and performance tasks. The Pilot Test was taken by more than one million students in Smarter Balanced member states from February through mid-May.

Source:  California Department of Education