Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Smarter Balanced capitalizes on the precision and efficiency of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT).

Measuring 21st Century Competencies - Guidance for Educators, 2013 (click picture for link)

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SBAC Claims

SBAC Claims provide "Big Picture" learning targets for both Common Core Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

SBAC Interim Assessments

SBAC Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) and College content-Readiness

ALDs articulate the knowledge, skills, and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, based on SBAC Claims.
  • ELA/Literacy ALDs and College content-Readiness Policy
  • Mathematics ALDs and College Content-Readiness Policy
  • ALDs Glossary of Terms

SBAC Preliminary Test Blueprints, November 2012

Blueprint Tables include: minimum and maximum number of items for each grade level cluster, minimum number of items per item type, approximate weight for each SBAC claim and grade level priority clusters and supporting clusters.

Item/Task Specifications By Grade Spans. Available for ELA and Mathematics

Provide Content Standards/Practices to be addressed by SBAC Claims.

SBAC Core Components

A one page summary: summative, interim and formative assessment, tools, and processes.

Technology Requirements

SBAC Item Types - Computer Adaptive 

Based on student responses, the computer program adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment.

Select Response (SR)

Answered in 1 or 2 minutes, allow opportunity to assess broad range of content, limited ability to reveal student's reasoning process, difficult to assess higher-order thinking (DOK 1, 2). Two Types:
  • Traditional
    • multiple-choice, only one correct answer
    • one point
  • Non-traditional
    • Student is provided with options in which more than one option is correct
    • Number of points vary
    • Provides more information about a student's knowledge, skills, and abilities 

Constructed Response (CR)

Brief open-response items, focus on particular skill or concept, address assessment targets and claims or greater complexity, require more analytical thinking and reasoning (DOK 1,2).
  • Take 1 to 5 minutes
  • worth from 2 to 4 points
  • Include a scoring rubric

Performance Task (PT) / Extended Constructed Response (ECR)

  • Three basic components: 1. Classroom activity (stimulus presentation), 2. Information processing, 3. Scorable product or performance
  • Extended activities that measure a student's ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards, application of mathematical concepts to complex real-world scenarios
  • Measure capacities such as depth of understand, research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with select-or constructed-response items
  • Some can be scored automatically; many will be hand-scored by professionally trained readers
  • involves significant interaction of students with stimulus materials and/or engagement in a problem solution and exhibition of the students' application of knowledge and skills - writing or spoken language
  • Administered in controlled classroom settings with time limitations established by grade and subject

SBAC Tests 

  • SBAC Field Tests General Information
    The field test is a trial Run of the assessment system that helps ensure the assessments are valid, reliable, and fair for all students. Runs March - June 2014.
  • Smarter Balanced Field Test for California Website
  •  Training Tests
    The purpose of the Training Tests is to provide students with an opportunity to quickly become familiar with the software and interface features of the SBAC tests. A Training Test is available for each grade bans 3-5, 6-8, and high school, and offer six to nine items per grade band in each content area (i.e., ELA/literacy and mathematics). Includes new item types and universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations.
    Does not include performance tasks, answers, or scoring guides.

  • Practice Tests
    Are available for grades three through eight and grade eleven. The Practice Tests provide a preview of the SBAC assessments, but do not reflect the full range of content that students may encounter on the actual assessments. Includes performance tasks, answers, and scoring guides.

  • Sample Items and Performance Tasks
    The samples on the Smarter Balanced Web site illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English-language arts/literacy and mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the Smarter Balanced assessments.
    • Mathematics Performance Tasks
    • English Language Arts/Literacy Performance Tasks
    • Classroom Activities with the Administration Guidelines and Scoring Guides
      The purpose is to give students expose to context before they complete a related Performance task, so that the information collected reflects student knowledge of the construct (math or English language arts), rather that the context (e.g., kayaking).
    • Calculators for student preview and practice


SBAC Career Readiness Frameworks - Deadline to submit comments is Friday, March 28, 2014


  Update on the National Center and State Collaborative Phase II Pilot Test and Alternate Assessment