Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress—About the Smarter Balanced Online Summative Assessments


Click on or select a question to see its answer, or check the “Show all answers” box to see all answers.

Which grade levels participate in the Smarter Balanced assessments?
Students in grades 3–8 and 11 participate in the Smarter Balanced assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
What are the components of the Smarter Balanced assessments?
The Smarter Balanced assessments comprise two components: the computer adaptive test and the performance tasks.
What is the difference between a test segment and a test session?
A test segment is an allocated preset group of items. A test session is a unit of time scheduled for a group of students to be in a room for testing. One test Session ID corresponds to each test session.
What are the performance tasks (PTs)?
The Smarter Balanced assessments comprise two components: a performance task (PT) and computer adaptive testing items. A PT is a portion of the Smarter Balanced assessment that requires students to answer a set of questions that are centered on a common theme or problem.
Can a private school purchase the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments?
No. California has paid for membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, so public schools can access all Smarter Balanced assessments.
How many questions are in each segment of an online assessment?
The number of test questions within a segment varies by content area, grade, and test type (computer adaptive test or performance task). For interim assessments, an online guide external icon is available that details the number of questions in each content area and grade.