Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress—Test Administration


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Can test administrators and examiners review test questions while students are completing the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments?

For test administrators, the answer is no; only students should be viewing the test items. Staff who would like to become familiar with the types of items to be administered may review the Online Practice and Training Tests Site.

For test examiners, the answer is yes; because the California Alternate Assessments are administered one on one, the test examiner will see the test questions.

Note that items on the CAASPP assessments are secure test materials.

A student begins testing in local educational agency (LEA)/School A and then moves to LEA/School B before completing the test. Can the test be moved to LEA/School B for the student to complete?

Yes; if a student starts a test event in one LEA/school and then moves to a different LEA/school, the test delivery system will retain that test for that student.

For example, if the student starts the computer adaptive testing section of the test, answers some questions, and then moves to a different LEA/school in the state, the student can begin, at the new school, where he or she left off on that section. The same situation applies for the performance task (PT)—once the student logs in and starts the test, the student can finish the test at the new LEA/school taking the same PT that was started.

Note, however, that updates to the student’s information in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) may take between 24 and 48 business hours to process in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS), and another 24 business hours to process between TOMS and the test delivery system.

Can more than one grade level test in the same room?
While it is recommended that students be tested with their grade-level cohorts, students in different grade levels can test in the same room in a single test session. The test administrator must remember to select each grade and test within the Test Administrator Interface that he or she intends to administer during that session.
What are the recommendations to distribute logon information to students? Can proctors log on to the test delivery system on students’ behalf?
Test administrators may distribute slips of paper containing a student’s Statewide Student Identifier and first and last names for logon purposes. Any such materials must be kept secure at all times. Proctors may assist students with the logon process but should not log on to the test delivery system on behalf of students.
Can test administrators help students use the test tools during testing?
No; the directions for administration in the Directions for Administration for the Smarter Balanced Online Summative Assessments (PDF), available on the Instructions and Manuals Web page, specify the guidance test administrators can and cannot provide to students during testing. However, students do have the ability to view tutorials that are embedded in the test delivery system at any time during testing.
Can students return to items that were flagged for review even after the segment is complete?
No; once a student completes a test segment, he or she cannot return to the items within that segment.
What data in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) are necessary for students to test?

The minimum data that need to be correct in CALPADS for a student to start testing are as follows:

  • Name
  • Grade
  • School and LEA information
  • CALPADS enrollment status of 10 or 30
  • U.S. school entry data (if the student is an English learner)
  • Parent/Guardian address (if the LEA wants the address printed on the Student Score Reports)
  • Fields 3.13 (education program) and 3.21 (primary disability) (if the student is to take the California Alternate Assessments or receive designated supports, accommodations, and/or unlisted resources)
  • All other demographic fields (if the LEA wants to view these fields in the final student data file that is downloadable from the Test Operations Management System [TOMS])

CALPADS documentation, including field names and field codes, and information about CALPADS support are available on the California Department of Education California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Web page.

Given that the mathematics components of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment for Mathematics seem to involve quite a bit of language, can English learners (ELs) also be exempt from taking mathematics?
All students must take the mathematics assessments. However, stacked translations in Spanish are available as an embedded designated support.
Can exempt ELs take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) components if they wish to?
Yes, an exempt EL may take the ELA assessment upon request by the student’s parent/guardian.
Do LEAs have to upload student information to receive Pre-ID labels for paper-pencil tests or will the information be taken from CALPADS?

CALPADS is the authoritative source for student enrollment, demographic, and program information for the student test assignment system known as TOMS. The student-level data from CALPADS will be used for the Smarter Balanced assessments (summative and interim), California Alternate Assessments, California Science Tests, and the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) paper-pencil assessments. The use of CALPADS data for these assessments underscores the importance of keeping CALPADS up to date and accurate.

CALPADS documentation, including field names and field codes, and information about CALPADS support are available on the California Department of Education California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Web page.

Can the Pre-ID information be printed directly on the answer documents and answer booklets rather than on labels?
No; Pre-ID labels are used to allow LEAs the maximum amount of time to enter and update student information in CALPADS.
Are there translated test directions for the Smarter Balanced ELA assessment?
Yes. Translated test directions will be provided as PDFs by Smarter Balanced for both ELA and mathematics in the following languages: Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Tagalog, Ilokano, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Russian, Dakota, French, Haitian-Creole, Hmong, Lakota, Japanese, Somali, and Yup’ik. These can be requested by an LEA CAASPP coordinator who contacts the California Technical Assistance Center.
How long does the test administrator have between approving the students to test and having the students start the actual test?
As a security measure, test administrators are automatically logged off of the Test Administrator Interface after 30 minutes of test administrator user inactivity and student inactivity in the test session, which will result in closing the test session. If this occurs, the test administrator will have to create a new session and the students will have to log on to the new session to resume testing. When starting a new session, the test administrators should give the students the new Session ID so they can log on and resume testing.