Smarter Balanced Assessments for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics
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Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will receive adjusted blueprint summative tests for both English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, with approximately five to six hours of total testing time for each student. Every device used for testing must have the secure browser installed. Stable, high-speed Internet is required.
Visit the California Department of Education (CDE) California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System web page for additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.
The Understanding the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment video describes the Smarter Balanced summative assessment, two parts of the summative assessment, why it is a valuable component of every student's educational journey, and what supports are available to make it accessible for test-takers.
Computer-based Test Administration Materials
- CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual
- Smarter Balanced Summative and CAST scripts —web-based manual chapter
- Smarter Balanced Summative and CAST scripts —stand-alone document
- CAASPP Remote Testing Information
- Smarter Balanced Test Blueprints
- Available Resources for Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics
Paper–Pencil Test Administration Directions for Administration (DFAs)
Requests for Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics paper–pencil tests are reviewed and approved by the CDE.
- Directions for Administration (DFAs) of Paper–Pencil Summative Assessments
- CAASPP Paper–Pencil Testing Test Administration Manual
- CAASPP Smarter Balanced Materials Return Instructions (Posted 02/01/21)
- DEI Instructions for CAASPP Paper–Pencil Testing
Testing Notification Templates
Parent/Guardian notification templates that can be used to notify parents and guardians of the year's statewide assessments are available on the Parent/Guardian Notification web page.
Practice Test Scoring Guides
The Smarter Balanced practice and training tests include all accessibility resources found in the operational assessments. Refer to the Online Practice Test Scoring Guides, Preparing for Administration (PFAs), and Directions for Administration (DFAs) web page for additional information.
Test Administrator Tutorial for General Assessments
The Test Administrator Tutorial is designed to prepare test administrators to administer the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics, the California Science Test, and the California Spanish Assessment. This tutorial is optional and may be used in addition to the LEA's local training.
The tutorial is available on the CAASPP Test Administrator Tutorial web page on the CAASPP website, so no logon information is required. This public offering does not allow for tracking of course completion. LEA CAASPP coordinators can use the Test Administration Tutorial course on the Moodle Training Site if they want to track staff completion of the course. Moodle will provide participants with an online Certificate of Completion after a participant answers the Checks for Understanding questions correctly.
The following resources are available for LEA CAASPP coordinators and site CAASPP coordinators:
- CAASPP Test Administrator Tutorial Moodle Template Letter (Posted 01/11/23)
- Moodle Access At-A-Glance (Posted 01/18/22)
Once it has been determined that a student should receive an embedded or non-embedded designated support or accommodation, an LEA CAASPP coordinator or site CAASPP coordinator should assign the student's accessibility resource(s) in TOMS at least 48 hours prior to testing. More information about accessibility resources can be found on the CAASPP Accessibility Resources web page.
Certain sections of the Smarter Balanced for Mathematics for grades six through eight and grade eleven are divided into two sections: Calculator Available and Calculator Not Available.
The Desmos calculator is free and available all year for the student to build familiarity with this resource. A student using Job Access With Speech (JAWS®) can use the Desmos calculator.
- Grades three through five: No calculator used for on-screen Smarter Balanced assessment
- Grade six: Four-function Calculator
- Grades seven and eight: Scientific Calculator
- High school/grade eleven: Graphing Calculator
Estimated Testing Times for Smarter Balanced Assessments
Refer to table 1 in the Testing Time and Recommended Order of Administration subtopic for rough estimates of the time most students will take to complete the Smarter Balanced online assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. This information is for scheduling purposes only, as the assessments are not timed.
Once a student completes a Smarter Balanced summative test, the student's score will be available in the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) . Student Score Reports (SSRs) will be produced and available for download in TOMS and made available to parents and guardians through parent or student portals.
Each student receives an SSR in English and one in the student's primary language if that language is Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Filipino, Korean, or Cantonese (traditional Chinese). To view a sample SSR in each language, visit the CAASPP Sample Student Score Reports (SSRs) web page. If the student needs an SSR in one of the provided languages and that language is not the student's primary language, the LEA should change the language of the SSR in TOMS prior to student testing.
LEA CAASPP coordinators and site CAASPP coordinators have the ability to submit STAIRS cases in TOMS as a means of reporting testing incidents. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide and the Test Security web page for more information.
Last Reviewed: March 11, 2022