Smarter Balanced Assessments for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics

Go to: Video Testing Materials Practice Test Scoring Guides Test Administrator Tutorial for General Assessments Accessibility Resources Estimated Testing Times Reporting Test Security

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 Link to external site installed. Stable, high-speed Internet is required.

Visit the California Department of Education (CDE) California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System Link to external site web page for additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.


The Understanding the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment Link to external site 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.

Testing Materials

Computer-based Test Administration Materials

Additional Resources

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.

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:

Accessibility Resources

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 Link to external site at least 48 hours prior to testing. More information about accessibility resources can be found on the CAASPP Accessibility Resources web page.

Desmos Calculators

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.

Estimated Testing Times for Smarter Balanced Assessments

Refer to table 1 in the Testing Time and Recommended Order of Administration Link to external site 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) Link to external site. Student Score Reports (SSRs) will be produced and available for download in TOMS Link to external site and made available to parents and guardians through parent or student portals.

Typically, an LEA can access results in the CERS Link to external site and SSRs in TOMS Link to external site by June of the test administration year, after the CDE verifies and approves the data.

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 Link to external site prior to student testing.

Test Security

LEA CAASPP coordinators and site CAASPP coordinators have the ability to submit STAIRS cases in TOMS Link to external site as a means of reporting testing incidents. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide Link to external site and the Test Security web page for more information.

Last Reviewed: March 11, 2022