Test Administrator Tutorial
New Video: The How to Administer a Test from Start to Finish video is a new and requested addition to the Test Administrator Tutorial.
The content in the Test Administrator Tutorial will prepare test administrators to administer the following CAASPP assessments:
- Smarter Balanced for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics
- California Science Test (CAST)
- California Spanish Assessment (CSA)
New Test Administrator
Test administrators brand new to administering the Smarter Balanced for ELA or mathematics, CAST, or CSA should complete the entirety of this optional course, starting with the Overview of the CAASPP section.
Experienced Test Administrator
Test administrators who have administered the Smarter Balanced for ELA or mathematics, CAST, or CSA in previous years should watch the new videos within the During Administration of the CAASPP section.
Tutorial in Moodle Option
This Test Administrator Tutorial in the Moodle Training Site (Moodle) provides a streamlined user experience with Checks for Understanding questions, provides test administrators with a certificate of completion, and allows local educational agency (LEA) CAASPP coordinators the ability to track completion. This web page contains the same content as the Test Administrator Tutorial in Moodle, minus the Checks for Understanding questions, for those LEAs choosing to train in groups.
Overview of the CAASPP
This section provides an overview of each of the assessments part of the CAASPP that test administrators would be responsible for administering. The California Assessment Timeline Flyer and the following video provides a quick overview of assessments in California. Test administrators should watch only the videos relevant to the test they will be administering.
Overview of the CAASPP video:
Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and Mathematics
Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will take the summative tests for both ELA and mathematics.
Understanding the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment video:
This video explores the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment. The summative assessment, the interim assessment, and formative assessment instructional supports are designed to work together to support high-quality teaching, improve learning for all students, and prepare students for life after high school. In this video, you will learn about the 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.
Students in grades five and eight and in high school will take the CAST, with approximately two hours of total testing time for each student. The CAST is administered once to each student while that student is in high school. All students must take the CAST by the end of grade twelve, but have the option of testing in grade ten or grade eleven.
CAST and the Next Generation Science Standards video:
This video discusses the California Next Generation Science Standards and how they are built into the CAST. The video has information about the structure of the CAST and the types of questions students can expect to see on the assessment.
The CSA, presented in Spanish, is available to serve the more than 1.2 million students who speak Spanish as their primary language, as well as those who are learning Spanish as an additional language. The CSA measures a student's competency in Spanish reading/language arts, provides student-level data in Spanish competency, and evaluates the implementation of Spanish reading/language arts programs at the local level. Currently, the CSA does not meet the requirements identified in California Education Code, Section 51460(a) of the State Seal of Biliteracy.
The What is the CSA? video explains what the CSA is and its benefits:
There is also a version in Spanish:
Preparing for the CAASPP
Practice and Training Tests
The practice and training tests offer an opportunity to practice with the test delivery system, accessibility resources, and sample items. It is recommended that all students and test administrators practice with the test delivery system and accessibility resources prior to testing day. Navigate to the Online Practice and Training Tests web page to access the following:
- The Test Administrator Interface for practice and training tests
- Test administrators can practice starting a test session and have students log on to a practice test session using their Statewide Student Identifiers (SSIDs).
- Resources, including scoring guides, rubrics, and Directions for Administration, for the online practice tests
- Practice and training tests are not recorded, scored, or reported.
- However, scoring guides are available for practice tests if teachers, students, or parents/guardians want to record the answers and score them manually.
- The Student Testing Interface for practice and training tests
- Teachers, students, and parents/guardians can use the guest profile to access practice or training tests, without the need to enter an SSID.
- Students can log on using their SSIDs and the test administrator's session ID.
The Using the Online Practice and Training Tests video tutorial explains how to use online practice and training tests. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to access and administer the online practice and training tests to prepare students to participate in online assessments.
How to Start a Practice or Training Test
Practice tests expose students, teachers, and parents/guardians to the test and provide them with a grade level–specific experience similar in structure and format to the summative assessments. Practice tests are not automatically scored, but scoring guides are available for anyone to use. Understanding the scoring of items is helpful in preparing students for testing. Practice tests are also a great way to plan for and practice the use of accessibility resources for students.
Training tests are designed by grade band to expose students, teachers, and parents/guardians to different items that could be seen on the test. They can provide students an opportunity to become familiar with the software and interface features. They are short and can be used by individual students or as part of a class presentation or activity. Like the practice tests, training tests do not display student answers and do not provide scores.
The next section will provide information on interim assessments. Keep in mind, interim assessments will require the use a secure browser in which the student will need to log on with the student's first name, SSID, and session ID. The Smarter Balanced Training Tests, Practice Tests, and Interim Assessments At-a-Glance web document outlines attributes and functions of these tests.
Another resource for exploring test questions or items is the Starting Smarter website. This resource displays individual sample items in a user-friendly format.
Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
The Smarter Balanced assessment system has three components: the summative assessments, designed for accountability purposes; interim assessments, designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year; and Tools for Teachers, designed to support classroom-based formative assessment processes. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Graphic displays the relationship between these components, the Common Core State Standards, and college and career readiness. The Interim Assessment Fact Sheet provides more information about interim assessments.
Additional Optional Resource:
The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Video Series consists of five narrated presentation modules and five system demonstration videos. Each video is 3 to 10 minutes in length. This video series complements the Interim Assessment User Guide , which contains more detail for educators using the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments.
Overview of Accessibility Resources
The CAASPP System provides a full range of assessment resources for all students, including those who are English learners and students with disabilities. These resources ensure that the assessments meet the needs of all students. Teachers are encouraged to review these resources early in the school year and provide opportunities for students to experience these resources throughout the year in classroom instruction and assessment.
Some resources are embedded into the technology platform for the computer-administered CAASPP tests. Other resources are considered non-embedded since they are provided by the LEA. The following list defines the four different categories of student accessibility resources:
- Universal tools are available to all students on the basis of student preference and selection.
- Designated supports are available to all students when determined for use by an educator or team of educators (with parent/guardian and student input, as appropriate) or specified in the student's individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan.
- Accommodations must be permitted on CAASPP tests to all eligible students if specified in the student's IEP or Section 504 plan.
- Unlisted resources are non-embedded and shall be made available if specified in the eligible student's IEP or Section 504 plan and only on approval by the California Department of Education.
Overview of Accessibility Resources video:
The California Student Assessment Accessibility one-page web documents are helpful to reference when determining what resources are allowed for each test.
Accessibility Resources Videos and Training
The Accessibility Resources Demonstration videos provide demonstrations of embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations allowed as part of the CAASPP and ELPAC. Test administrators should view the videos with students to learn more about the available accessibility resources. The following is a playlist of videos available as additional and optional resources to watch.
Virtual Training Series for Educators (Optional Resource)
The Matching Accessibility Resources to Students' Needs virtual training provided participants with an understanding of the importance of accessibility resources, the categories of accessibility resources, and the process for matching students with the appropriate accessibility resources for daily instruction and for assessments. Participants learned how to categorize accessibility resources into Universal Design for Learning (UDL) categories. UDL provides a research-based framework for teachers to incorporate flexible materials, techniques, and strategies for delivering instruction, and for students to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways.
The Using Accessibility Resources in Daily Instruction virtual training is a follow-up training that went into depth of how to observe students using assigned accessibility resources and how to make adjustments throughout the year based on these observations.
Visit the CAASPP Accessibility Resources Virtual Training Series web page for all the videos and resources.
Before Administration of the CAASPP
Estimated Testing Times
Estimated Testing Times video:
Scheduling Time for Testing
Estimated testing times do not account for any time needed to start devices, load secure browsers, and log students on; nor do they account for breaks. Test administrators and test examiners should work with CAASPP test site coordinators to determine precise testing schedules. Test administrators should review only the following sections relevant to the test they will be administering.
Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and Mathematics
Table 1 contains rough estimates of the time it will take most students to complete the Smarter Balanced assessments based on the time it took students to complete the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in prior years. This information is for scheduling purposes only, as the assessments are not timed.
NOTE: Estimated testing times for the computer adaptive test (CAT) portion of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments have been adjusted to accommodate for the use of the Smarter Balanced adjusted forms. Performance task (PT) testing times are unchanged.
|Grade-Level Assessment||CAT Items in hrs:mins||PT in hrs:mins||Total in hrs:mins|
|ELA and Mathematics 3–5||1:30||3:00||4:30|
|ELA and Mathematics 6–8||1:45||3:00||4:45|
|ELA and Mathematics 11||2:00||3:30||5:30|
When developing a testing schedule, use the estimated testing times to calculate the number of days and the amount of time it will take to complete an assessment in each content area and grade level. Also consider that Smarter Balanced recommends that students take the CAT and PT items on separate days to minimize student fatigue.
Administration of the CAST is estimated to take approximately two hours. Note that the CAST is an untimed test. The CAST is composed of five blocks of test questions: two or three blocks of discrete (stand-alone) questions followed by three or two PTs where each PT is a block. It is strongly recommended that a PT be started and completed in a single test session, with a break after either the second or third block of test questions.
Administration of the CSA is estimated to take approximately two hours. Note that the CSA is an untimed test and students should be given as much time as they need to complete this assessment.
Test Security Procedures
Users need to access Test Operations Management System (TOMS) at least once to complete the Test Security Affidavit. Users accessing the Test Administrator Interface without completing the Test Security Affidavit in TOMS will not be able to view or administer the summative assessments in the Test Administrator Interface.
Please watch the Test Security Guidelines video to learn more about guidelines and procedures. Topics include the following:
- Testing regulations requirements
- Test security guidelines
- Incidents and Appeals
- Common testing scenarios
Test Security Guidelines video:
Remote Testing (Optional Resources)
During Administration of the CAASPP
New Video! How to Administer a Test from Start to Finish
Please watch the following video to view a live demonstration of a test administrator administering a CAASPP test to a classroom of students. This video shows the beginning, middle, and end of a test session with various student scenarios and helpful tips.
Setting Up a Test Session in Test Administrator Interface
Please watch the Starting and Stopping an In-Person Test Session video to understand how to open the Test Administrator Interface, start a test session, and stop a test session.
Please watch the Smarter Balanced and CAST Pause Rules and Stopping a Test Session video to understand how to monitor a test session.
- How to Start a Test Session
- Smarter Balanced Summative and CAST scripts
- CSA scripts
- Pause Rules Guide
- Expiration Rules Guide
Test Administration Procedures
The Test Administration Procedures video provides test administrators with necessary information to administer the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics, the CAST, and the CSA.
The scripts test administrators must follow are available in the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual . The manual has an overview of how to begin an assessment, followed by SAY statements containing the administration scripts. Following the appropriate script is required when administering the CAASPP.