Smart Resources for the Smarter Balanced Assessments
High-stakes testing is an important part of every student’s academic experience, and it takes well-prepared educators and confident parents to help students navigate assessment season. To assist you, we’ve compiled a variety of resources to support educators and families as they prepare for the Smarter Balanced assessments.
Smarter Balanced Testing Materials
Navigating through state education websites can be daunting due to the amount of information included. As a place to start, we’ve gathered key Smarter Balanced Assessment state-specific resources:
State Testing Resources
Provide your students with a practice test that is similar to the real thing. No login required.
Looking for a specific type of question? Use this link to filter through sample questions. Filters include grade level, subject, claim, item type, and browse by item ID.
The educator resource page provides any additional resources teachers may need, such as interim assessments and a digital library, to help students feel ready for the exam.
The supports for students and parents page provides additional resources for equity and accessibility, as well as information for parents to help them better understand student score reports.
Learn what the differences are between scaled scores and achievement levels, how they are determined, and what they mean for students.
Tips and Tricks for Smarter Balanced Assessments Success
Testing season looks different for every party involved. For teachers and administrators, testing procedures and academic understanding come first. For parents and students, trying to calm testing nerves might be priority number one. In any case, we’ve organized testing tips and tricks for the different groups who have testing on the brain.
For District Administrators
Read our article, 8 Last-Minute Steps Districts can Take to Improve Test Scores.
For Principals and Teachers
Read our article, 10 Classroom and School Tips to Improve Test Scores.
Supporting students through test season often means helping them manage the stress associated with this time of year. Dig into our 6 Tips for Teachers to Help Students Manage Stress.
Practice That Ensures Students Are Ready
There is something unique about testing of any kind that requires students to recall information they’ve previously learned, and apply it to answer the question at hand. If your students don’t have experience with this—whether it’s through low-stakes formative assessment or high-stakes summative tests—they may struggle on test day.
Fortunately, with sustained and regular practice, your students will grow familiar with retrieving information and similarly be able to show you what they know by way of assessment so that you can adjust instruction up until test day. Check out the following resources to get started:
The old adage “practice makes perfect” is a familiar turn of phrase for a reason. Ensure that you’re getting the most out of every minute your students are spending on practice testing.
As you are considering different options to ensure that your students have achieved standards proficiency, it’s critical that you have a program that’s aligned to the Common Core standards, including College- and Career-Ready Standards, Academic Standards and Performance Indicators (science), and Academic Standards (social studies). Consider this and other benefits of using an online program.
Study Island content is built from the Common Core standards assessed on the Smarter Balanced assessments. A recent study, validated by Marzano Research, confirms that when students spend just 30 minutes a week practicing in Study Island, they achieve significant academic gains. Check out the programs offered in your state.
High-stakes assessments can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned educators and students. To help save you time and energy as you put together a test-prep plan this year, we’ve compiled all our best resources here in one place. Create a foolproof plan this testing season to catch any blind spots and prepare students to successfully show what they know.