Back in May, we covered the release of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's (SBAC) online practice tests. A lot of the feedback we received following our report noted that the tests were helpful, but they were missing a lot of integral features.
In an interesting turn, it seems the team at Smarter Balanced heard this same feedback pretty loud and clear. Over the past two months, the SBAC rolled out a series of additions and resources in efforts to better assist the educators who felt the practice tests offered an inadequate amount of background or supplemental information, resources, and guides.
New additions bolster Smarter Balanced practice tests
Below is a list of the features the SBAC now provides educators to better prepare for the new online Common Core assessments.
The new resources and documents can be found on Smarter Balanced's Resources and Documentation page, and include:
- additional instructions and performance tasks for "special populations" test-takers
- mathematics performance task breakdowns for grades 3-8
- ELA and Mathematics scoring guides for grades 3-8
- a Smarter Balanced Practice Test User Guide
- ELA Classroom Activities for grades 3, 5, and 6
Educators now have better resources to help prepare students
The new documents and aids go a long way in filling in the holes left by the original practice test release in May. The combination of foreknowledge provided by the new documents and the ability to practice the online functions and question types turns the practice tests into a formidible tool for educators in Smarter Balanced states.
If you're an educator or parent in a Smarter Balanced-adopting state and you haven't gotten a chance to play around with the practice tests, I highly recommend doing so at:
Also, to learn more about the Smarter Balanced online practice tests released in May, take a look at our previous blog post: