Smarter - Balanced Assessments
In 2014-15 Oregon transitioned from the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to the Smarter Balanced Assessment for English language arts and Mathematics. This common assessment was administered in 17 states and is designed to measure student proficiency with the Common Core State Standards.
Table of Contents
- Practice Tests
- News Articles
- Development Timeline
- Test Structure and Administration
- Achievement Level Descriptors
- Sample Items
The Smarter-Balanced Practice Tests are available online and represent what is expected to be the full length and rigor of the operational Smarter-Balanced Assessments. Parents, students and teachers may all freely access these sample questions to become familiar with the structure and content of the assessments. No score is given at the completion of the practice test.
- EdWeek: Test Designers Seek Help of Students, One at a Time
- Coming Together to Raise Achievement - New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards (white paper)
The dark blue states on the map below represent members of the Smarter-Balanced consortium.
Test Structure and Administration
3rd grade through 8th grade and 11th grade.
12th Grade students are allowed to re-test.
The last 12 weeks of the school year.
|Opportunities||One opportunity per a year.|
|Composition and Delivery|
5 hours for English Language Arts
2.5 to 3 hours for Mathematics
Headphones (required for ELA Listening Component)
The Smarter-Balanced Consortium has released draft achievement level descriptors. These descriptors will describe a student's score and college-readiness.
These descriptors are similar to the OAKS descriptors of Does Not Yet Meet, Meets and Exceeds.
A great evaluation of these descriptors is available from Education Week here.
The below achievement levels are Smarter Balanced definitions, but the state of Oregon has NOT adopted this language regarding Achievement Levels. The state is currently using the numerical level only.
|Level||Descriptor||Description of Proficiency|
|Demonstrates thorough understandingof and ability to apply the knowledge and skills associated with college and career readiness|
|Demonstrates adequate understandingof and ability to apply the knowledge and skills associated with college and career readiness|
Demonstrates partial understandingof and ability to apply the knowledge and skills associated with college and career readiness
Partial Command means the student is below proficient for his or her grade level.
|Demonstrates minimal understandingof and ability to apply the knowledge and skills associated with college and career readiness|
The results of the 2013-14 field test were used in the standard setting process to determine the Smarter Balanced scale and the thresholds for each Achievement Level Descriptor. The tables below give information about that scale and those thresholds.
|English Language Arts/Literacy Scale Scores|
|Grade||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Reading Score of: 2515|
|Writing Score of: 2583|
|Mathematics Scale Scores|
|Grade||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Math Score of: 2543|
Smarter Balanced as released their Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines. Below is a quick summary of available supports, but this list is not comprehensive. Some of these supports may be available only under specific scenarios and/or tests. Click here for the Training Module, Running time: 35 minutes
|Chart for demonstration purposes. For specific uses of accommodations, please see the Oregon Accessibility Manual for current accommodations.||
Supports available within the testing software
Supports not provided directly by the testing software.
Available to all students based on student preference or selection
Mark for Review
Available for any student for wohm a need has been identified.
Translated Test Directions
Disabling Any Universal Tool
Available only for students when document in IEP or 504 plans
American Sign Language
Alternate Response Options
Print on Demand
Sample Test Items
The Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium has released sample test items through their website. The items can be located at the following links. Additional information around the development of the items, their relation to the common core, and accessibility for students can be found on the Smarter-Balanced website.
The practice and training tests can be accessed here.