​Smarter Balanced Assessment

For the second year, Washington state students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English language arts and math. 

10 things to know about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Spring 2016

1. Students in grades 3-8 and 10-11 will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math and English language arts. Grades 5 and 8 will take the science portion of the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) because the Smarter Balanced Assessment does not yet include science. ​


2. Smarter Balanced Assessments will take place several days from April 18 to June 10. Check with your school for your child’s specific test dates. 


3. Smarter Balanced Assessments are untimed and taken online at a computer during the school day. Students may take multiple days to complete each section of the test. 


4. The questions on the Smarter Balanced Assessment are based on the Washi​ngton state learning standards​ that your child has been working on all year long.


5. Smarter Balanced Assessments are computer adaptive, meaning test ques​tions will automatically adjust—harder or easier—to each student’s skill level based on previous answers.


6. At all grade levels, Smarter Balanced emphasizes careful reading with evidence-based responses, applying math concepts to real-life situations and extended writing tasks

7. You can help your child prepare for the Smarter Balanced Assessment by exploring the practice tests​. Practice tests for each grade level and content area are available online​.  
​One way teachers and parents measure college and career readiness is through assessments.


8. Tacoma Public Schools will mail individual student score reports to each student’s home this fall. ​Remember, the score on the Smarter Balanced Assessment is just one indicator—among several—of a student meeting grade level standards within the subject matter.


9. The Smarter Balanced Assessment aligns with college and career readiness standards. Nearly 200 colleges (seven in Washington state) use Smarter Balanced Assessment scores to determine readiness for college courses.


10. Students in 11th grade who take the Smarter Balanced Assessment and go on to college have the ability to bypass the college course placement exam and possibly start at 100-level, credit-bearing courses with no need to take remedial courses in college. This saves money! 



​Top 3 reasons to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment

1. Know now if you are ready for college or work​
If you score a Level 3 or 4 on Smarter Balanced, you’re on track to be ready for college or career, and can qualify for credit-bearing courses in college and avoid the cost and time of remedial, or high-school level, courses.
​Did you know? By 2017, it's estimated our state will have 50,000 unfilled jobs for highly-skilled workers.​
2. Know if you need extra help or can take advanced classes
The Smarter Balanced Assessment provides a key measure of how you’re doing on your way to college or a career. It also lets teachers and families know how to support you to reach your goals. 

3. Taking the tests helps teachers, students and schools
Smarter Balanced provides educators, schools and families better information on how you and your school stack up against others in the state, nation and world, how your are improving and where you might need extra help.