Today, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) released sets of example test questions for grades 3–8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. These Practice Tests will help schools prepare for the implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System coming in the 2014-15 school year.
The Practice Tests provide a preview of the types of questions that will be featured in the summative assessment beginning in 2014-15, including selected-response items, constructed-response items, technology-enhanced items, and performance tasks—extended activities that challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to real-world problems. The Practice Tests are freely available on the Smarter Balanced website. Before attempting a practice test, it is important to note that these practice tests will only function on supported browsers, depending on the operating system of your device. Most notably, these tests will not function using the Internet Explorer browser. A list of supported browsers and operating systems is given at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/. Please communicate this information to your teachers and students in your school communities as soon as you can to avoid unnecessary confusion and errors.
The compatible browsers for the Practice Test are given in the table below. You might consider making sure that usable computers have an appropriate browser installed on the system, and that teachers and students are aware that the Practice Tests will not function using the Internet Explorer Browser.
|Operating System||OS Version||Supported Browsers|
|Windows||XP (with Service Pack 3), Vista, 7, 8Windows Server 2003, 2008||SBAC Windows Secure Browser 6.0Firefox 3.6 and above|
|Mac||10.4.4 (all)10.5 (PowerPC)||SBAC Mac Secure Browser 5.5Firefox 3.6 Safari 5|
|10.5–10.8 (Intel)||SBAC Mac Secure Browser 6.0Firefox 3.6 and aboveSafari 5 (OS 10.5–10.7)Safari 6 (OS 10.7–10.8)|
|Linux||Fedora Core 6 (K12LTSP 4.2+)Ubuntu 9–12||SBAC Linux Secure Browser 6.0Firefox 3.6 and above|
|Android||4.0+Supported Devices:− Google Nexus 10− Motorola Xoom
− Motorola Xyboard
− Samsung Galaxy Note (10.1)
− Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)
|SBAC AIRSecureTest Browser for AndroidDefault Internet browser on tabletGoogle Chrome 18 and above|
|iPad||iOS 6.0+Supported Devices:− iPad 2, 3, Retina Display||SBAC AIRSecureTest Browser for iPadSafari 6 and above|
|Chromebooks||Version 18 or above||Google Chrome|
Also noteworthy is that these Practice Tests do not include all the features intended for the operational assessments. For example, students and teachers will not receive reports or scores from the Practice Tests. Although Smarter Balanced assessments will be computer adaptive, the Practice Tests follow a fixed-form model. By fall 2013, Smarter Balanced will make enhancements to the Practice Tests, including the addition of performance tasks in mathematics, new accommodations for students with disabilities, and scoring rubrics.
The release of the Practice Tests follows the Smarter Balanced Pilot Test, the first large-scale tryout of items and performance tasks. The Pilot Test allowed the Consortium to gather information about the performance of assessment items and the test delivery system under real-world conditions. More than 5,000 schools in 21 Smarter Balanced Governing States were recruited to participate in the Pilot Test from February 20 – May 24, 2013. Development of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System will continue after the release of the Practice Tests and through summer 2014 in collaboration with member states and educators.
For more information on the pilot or practice tests, contact Scott Mantie, Accountability and Assessment at Scott.Mantie at doe dot nh dot gov or 603-271-3844.
If you have any questions or would like any assistance, please contact your State Technology Readiness Coordinator, Stan Freeda (Stanley.Freeda at doe dot nh dot gov; 603-271-5132).