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Common Core Assessments

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

On June 9th California joined the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) as a governing state. The SBAC is a national consortium of 28 states that have been working collaboratively to develop a student assessment system aligned to a common core of academic content standards. Of those, California is one of 21 governing states, which allows decision-making participation. The remaining seven are advisory states. The SBAC focus is on assessing students annually in grades three through eight in English language arts and mathematics and once in grades ten through twelve under current federal requirements.

Quality Performance Assessment has created four Common Core performance assessments tasks for English language arts.

Updated item specifications documents available – The item specifications provide item writers with guidance on how to translate the Common Core State Standards into items and tasks that will be contained within the SBAC assessment. There are both item tables and sample items available. These documents represent the best current thinking on item alignment; however, SBAC expects them to be updated as ongoing item and test developments occur. The updated item specifications materials are available on the SBAC website.

Below are direct links to the general ELA/literacy and mathematics item/task specifications as PDF documents.

Sample Items and Performance Tasks

The sample items and performance tasks are intended to help teachers, administrators, and policymakers implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and preparing for next-generation assessments. They provide an early look into the depth of understanding of the CCSS that will be measured by the Smarter Balanced assessment system. While the items and tasks are not intended to be used as sample tests, educators can use them to begin planning the shifts in instruction that will be required to help students meet the demands of the new assessments.

S.B.A.C. Practice Tests

S.B.A.C. Common Core Based Practice Tests


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Common Core Lexicon

SBAC - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

SR - Selected Response

CR - Constructed Response

PT - Performance Task

TE - Technology Enhanced