Consistent Feedback, Continuous Improvement

The Smarter Balanced assessment system provides educators with standards-aligned tools and resources to support their teaching and improve student learning.

Our assessment system consists of three major components:

Tools for Teachers by Smarter Balanced logo.

Instructional Supports

Our new website features teacher-created lessons and activities to enhance instruction, save time in lesson planning, and boost student learning.

Formative assessment resources and accessibility instructional strategies that are effective across different grades and content areas.

Links to sample questions, interim assessment items and additional tools to dive deeper into sample test questions.

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Interim Assessments

Optional tests administered throughout the year to help teachers monitor student progress and be able to choose the right assessment at the right time.

Provides educators with actionable data about student knowledge and abilities to help teachers target instruction to meet students’ individual learning needs.

Items include all the accessibility resources available in the summative assessment to help provide accurate results for students.

An icon of a student working on a computer.

Summative Assessments

Administered at end of the school year to determine students’ progress toward college and career readiness.

Computer-adaptive testing, performance tasks and a broad array of accessibility features allow students to better demonstrate what they know and can do.

Multiple reporting options enable educators to get the information they need, when they need it, and in their preferred format.

Learn more about the Smarter Balanced assessment system.

Photo of a student learning virtually. Her teacher can be seen on the computer screen holding a math problem. The student is holding her pencil over a worksheet and has her stuffed bunny sitting on the table next to her.

Universal Design for Learning

A core principle of the Smarter Balanced system is accessibility for students. Smarter Balanced tests are designed so that test takers—including students who are learning English or have special needs—can participate in the tests and demonstrate what they know and can do.

Photo of a student high fiving her teacher.

Fair and Accurate for All Test-Takers

Our end-of-year tests are supported by Computer Adaptive Technology and customized for each student, allowing them to demonstrate what they know and can do. To accomplish this, the computer-based test adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment based on the student’s response.

Photo of a teacher working with a student who is holding his pencil and working on a worksheet. The student is sitting at a table with other students.

Transparency Around How the Test is Made

Smarter Balanced is committed to an unprecedented level of transparency, so that anyone who is interested can see exactly how the test is made. Explore item and task specifications, test blueprints, guidelines and resources, and content specifications.