A Student-Centered, Accessible System

The Smarter Balanced assessment system provides accurate measures of achievement and growth while challenging students to think critically and solve real-world problems. A core principle of the Smarter Balanced system is equity and accessibility for students

Illustration drawing of student wearing headphones.

Accessibility Supports for Students

Smarter Balanced tests are designed so that students—including students who are learning English or have special needs—can participate in the tests meaningfully. Our end-of-year tests include accessibility resources that reduce visual, auditory, cognitive, and physical access barriers—allowing test takers to demonstrate what they know and can do

Illustration drawing of parent and teacher sitting at a table talking about the Smarter Balanced Parent Guide.

Supports for Families

Starting Smarter provides families in member states with information to help them better understand student score reports. With a complete picture of their child's learning, knowledge and skills, parents are starting smarter conversations with teachers about what they can do to support learning at home.

Not in a Smarter Balanced member state? Check out these public resources to support your child’s learning:

  • Be a learning hero!
    Visit the Learning Heroes website to find resources and tools to help your child thrive in school.
  • Parent-Teacher Planning Tool
    Use this tool to have a meaningful conversation about your child’s test results and to co-create a learning plan with the teacher.

Explore More Smarter Balanced Resources

Illustration drawing of a student working at a computer.

Practice Tests

Available for grades 3-8 and high school, utilizing the same testing software across all grade levels. Try out an English language arts/literacy or math test to learn how the test works, what’s expected of students, and what kind of questions are included on them.

Screenshot of the Sample Item website homepage.

Sample Items Website

Offers a preview of sample test questions similar to the ones used on Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts/literacy and math. Families can explore features and individual test questions

Image of the Scientific Calculator for Grades 7-8. The Scientific Calculator includes standard four function calculations, graphing calculator, matrix calculator, and geometry tools.

Calculators Powered by Desmos

Features calculators that are both free to students and include cutting edge accessibility features. Students who are visually impaired or blind have the same opportunities as their peers to use online calculators.