Have You Experienced the New Assessments—Take a Practice Test

    Finally, it’s no longer about filling in the bubbles. This spring, many of our students will take the new Smarter Balanced Assessments. These exams different and more challenging than previous exams like the WASL and MSP. Although our initial test scores will reflect this new level of difficulty, they also will give us a clearer picture of how our students are progressing along the path to college and career readiness.

    Smarter Balanced Assessments are aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. The tests not only provide a way for teachers to measure student progress towards the standards, but it gives teachers the data they need to make any necessary adjustments and interventions to ensure students are on the pathway to success. The exams are more interactive; students will write more, think critically, and defend their ideas.  Students can no longer skim and answer questions, as these new assessments demand careful reading before providing evidence to support their answer. 

    The new assessments emphasize how students apply the math and English they are learning to real world problems while relying less on memorization of facts. 
    Teachers, students, and parents can get an early look at Smarter Balanced Assessments by taking a practice test. The Smarter Balanced Practice Test allows you to experience a full grade-level assessment and gain insight into how Smarter Balanced will assess students’ mastery of the Common Core.  
    The practice tests mirror the year-end assessment. Each grade level assessment includes a variety of question types and difficulty (approximately 30 items each in English Language Arts and Math), as well as an ELA and math performance task for each grade level (3–8 and 11).

    Bethel is one many districts across the nation that is implementing new academic standards that provide more consistent guidelines at each grade level. These standards help prepare students for high school graduation, college, and the workplace. These new benchmarks challenge students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, critical thinking skills, and real world application. These new assessments will adapt to each student’s ability, giving teachers and parents better information and insight to help students succeed and graduate ready for college and career.

    Gain familiarity with the test software platform, take the Practice Test and visit the Smarter Balanced website to learn more: