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.
The sample items and tasks can be viewed by grade band (grades 3-5, 6-8, and high school) or content focus. They showcase the variety of item types—including technology-enhanced items and performance tasks—that will be included in the Smarter Balanced assessment system. In addition, items illustrating the connections across grades within the CCSS—as well as the range of student achievement within a computer adaptive test—are also available. Most constructed-response and technology-enhanced items can be scored automatically, and many items include downloadable scoring rubrics.
It is important to note that these samples represent only a small fraction of the more than 10,000 items and tasks currently in development to support the Pilot Test in early 2013. In addition, the samples are displayed using a simulated test platform that does not include accessibility tools and accommodation options that will be available when the assessments are administered to students—such as Braille, translation options, highlighter tools, and the ability to change font size or magnify portions of items.
In the coming months, additional items and performance tasks will be made available. Smarter Balanced welcomes feedback and questions on the sample items and tasks. Comments can be submitted through an online form.