Are the new online tests really different? Compare and find out!

e-Connections Post

Starting next month, SCUSD students will join thousands across California participating in a practice run of new online tests that will eventually replace the paper-and-pencil California Standards Tests (CSTs).

The new tests, called Smarter Balanced Assessments, allow students to demonstrate what they are learning through writing and by solving complex problems, which makes them different from the multiple-choice, bubble-in CSTs.

For example, consider this released test question from the fourth grade math CST:

  • Which decimal should replace the question mark to have the numbers in order from least to greatest?
  • 0.28
  • 0.32
  • 0.54
  • ?
  • 0.86 

Is the answer: A) 0.24 B) 0.45 C) 0.61 or D) 0.93

To compare this question to a Smarter Balanced Assessment math question, click here.

The Smarter Balanced Assessments are aligned to the new Common Core State Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do at every grade level.

Common Core Standards focus on skills in addition to content, and challenge students to think critically, solve problems, analyze text and create written arguments. The standards are generally more demanding and rigorous than the outgoing California Content Standards.

To take a full Smarter Balanced Practice Test, click here.

This year’s spring testing is a “test of the test” aimed at providing the state with information about which questions fairly and equitably allow students to demonstrate what they know. It also allows schools to learn 

SCUSD is committed to helping parents learn about both the new tests and the Common Core Standards through a series of workshops. Click here to see the schedule.