Assessment » SBAC




The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are comprehensive end of year assessments in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics and measure progress toward college and career readiness. The tests capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing—efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and timely turnaround of results.

Both the ELA and mathematics assessments are comprised of two parts:

(1) Computer adaptive test

(2) Performance task

All students in grades three through eight and grade eleven take these assessments, with the exception of those students who have an individualized education program that designates the use of an alternate assessment. The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are administered when at least 66 percent of instructional year has been completed.

Achievement Levels

Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) are commonly used in K–12 statewide assessments to explain the knowledge, skills, and processes that students display at predetermined levels of achievement (e.g., Basic, Proficient, and Advanced). These ALDs are often found on student-level score reports or on state aggregate reports so that stakeholders, such as parents and teachers, can understand the types of knowledge, skills, and processes that students have demonstrated on an assessment.

Achievement level setting (ALS), also known as standard setting, is the process for establishing one or more cut scores on an assessment, making it possible to create categories of performance. On Monday, November 17, 2014, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium announced that it voted to approve achievement levels for the Smarter Balanced Assessments for ELA and mathematics. 
To learn more about reading Achievement levels and Scale Scores, please visit the Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium website: 
Student Practice Test Training:
 Other Parent Resources:
California Department of Education (2018). Summative Assessments. Retrieved from