- Berryessa Union School District

Practice Tests & Sample Items
Practice tests simulate what it’s like to take the SBAC, giving educators, students, and parents an early look
at assessment questions that are aligned to the Common Core. Sample test items have also been
developed. These samples items do not simulate the test, but provide explanations and details about
assessment items for each grade level.
Simulated Exam Environments
Student Training Test & Practice Test | Link https://sbacpt.tds.airast.org/student/
Two options are available from this link. The first is a “Training Test.” It was added in Feb 2014 so students
could become familiar with the testing software and interface. The Training Tests are in grade bands and do
not include performance tasks. Universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations are included.
The second option is a “Practice Test.” This set of examples was initiated in June 2012 offering gradespecific testing experiences similar to the SBAC. One English-language arts and one math performance task
is included per grade level. Some, but not all, supports and accommodations are included.
Practice Test Scoring Guides | Link http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/resources/#scoring
ELA and mathematics grade level guides are offered for the June 2012 Practice Tests. Questions and scoring
criteria are offered are provided in PDF documents.
Common Core Assessment Simulator | Link http://ccas.sdcoe.net/
The San Diego County Office of Education provides this computer-based test simulator to supplement the
practice tests available from SBAC.
Using Practice Tests
BUSD encourages individuals and groups to examine the SBAC simulated exam environments. Districts
should look for opportunities to share with trustees, leadership teams, faculty groups, parents, school site
councils, and community stakeholder groups. Students should also be given opportunities to explore the
new assessment tasks. Some districts are creating road maps for integrating the Common Core and SBAC
assessments into five-year planning documents.
Suggestions for using the practice tests:
View test items for ideas on how to create similar items for use with students so they are comfortable
working online.
Take a practice test to experience the features of online testing and gain insight into how Smarter Balanced
will assess students’ mastery of the Common Core.
Get a student perspective by allowing students to experience a few questions and discuss the new format
and what was challenging.
Look at assessment items to help inform common formative assessments in a district/school.
Preparing for the Smarter Balanced Field Tests
Author: Rick Phelan
Published: 11/18/2013
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Field Tests will be
administered this Spring in all California public schools. Preparation is key to successful district
implementation. Districts should review areas of readiness and begin preparations as soon as possible. This
blog post reviews information as of November 18, and sets out areas for district planning. Updates to the
information were made on November 20, when new details were released by CDE.
Background on SBAC Field Tests
Signed into law on October 2, Assembly Bill 484 initiates a Field Test in Spring 2014 for students in grades
3-11. The tests will be administered between March 18 and June 6, 2014. Shorter windows within this
timeframe will be assigned to schools by California’s testing contractor, Education Testing Service (ETS).
Grade 3-11 students will participate in the Field Tests. According to a recent letter from State
Superintendent Tom Torlakson (pdf), “...ninety five percent of students will take a sampling of both ELA and
mathematics items plus one performance task for subject. The remaining five percent of students will take
either ELA or mathematics items plus one performance task for either subject.” In late November/early
December, the specific content area and testing window for each school will be assigned by ETS. No student,
school, or district scores will be produced from the tests. Results will not be factored into any state or
federal accountability calculations.
Field Test Outcomes
The Spring 2014 Field Test is a trial run of the system in preparation for 2014-15 assessments. The Smarter
Balanced Assessment Consortium will be evaluating test items and the Test Information Distribution Engine
(TIDE). Three important outcomes are anticipated from the Field Tests:
Students will have hands-on experience with a computer-based assessment
Teachers and administrators will be exposed to the test administration logistics
Districts will learn where technology gaps exist and what needs to be accomplished prior to 2014-15 testing
Preliminary Logistics
Time Allocation
The assessment will take students approximately 3.5 hours to complete. Schools that participated in the
2013 SBAC scientific pilot found that students had a hard time concentrating on items for extended periods.
For this reason, testing periods are frequently segmented into 30-45 minute blocks.
Test Proctors
The test proctors from last year’s SBAC scientific pilot were designated school staff who had been trained to
use the TIDE (Test Information Distribution Engine) system. Proctors were present in each testing room.
The tests could only be administered by individuals who were certified as test administrators. Eligible
individuals included:
State-certified educators – teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors
Paraprofessionals – must be closely supervised by an on-site, state-certified educator
Substitute teachers – if not credentialed in California, substitutes must be closely supervised by an on-site,
state-certified educator
Regardless of their role, all test administrators were required to complete test administration training and
review policy documents prior to any testing. Webinars and PDF documents were available to complete
these requirements. Information about training for the 2014 Field Tests is provided below.
Secure Test Web Browsers
On November 19, the secure browser becomes available at the SBAC Field Test Portal, along with the
Technical Specifications Manual and Secure Browser for Tablets User Guide.
Installing the Field Test secure browser – The Field Test secure browser must be downloaded on each
computer being used for testing. The browser can be installed individually or deployed to all computers
through a network. The secure browser prevents access to other online applications during testing and
ensures that test items cannot be copied.
Schools that have accessed other versions of a secure browser must download the current Field Test secure
browser. Other secure browsers will not work for the Field Test. (Note that other secure browsers do not
need to be uninstalled; more than one secure browser can be on a computer.)
Testing on tablets – Schools that plan to test students using iPad or Android tablets will need to download an
application (app) rather than the secure browser. The link to installation stores (Apple App Store and Google
Play Store) will be available from the SBAC Field Test Portal. Schools that have downloaded previous app
versions will need to update their existing application.
Training Modules
A variety of training modules, listed below, are being developed to support Field Test administration. Most
modules will be released by January 28, 2014 at theSmarter Balanced website. Sonoma County schools are
encouraged to promote awareness of these modules with the appropriate audience(s) when they become
What is a Field Test? | For students | Overview of Smarter Balanced and why students are participating in
the Field Test
What is a CAT? | For districts and teachers | Explains how Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) differs from
paper-and-pencil tests and shows how tests are customized for each student
Let’s Talk Tools | For students and teachers | Describes the types of tools that have been designed to help
students during the test administration
Technology Requirements for Online Testing | For technology coordinators | Outlines the hardware
requirements, software installation processes, and system configurations necessary
Performance Tasks | For teachers and administrators | Overview of what can be expected during the
administration of the Performance Tasks
TIDE User Roles | For district coordinators and administrators | Detailed information on how to upload
student information and manage users
Test Administrator Interface | For test coordinators and teachers | Information on the look, feel, and
navigation of the administrator interface
Student Interface | For students and district/school administrators | Navigating and interacting with the
screens that the students will see
Test Administrator Training | For test administrators | Information related to preparing for the test,
general test administration, and test security
Accessibility and Accommodations | For teachers and parents | Overview of various tools that are
provided to accommodate student testing needs
Calendar of Key Dates
November 19, 2013
Technical specifications manuals released to Field Test portal
Secure browser documentation released to Field Test portal
Launch of secure browser
January 14, 2014
TIDE User Guide released to Field Test portal
TIDE registration window launches
January 28, 2014
Training modules begin to be released to Field Test portal
January 29, 2014
Test Coordinator Manual released to Field Test portal
Test Administration Manual released to Field Test portal
Preparing for the 2014 Field Tests
The Field Test window for most Sonoma County schools is April 7–May 16, 2014. See your specific dates
(pdf). Grades 3-8, 11, and a small sample of students in grades 9 and 10 will participate. Grade 11 students
are encouraged, but not required, to take the exam. Tests are expected to take 3-4 hours, although they
are not timed.
PowerPoint from SBAC Update Sessions, Feb 3-4
Here are the Presentation Slides (pdf) from Rick Phelan’s update on the 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Tests.
District Plan for Field Test Preparation
This sample district plan outlines Field Test preparation activities on a Jan-May 2014 timeline. Tasks for
administrators, technology staff, teachers, and students are specified. View/download sample plan (pdf).
Field Test Proctors
Test proctors are designated school staff trained to use the administrative Test Information Distribution
Engine (TIDE) system. Tests can only be administered by individuals certified as test proctors. Eligible
individuals included state-certified educators, paraprofessionals closely supervised by a state-certified
educator, and substitute teachers. All test proctors must complete test administration training prior to any
testing. Online resource are available to complete these requirements.
SBAC Field Test: Scheduling Estimator
The Scheduling Estimator is an Excel spreadsheet that is designed to assist schools in planning the number
of test sessions required per student to complete the SBAC Field Tests in Spring 2014. Once the number of
sessions per student is determined, the estimator calculates the number of days needed to test all students
in the school based on the computer access areas available. Download the SBAC Field Test: Scheduling
Estimator (xls).
SBAC Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodation Guidelines
This is an important resource that will help districts plan for SBAC accommodations. It is
a spreadsheet with a listing of Universal Supports, Designated Supports, and Accommodations. Details
specific to SBAC descriptions and guidelines are presented when you “hover” over items.Download the SBAC
Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations form (xlsx).
Spring 2014 Testing Window Dates for California Schools
Education Testing Service is coordinating the Spring 2014 Field Test dates for all California public schools.
Education Testing Service’s website lists testing window dates for each public school in California by county.
See also Sonoma County test window dates (pdf), which provides test windows by school.
AB 484: Spring 2014 Field Tests
Assembly Bill 484 establishes California’s new statewide student assessment system. The bill includes
provisions for administering the Spring 2014 Field Test of the SBAC.
Field Test FAQ
Learn more about the Field Tests through the California Department of Education’s SBAC Field Test
Questions and Answers page.