State Testing

Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)

The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) is a system of assessments aligned to the new Washington state standards in English language arts / literacy (ELA / literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school. The SBA replaces the Measurements of Student Progress in math, reading, and writing.


Test Format

There are three main components to the SBA: a computer adaptive test, a classroom activity, and a performance task.

  1. Computer Adaptive Test: Adaptive tests taken on a computer adjust to a student’s ability by basing the difficulty of future questions on previous answers. An adaptive test gives a more precise estimate of a student’s ability than a paper / pencil test. This type of test gives an accurate measure of a student’s current performance on the new Washington state standards and is a reasonable testing experience for students.
  2. Classroom Activity: A group lesson is taught to the whole class, usually taking 20-30 minutes. The purpose of this lesson is to provide context and to familiarize students with the topic of the upcoming Performance Task.
  3. Performance Task: A Performance Task challenges students to apply their knowledge and skills in response to a real-world problem. The task is a collection of questions and activities that connect to a single theme. This task is designed to measure a student’s depth of understanding, ability to answer difficult questions, and the ability to use and cite research in support of an idea. These tasks are scored by hand at the state level.

The test is online and not timed. Students will be given appropriate time to answer all questions.


Practice Tests

Parents and students have access to sets of questions aligned to the new Washington state standards. Each practice pest has about 30 questions as well as an answer key. You will find the practice tests at the following link:


Score Reports

Students receive a score (a number between 2000 and 3000) and an achievement level (1, 2, 3, or 4). A score is based on the student’s performance on the test. This score is then converted to an achievement level based on grade level expectations. Students who get an achievement level of 3 or 4 are considered on target to be college- and career-ready by the end of 12th grade. Sample score reports are available. 


More information is available on the district web site: