The Smarter Balanced Field Test will take place between March 18 and June 6, 2014. Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will be assessed via computer in English-language arts and mathematics. A small sample of grade nine and grade ten students will also participate in the Field Test.
Purpose and Benefits of the Field Test
A field test is not designed to be a valid and reliable measure of student achievement; rather, it is designed to help the test developers evaluate whether the tests, individual items, and the technology platform work as intended before the first operational administration.
— Deborah S. Delisle
U.S. Department of Education
Field testing is critical to ensure that assessment items are accessible to all students and produce results that are valid, reliable, and fair. The purpose of the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test (FT) is to test the performance of over 20,000 newly developed test items and evaluate the test delivery system. Items deemed suitable for use on the live (i.e., operational) tests, which begin in 2015, will be used to populate the test item bank. Also, the FT will help ensure that the Smarter Balanced assessment items are placed on an accurate scale to determine final achievement levels (i.e., cut scores) as well as their corresponding descriptors.
The spring 2014 Field Test will be fully computer-based. Participation in the Field Test will give students, teachers, administrators, and local educational agencies valuable exposure to the future assessment system:
- Students will gain hands-on experience with the functionality of innovative technology-enhanced items and newly designed performance tasks with related classroom activities.
- Teachers and administrators will gain valuable exposure to administration logistics to better prepare for smooth and successful participation in the operational assessments, which will begin in the 2014–15 school year.
- Local educational agencies will benefit from knowing where technology gaps may exist so they can fully prepare for the operational assessments.
Selection of Schools for the Field TestAssembly Bill 484, which was signed into law on October 2, 2013, requires all local educational agencies to participate in the spring 2014 Field Test.
Questions and Answers
Field Test Questions and Answers (Updated 27-Nov-2013)
Answers to questions about requirements and expectations of local educational agency participation in the spring 2014 Field Test.