Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
The Smarter Balanced assessment system has three components: the summative assessments, designed for accountability purposes; interim assessments, designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year; and Tools for Teachers, designed to support classroom-based formative assessment processes. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Graphic (PDF) displays the relationship between these components, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and college and career readiness.
Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60642.6, interim assessments are available to all local educational agencies. The interim assessments are specifically designed to provide meaningful information for gauging student progress throughout the year toward mastery of the skills measured by the summative assessments.
There are three types of interim assessments:
- Interim Comprehensive Assessment (ICAs) are built on the same blueprints as the summative assessments. The ICAs include the same item types and formats, including performance tasks, as the summative assessments, and yield results on the same vertical scale. The ICAs yield overall scale scores, overall performance level designations, and claim-level information.
2020–21 Interim Comprehensive Assessment Blueprints:
- Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs) focus on smaller sets of targets than ICAs. They are intended to provide educators the ability to check where students are at that moment in time, and use results to determine next steps for instruction.
2020–21 Interim Assessment Blocks Blueprints:
- Focused IABs assess no more than three assessment targets to provide educators with an even more detailed understanding of student learning.
2020–21 Focused Interim Assessment Blocks Blueprints:
For further information on the interim assessments, please refer to the related resources, online tools, and frequently asked questions below:
- Back to School Assessment Playbook (PDF; 20-Nov-2020) – This document describes how educators can use Smarter Balanced resources, such as Tools for Teachers and interim assessments, to support high-quality instruction using the formative assessment process.
- Tools for Teachers Interim Connections Playlists Flyer (PDF; 20-Nov-2020) – This flyer describes the Tools for Teachers Interim Connections Playlists of instructional resources that can be used to support teaching and learning with the use of Interim Assessment Blocks.
- Interim Assessment Video Series – This series consists of five video modules intended to help educators effectively use the interim assessment systems and tools that are needed to select, administer, hand score, view and use results from the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments.
- Interim Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Smarter Balanced Training Tests, Practice Tests, and Interim Assessments At-a-Glance (PDF)
- 2020–21 Interim Assessments At-a-Glance (PDF) – This document lists, by grade level, all available interim assessments.
- 2020–21 Interim Assessments by Grade (PDF) – This document provides a list of all interim assessments available by grade, including the claims and targets, total number of items, and the number of items that are hand scored. This information is intended to assist local educational agencies in planning for the administration and local hand scoring of the interim assessments.
- 2021–22 Interim Assessment Overview (PDF) – This document describes the interim assessments, including their purpose, use, and varieties. For each grade and subject, this document provides a list of interim assessments available for the 2021–22 school year.
- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Interim Assessments – This is a link to the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments web page.
- Smarter Content Explorer – This user-friendly web tool combines the information provided in the Smarter Balanced Content and Item Specifications—key resources used in test and item development—into an easy-to-use search interface. This tool can help teachers better understand how test questions are designed to provide evidence of what students know and can do. View the Smarter Balanced Content Explorer video for more information.
- Sample Items Website – Explore sample test questions to understand how Smarter Balanced measures college and career ready content.
- The California Educator Reporting System (CERS) Sandbox –The California Educator Reporting System Sandbox is a non-secure training and demonstration environment that uses fictitious computer-generated data.
- The Smarter Annotated Response Tool (PDF; 20-Nov-2020) –The Smarter Annotated Response Tool helps educators understand how student writing is scored on the Smarter Balanced assessments and supports writing instruction in the classroom.
- Tools for Teachers (Account required for full access) – The formative assessment component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system. This website features educator created lessons, activities, strategies and professional development, with a focus on using the formative assessment process during instruction in the classroom. There are two resources available to anyone on the landing page, but full access to this website requires an account. LEA staff members may get a Tools for Teachers account either through self-registration or through their LEA CAASPP coordinator. View the Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers video for more information