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Smarter Balanced Common Core Assessments (Public School)

Gone are the STAR/CSTs, in with the Smarter Balanced end-of-year Summative Assessments! Common Core has radically revamped a good portion of the nation?s curriculum, and LAUSD is included in that overhaul. The Common Core standards (which have been added to existing California state standards) were designed to create a higher level of college and career readiness than the current state standards. What this means is the tests will be much harder. The testing is challenging and is done in a radically different way- they are computer adaptive tests that go far beyond traditional multiple choice to include:

  • Multiple choice multiple answers – Students must select all correct answers (rather than just one) for a given multiple choice question.
  • Hot text – Students must highlight a portion of text to answer this question. This is generally in the context of finding support for a statement or idea.
  • Matching Tables – Students match the correct answer from an answer bank to each of several questions.
  • Short Answer – Students must answer a question by typing a few sentences.
  • Performance Task – Students generally answer a few short answer questions followed by an essay question which builds off the short answer questions. The questions may or may not be related to an in-class activity.

The content is much more application driven than procedural. The aim is to make the testing more applicable in a real-world sense. Typing answers is going to be required of students, so they will certainly need to have reasonably proficient typing skills if they are to logistically navigate the test efficiently. Practice tests and homework are recommended.

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