A Family Guide To Your Child’s Smarter Balanced Test Results
Each grade level now has clear, prioritized goals that describe what students need to know and understand before the end of that year. Every spring, your child takes an annual state test in English language arts and math to measure how well he or she is progressing against these grade level goals. The test matches the skills and concepts your child learns all year in the classroom. This test is just one of several measures including report card grades, classroom performance, and teacher feedback that when combined give you a more complete picture of your child’s academic progress.
Results from the state test provide you with important information about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses that can be used to help you advocate for your child’s needs at school and better support your child at home. Use the below guide to help you get started.
What should I take away from this report?
The score report helps you understand your child’s academic progress towards the grade level expectations in both subjects. It also breaks down each subject into categories of skills to provide you with a better understanding of how your child performed in different areas of math and English.
What does my child’s test score mean?
Your child’s score indicates how well your child met the expectations of the grade level. You will also be able to see how your child did in comparison to peers across the grade, school, district, and in some cases, state.
What resources are available to help my child?
- Skill Builder – Contains helpful resources that match the test categories in math and English to support your child at home.
- GreatSchools State Test Guide – Find parent-friendly information on academic standards and activities to match the categories in both subjects and at every grade level.
- PTA Parents’ Guide to Student Success – See an overview of the learning goals and suggested activities for your child in every grade.
How will my child’s score be used?
Teachers will use scores to guide their instruction so they can provide additional supports in the areas where students need improvement or more challenging work in areas where they excel. Scores will also be used to measure how well schools, districts and states are doing against the standards.
What if my child did well on his or her report card last year, but not as well on the state test?
The state test isn’t meant to tell the whole story. It is meant to be combined with other measures, including report card grades, classroom performance and teacher feedback to give you a more complete picture of your child’s performance. Report card grades include multiple sources of information, including participation, work habits, group projects, and homework. Although these are all important in determining a child’s academic progress, they are not reflected on the test, so there may be some differences. To further explore your child’s academic performance, talk with his or her teacher.
How can I use these test results to help my child improve?
- You can use your child’s scores to locate supplemental activities designed specifically for each category at every grade level. You can also use the test results to guide a discussion with your child’s teacher(s) about additional supports or challenges that may be needed in class, as well as other ways to support your child at home.
- To find resources designed specifically for the test categories, visit: Skill Builder or GreatSchools.org
What types of questions were asked?
The test included traditional multiple choice questions as well as questions that asked students to write well-organized essays and explain their reasoning. Visit Smarter Balanced to walk through a practice test and see sample test questions.