SBA and WCAS
Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA)
What is it?
SBA are Washington's statewide summative assessments in English Language Arts and math given to students in grades 3–8 and 10 each year in the spring. This testing is required by Washington state law (RCW 28A.230.095) and federal law (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). The assessments determine students' progress toward college and career readiness in English language arts/literacy and math.
How does it work?
SBA is given at the end of the school year and consists of two parts: a computer adaptive test and a performance task. The assessment is taken online and adjusts to the students’ level of difficulty based on responses.
What is tested?
ELA skills and knowledge tested in the SBA include:
- Reading: Identifying main ideas in a literary or informational reading passage
- Writing: Using grade level conventions in writing
- Listening: Interpreting information through listening
- Research and Inquiry: Analyzing information presented in multiple sources
Math skills and knowledge in the SBA are tested in the following general areas:
- Writing equations to represent a real-world scenario
- Applying understandings of number systems
- Analyzing relationships between related quantities through different mathematical models
- Evaluating geometric relationships
- Interpreting statistical relationships
Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS)
What is it?
WCAS measures the level of proficiency that Washington students have achieved based on the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards. The tests fulfill the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement that students be tested in science once at each level: elementary, middle, and high school. It is given to students in grades 5, 8, and 11 each year in the spring. Unlike SBA and iReady tests, WCAS is not an adaptive test, rather it has a static set of questions given to all students in a grade.
What is tested?
WCAS assesses student knowledge in four areas:
- Physical science
- Life science
- Earth and space science
- Engineering, technology and applications of science
WCAS tests include drag and drop, multiple choice, ordered sequence, short answer, multiple select, table match and input, hot text and simulation questions.
Keep in Mind...
- Test results are one piece of information about how your student is doing in school. Together with report cards and other information, test results let you know if your student is on track to succeed in higher grades as well as for college and career.
- For students in grade 10, these results are used by some community colleges in Washington to measure if students are on track for college-level classes.
- The data reported on the OSPI WA Report Card site includes the “0” scores for non-participants (refusals) in its calculations, and does not accurately reflect the performance of the students who took the test.
View additional data such as score details, participation details and grade-level details by visiting OSPI's Washington State Report Card website and selecting Assessment under Student Performance.