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Introduction

Over 6,000,000 students took the SBAC test in 2017. Over 200 institutions around the country recognize the SBAC results for students entering into college-level courses.

Additionally, the SBAC is credited for providing real-world applications for students preparing to enter the workforce. In short, the SBAC test is quickly becoming a cornerstone in the United States education system.

With stats like those, it’s easy to understand why so many parents are wanting to know how to provide SBAC practice tests for their child.

SBAC practice tests are crucial for students who are aiming to earn accurate assessment results. The SBAC structure is most likely different than common assessments that your child sees in the classroom.

When it comes time to take the SBAC test, students who have adequately practiced will have reduced anxiety and perform better.

 

What is the SBAC Test?

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a Common Core Standard-aligned suite of tests. This standardized assessment is comprised of two parts.

First a performance task (PT), then a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) to provide a well-rounded and holistic snapshot of a student’s skills. While both assessments are administered through an online portal, each section tests, and challenges students in unique and different ways.

The performance task requires students to demonstrate thought processes to reach conclusions.

In math, this is through showing work to solve problems.

In English language arts, students may be asked to write an extended response, demonstrate an understanding of central themes, or defend a thesis.

Performance tasks are centralized around challenging students to reach more complex thinking while maintaining the integrity of the content. Performance tasks will explicitly assess Common Core State Standards.

The Computer-Adaptive Test requires students to answer questions pertaining to the curriculum. Based on the student’s answers, the assessment will adjust the questions to be easier or more challenging.

If a student gets a question correct, the test will present a harder question. If they get the answer wrong, the test will provide a simpler question.

This is similar to visiting an eye doctor. As the doctor adjusts the strength of the testing machine, your vision will eventually come into focus, revealing an accurate prescription for your eyes.

The CAT test will continue to adjust the questions based on responses until a complete (and accurate) result is achieved.

To date, the SBAC test has over 3000 test questions written, meaning that your child is likely to get an accurate result based on their answers.

 

Who Takes the SBAC Test?

Students in 3rd-8th Grade are required to participate in SBAC testing. Additionally, students are required to take the SBAC in 11th grade.

The SBAC is widely used across the United States. The following states have all implemented the SBAC test for standardization: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Importance of Practicing for the SBAC Test

What’s at Stake

The people at SBAC have worked tirelessly to create a standardized assessment that produces real meaning from their results. With its adaptive question system and performance tasks, SBAC is confident that its testing is reflective of student understanding.

Over 197 Colleges and Universities allow SBAC results as proof of knowledge for course registration. This means that if students complete the SBAC and earn appropriate scores, many colleges will allow them to use those test scores to register for more advanced courses. While this can have money-saving benefits for the student, it also gives the college some assurance that students are prepared for the rigor of higher-level courses.

Why Students Struggle on Standardized Tests

Since the SBAC test is an indicator that your child is hitting grade-appropriate benchmarks, it is important to understand the value of taking the assessment seriously.

However, since standardized testing looks different than common assessments in the classroom, students can sometimes have a classic “brain fart” when taking the SBAC!

There are two types of assessments used in classrooms: formative and summative.

A formative assessment is casual and lets a teacher know if kids are “getting it”. These assessments tend to be ungraded, quick, and creative. A formative assessment informs a teacher if they need to go back and reteach.

A summative assessment is higher stakes. These assessments can be the end of unit projects, larger tests, and finals. These are typically heavily graded and there is rarely a redo available for students.

Both formative and summative assessments can be completed without the aid of a computer platform. Projects and creative assessments can easily be used in the classroom, negating the use of a traditional paper and pencil test entirely. Unless teachers have fully integrated their curriculum to an online platform, students are unlikely to have seen an assessment similar to the SBAC.

Practice Makes (Closer to) Perfect

There are numerous resources available online for students who want to practice for the SBAC. SBAC practice tests come in two different formats for at-home support.

The Training Test

This test will provide students with a sample of the format of the test. This is a perfect place for students who are uneasy about the online portal to practice. The training test includes sample questions correctly formatted for the SBAC test. These tests are not graded and the explicit purpose is to let students explore the online platform. The training tests are categorized by state, so make sure you are using your state’s correct training test.

The SBAC Practice Test

This test is going to provide your student with a complete practice section of the SBAC test. It will not be adaptive (meaning the questions will not get harder or easier) but will give your child a chance to see all of the different types of questions that will be on the SBAC assessment.

When you walk through the SBAC practice test with your child, take time to point out all of the features of the platform. This includes things such as the dictionary tool, how to select certain operations, and the features of unique assessment questions.

 

The ArgoPrep Difference

Students in a classroom setting will understand the value of the SBAC practice tests more clearly. At-home, you may find that the SBAC practice tests are confusing and difficult to use. The SBAC provides educators with training and support to implement practice tests in the classroom effectively. This allows teachers to walk students through common hang-ups and also guides instruction to match the assessment format. This is all great and should be happening in your child’s classroom, but since you are not their primary teacher, there are better ways to support them at home.

ArgoPrep has worked tirelessly to create educational support that is easy to use. Students and parents alike will enjoy the large library of supplemental activities, test prep, and ease of use each time they practice. With Common Core being the guiding curriculum across the United States, ArgoPrep has crafted their workbooks to challenge students while never sacrificing quality content.

ArgoPrep has an exceptional team comprised of educators who are committed to providing students with the best educational support available. Don’t believe us? Check out our Award-Winning Online K-8 Math & ELA Program, available to students of all ages and abilities. If your child struggles with the format of standardized assessments, let ArgoPrep help you with a more peaceful and effective approach!

 

Conclusion

The SBAC does a lot of work to ensure that school districts are equipped with the support needed for students. Due to the structure of the SBAC practice tests, many find that they cannot implement those tests at home as easily as in the classroom.

The SBAC test will require that students are confident with the test structure and features. By giving your child ample opportunities to practice, they will be more comfortable when the testing day arrives.

Due to the adaptive structure of the SBAC test, you will never be able to fully recreate a test at home. However, by providing your child with SBAC practice tests, they will feel more confident when they take the actual assessment.

When partnering with ArgoPrep to practice for the SBAC, your child will be getting relevant content that will adequately prepare them!

 

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