Technology for Learners

Tools & Resources for SBAC Field Test Preparation

Author: Rick Phelan
Published: 02.11.14

Field Test PreparationsStudents in grades 3-11 will be field testing the new computer-based assessments that are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). California has partnered with 23 states in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) to develop measures that will help educators, students, parents, and communities gauge learning progress in relation to the Common Core Standards.

The 2014 Field Test allows schools to “try out the tests.” Students will have hands-on experience with the functionality of computer-based assessments, while teachers and administrators will gain valuable exposure to administration logistics during the trial run. School districts will benefit from learning where technology gaps may exist, so they can fully prepare for the operational assessments scheduled for Spring 2015. No student, school, or district score reports will be produced. Results will not be factored into any state or federal accountability calculations.

The following tools and resources have been gathered to help districts and schools prepare for the 2014 Field Tests.

Testing Windows for the Field Test, by County
Schools in California have been assigned one of four testing windows in which to administer the computer-based Smarter Balanced Field Test. Assignments by county are shown; open or download your county’s list to see assignments for the schools in your local educational agency (LEA).

California Online Field Test Administration Manual
The Field Test Manual (pdf) contains instructions on test administration procedures specifically for California local educational agency (LEA) testing coordinators, test site coordinators, and test administrators.

District Plan for Field Test Preparation
This is a sample district plan outlining Field Test preparation activities on a timeline from Jan-May 2014. Tasks for administrators, technology staff, teachers, and students are specified. View/download sample plan as a PDF document or in Word.

SBAC Field Test: Scheduling Estimator
The Scheduling Estimator is an Excel spreadsheet designed to assist schools in planning the number of test sessions required per student to complete the SBAC Field Tests. Once the number of sessions per student is determined, the estimator calculates the number of days needed to test all students in the school based on the computer access areas available. Download the SBAC Field Test: Scheduling Estimator (xls).

SBAC Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodation Guidelines
SBAC offers various options to help students access questions and express understanding. Universal tools, designated supports, and documented accommodations are described in the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (pdf).

SBAC Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodation Student Planning Form
This resource can help districts plan for SBAC accommodations. It is a spreadsheet listing the Universal Supports, Designated Supports, and Accommodations available for the Field Test. Details specific to SBAC descriptions and guidelines are presented when you “hover” over items. The form can be reproduced and used by specialists to document needs and plan for testing. Download the SBAC Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations form (xlsx).

Smarter Balanced Field Test Flash Listserv
The California Department of Education and Education Test Services are working to provide information and resources to support the 2014 Field Tests. A listserv, the “Smarter Balanced Field Test Flash,” has been established. Join the listserv by sending a blank e-mail to

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