Smarter Balanced Assessments

The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) measures how well students meet state learning standards in math and English Language Arts. The standards help keep kids stay on track for college or careers.

Students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 take the SBA in spring. Some schools also give students an interim SBA in the fall or winter. Interim tests can help teachers see what specific skills students may need to work on before the full test in the spring.

SBA questions and activities focus on analysis and critical thinking. They include performance tasks about real-world scenarios. For example, students create math formulas to help a city understand if its speeding fines are fair. The tests are also adaptive, meaning the more a student gets right, the harder the questions become. You can take a practice test at

Scores measure how well students understand concepts and can apply the skills they’ve learned.  Scores are placed in levels 1 through 4. Levels 1 and 2 mean a student needs extra help to get back on track. Scores in levels 3 and 4 mean that students are on track for college and careers.

Each year, we’ll mail you your child’s test results with more information about what the scores mean.

Learn More

The Ready Washington coalition has created videos to help you understand more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Learn more about how the SBA keeps students get ready for life beyond graduation:

You can learn even more at one of these resources: