Frequently Asked Questions about Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments
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Frequently Asked Questions about Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

How many opportunities do students have to take a summative assessment?

Students are only permitted one opportunity per administration for the summative assessments.  

Are students allowed to pass then retake a summative assessment to attempt to improve their scores?

No, they are not allowed to retake a summative assessment during the administration window.  

Can students take the Practice and Training Tests multiple times?

Yes, the Practice and Training Tests are unlimited.

Do the Practice and Training Tests give scores about the students' responses?

No, the Practice and Training Tests do not provide scores whereas the Summative Assessments do after the students' assessments have been scored.

What is a Performance Task (PT)?

Smarter Balanced Summative Tests in Mathematics consist of two parts: Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and Performance Task (PT).

PTs consist of several multi-step extended activity questions that require students to demonstrate various skills and complex understanding of the subject matter. In one example PT for fourth grade, students are asked to help plant tulips at their school. After the teacher introduces the topic and helps students’ practice, students complete a series of tasks such as converting measurements, figuring out digging depth, and determining how many bulbs can fit in a planter. In the end, students not only demonstrate their mastery of multiple academic standards through a single task, but they also learn to apply classroom knowledge to solving real-world problems, one of the key goals for Montana’s state standards. The aim of the performance tasks is to showcase students’ reasoning and sense-making strengths. The Mathematics PT should be administered in one session.

Is the Performance Task (PT) computer-adaptive?

No, Performance Tasks (PT) are not computer-adaptive, but are fixed form. 

What type of calculator is available on the Smarter Balanced Mathematics Assessments?

Calculator is not available for Grades 3 through 5.

Calculator is available for Grades 6 through 11.

  • Grade 6 - Basic Desmos Calculator
  • Grades 7 and 8 - Scientific Desmos Calculator
  • Grades 11 - Graphing Calculator