Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments


The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments for mathematics and English language arts (ELA)/literacy are available to students in Grades 3–8 and high school.  The interim assessments are one of the three components of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System—along with the end-of-year summative assessments in ELA/literacy and mathematics, and a digital library of formative assessment tools and practices that support classroom instruction.
Purpose: The interim assessments provide teachers with an additional resource that measures students’ mastery of specific content and skills aligned to the Connecticut Core Standards.  While there is no better place to learn these skills than being part of a dynamic and interactive classroom setting, teachers can use the Interim Assessments throughout the year to inform instruction by measuring student progress, identifying areas of strength and weakness, and assessing the skills of incoming students.
Flexibility: Interim assessments are administered on a computer using the same test delivery system as the summative assessments.  The scope, sequence, number, and timing of the interim assessments are determined at the district level.  A teacher may administer an interim assessment that is above or below the student’s current grade level.  An above grade-level assessment might be used by a teacher to assess students who are receiving instruction with curriculum aligned to above grade-level standards.  A below grade-level assessment might be used by a teacher who wants to assess students who are struggling with grade-level content to identify areas of weakness in prior learning.
Two Types: The Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICA) are similar to the summative assessments in length, content, and format.  Each content area ICA has two parts, a grade-level ICA and an ICA Performance Task.  The Interim Assessment Blocks (IAB) are shorter assessments that focus on smaller sets of related concepts.  The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Overview document provides the current IABs available.  (The ICA is not recommended for use except for very rare and specific situations.)
Scoring: Both the ICA and the IABs contain test items that are scored by the test delivery engine.  There are also short-text constructed-response and full-write items, both of which are hand-scored at the district level.  Training materials are available in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) and in AIRWAYS.   
Reporting:  The AIR Ways Reporting System produces detailed, item-level reports specifically designed to gauge student performance on the IABs.    
General Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Resources
Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Administration Materials
User Guides for Partner Systems to the Interim Assessment
Professional Development
  • Webinar #1: The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments  (PDF Version and Presenter's Script)This video is designed for those educators who may be new to the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment System, or to those returning educators who need a refresher. In this session, we discuss the purposes of the interim assessments as well as how to navigate the systems found on the CT Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal that allow users to view, administer, and score interim assessment blocks. Updated test blueprints for mathematics and English language arts/literacy and new enhancements to the Teacher Hand Scoring System are also provided.

  • Webinar #2: Using Interim Assessment Data (PDF Version and Presenter's Script)  This video provies ideas about using the information from the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments to inform instruction.  In this session, we explain the score reporting process as well as the various reporting platforms and reporting features available. We also identify resources and instructional tools available through the Digital Library that can directly support instruction based on interim assessment outcomes. 

Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment administration material is located on the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal.