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 the Tools for Teachers web site that includes formative assessment tools and practices that support classroom instruction.
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.
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 concentrate on smaller sets of related concepts. The Focused IABs are
designed to focus on discrete bundles of content to give teachers a better
understanding of students’ knowledge and academic performance and provide
teachers with precise next steps for instruction. The Focused IABs
measure only 1-3 targets and contain from 8-15 items. Some preexisting
IABs have been reclassified as Focused IABs; however, their content has not
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, all of which are scored using automated scoring. Training materials are available in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) and in The Centralized Reporting System.
The Centralized Reporting System produces detailed, item-level reports specifically designed to gauge student performance on the IABs. For further information on the new Centralized Reporting System, visit the Reporting System Video Series, 2020-2021
General Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Resources
Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Administration Materials
User Guides for Partner Systems to the Interim Assessment