A Look at Sample Next Generation Assessment Items

Site: Alma
Course: TRIG: Classroom Readiness T3
Book: A Look at Sample Next Generation Assessment Items
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, April 12, 2021, 2:48 PM

Sample Items and Performance Tasks

The sample items and performance tasks are intended to help teachers, administrators, and policymakers implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and preparing for next-generation assessments. They provide an early look into the depth of understanding of the CCSS that will be measured by the Smarter Balanced assessment system. While the items and tasks are not intended to be used as sample tests, educators can use them to begin planning the shifts in instruction that will be required to help students meet the demands of the new assessments.

The sample items and tasks can be viewed by grade band (grades 3-5, 6-8, and high school) or content focus. They showcase the variety of item types—including technology-enhanced items and performance tasks—that will be included in the Smarter Balanced assessment system. In addition, items illustrating the connections across grades within the CCSS—as well as the range of student achievement within a computer adaptive test—are also available. Most constructed-response and technology-enhanced items can be scored automatically, and many items include downloadable scoring rubrics.

The sample English language arts/literacy items and performance tasks include a mixture of published and commissioned reading passages and sources. Smarter Balanced has not obtained permission to reprint copyrighted passages and source documents referenced in the sample items. As a result, several items and performance tasks—Planes on the Brain 1-3, Animal Defenses, and Garden—include only the citations for copyrighted material, rather than the complete text. For the operational assessment in the 2014-15 school year, Smarter Balanced intends to use primarily published passages—reflecting the emphasis in the Common Core on exposure to “high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts”—and the full text of these passages will be available to students.

It is important to note that these samples represent only a small fraction of the more than 10,000 items and tasks currently in development to support the Pilot Test in early 2013. In addition, the samples are displayed using a simulated test platform that does not include accessibility tools and accommodation options that will be available when the assessments are administered to students—such as Braille, translation options, highlighter tools, and the ability to change font size or magnify portions of items.

Explore sample items and performance tasks:

Task and Performatnce-Based Components

Visit the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) sample taskes for various grade levels in Math and ELA.

Click here to go to PARCC samples
HINT: When you visit the site, you can browse sample items for different grade levels by using the menu on the left side of the page.

The table below describes the task types for the Mathematics summative assessments being developed by PARCC:

The table below describes the performance-based component for the ELA summative assessments being developed by PARCC:

Practice Test

The Smarter Balanced Practice Test is available to schools and districts for practice and training purposes, professional development activities, and for discussions with parents, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders.

Click the link below to access the practice test.  This will give you a glimpse of what the Smarter-Balanced assments will look like to students.

Performance Task Sample

Below is a performance task sample for 4th grade.

Standards being assessed:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

SBAC Performance Task - click here to view

Activity 4.03

Now that you have reviewed some sample Next Generation Assessment items and performance tasks, reflect on the following items in your Google Doc reflection sheet.

  • Do your students currently have opportunities to experience assessments or learning activities similar to what you've seen in the Next Generation samples?  If "yes", please describe.
  • Think about your curriculum and the content you currently teach.  Discuss at least two of your existing lessons, and how you could modify these two examples to incorporate Next Generation like activities.

This will be your final reflection activity.  After it is completed, use the link following this book to submit your reflection sheet.


You are now ready to move on to the next activity: Sharing your Module 4 Reflection Worksheet