Testing

We check your child’s progress in many ways. Teachers watch how your child is doing in class. Your child will also take a variety of tests. Tests range from elementary skill tests that take a few minutes to annual state tests that take several hours.

No single test can tell us how your child is doing. Each test your child takes helps us to understand a different skill. Altogether, the results help you and your child's teacher ensure that your child is on track.

Your child may be required to take some state tests before he or she can graduate. Check the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s testing page to see what the state requires.

For more helpful information about tests, see:

You can learn about the most common tests your child may take on this page. Or, see what tests students take by grade and when they may take them on our test schedules page.

Smarter Balanced Assessment

Smarter Balanced Assessment

smart-balance-assessmentThe Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) measures how well students meet state learning standards in math and English/Language Arts. The standards help keep students 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.

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 score means.

Measure of Student Progress (MSP)

The state requires students in grades 5 and 8 to test their science knowledge with the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP).

Your child can take the science MSP in a single day. It includes multiple choice, short answer and completion questions.

End of Course (EOC) Exams

Washington state requires students to pass exit exams in several subjects. They’re designed to test the knowledge and skills your child learned in class. If students don’t pass after their first try, they will be able to retake the test. The state has also approved alternatives. EOC exams include multiple choice, short answer and completion questions.

Learn more about EOC exams from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

STAR

We use STAR tests to measure math and reading skills of students in kindergarten through ninth grades. They help us check your child’s achievement levels so we can better understand how to challenge them and help them grow. We use STAR tests several times a year to check your child’s progress.

The tests usually take about 20 minutes. Students take the tests online. The more they get right, the harder the test becomes.

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

The DIBELS are a series of quick tests that measure literacy skills in elementary students. Each test is about a minute long. DIBELS measures your child’s ability to recognize sounds and letters, comprehend what they read, and other skills. DIBELS can help teachers better understand students’ reading ability and check their progress.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests students on a variety of subjects from writing to technology and engineering literacy. The U.S. Department of Education provides the tests to schools nationwide. NAEP tests are given periodically to students in grades 4, 8 and 12.