Starting today New Hampshire teachers and students can get a preview of the standardized test that will replace the New England Common Assessment or NECAP in 2015. The Smarter Balanced Assessment opened a practice test to the public Wednesday. The practice tests in Math and English for grades three through eight, and grade eleven can be accessed through the Smarter Balanced consortium’s website.
Jackie King with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium calls the practice test a service for participating states that is “giving schools, parents, teachers an early look and an early chance to interact with the assessment almost two years before it will be operational in schools.”
Students will take the test on computers and it will be adaptive, meaning questions will get easier or harder depending on how students do.
“It will eliminate the experience for students of them seeing an item that is really easy for them or that they absolutely can’t do,” says King. The practice test doesn’t yet have that adaptive feature, and is just a chance for students and teachers to see the type of questions on the test.
New Hampshire signed on to be part of the Smarter Balanced test as part of a shift to the Common Core State Standards: a new set of academic standards adopted in 45 states.
Many schools in the state have already participated in a pilot of the new test, and students have said that the test is markedly harder than the NECAP.