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About the Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)

What is the Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)?

The Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessments is a comprehensive Common Core based program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas. This test replaced the Hawaii State Assessment testing.

Practice Tests for the Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)

Our curriculum is focused around actual material that a student is likely to see on the upcoming Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) test. Nationally known for delivering high quality and affordable materials that help students improve their scores, we provide you both paper-based instruction and easy to use online test preparation.

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More About the Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) Tests

State Testing Information for Hawaii

Portions of the following material were taken from the Department of Education website. Please consult your state's education website for further information on the actual tests administered for your school.

The Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) are aligned to the Hawaii Common Core Standards, and designed to measure whether students are "on track" for readiness in college and/or career. SBA replaced the Hawaii State Assessment in math and reading. These are mandatory assessments given to students in grades 3-8 and 11.

Hawaii is among 18 member states (plus the U.S. Virgin Islands) leading a Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium that developed a new assessment system to measure whether students are meeting the Common Core​​ for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA), and are on-track for college and career readiness. Hawaii students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the summative Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) for the first time in spring 2015.

Families received a report in the fall prior to the the public release of school- and state-level results on Sept. 15.

For students, SBA offers:

More complex problems and challenge them to support their answers with explanations and evidence.
The ability to mark test items for review, take notes on a digital notepad, use calculators and other tools in certain sections, and also pause the test.
The opportunity to be placed in credit-bearing courses at a number of colleges and universities​, including the University of Hawaii system of colleges. See this flyer​ for more information.
SPECIAL NEEDS: Students with significant cognitive disabilities take the HSA-Alternative exams in ELA/Literacy, Mathematics and Science.

HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE: The Department is working with the University of Hawaii-Manoa to further the development, field testing, and implementation of assessments in the Hawaiian language that are aligned to the standards and measure progress toward preparing students for success in college, career and community. In spring 2015, the Department ran a field test of the Hawaiian language state assessment for language arts and math for students in grades 3 and 4 enrolled in Ka Papahana Kaiapuni (immersion​) schools. The Department requested a "double testing" waiver from the U.S. Department of Education so that those students in the field test will not have to also take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. That was approved​ for one year.​

SBA is an assessments system:

It allows teachers to administer formative assessments — small, frequent academic checks — throughout the year. Teachers are able to print reports and discuss students' real-time performan​ce and progress with parents.
For the Smarter Balanced summative assessments conducted in the spring, teachers have access to student scores within two weeks of completion of the assessment, allowing them to adjust instruction in the final weeks of the school year. Reports will also be provided to educators who will be teaching students the following school year to help inform their instruction. Parents receive a paper report on the summative assessments in the fall.​​

Instructional shifts
SBA replaces the former Hawaii State Reading and Mathematics Assessments (HSA). (The HSA for Science will continue to be administered.) SBA measures not only what students know, but also how well they can apply their knowledge in real-world situations. It's expected that the change to the new test and standards will result in a drop in scores as compared with previous years. Lower test scores do not mean students are performing any worse — because these are newer, higher expectations for student learning. Results from this year are a new starting point. In other words, it is reasonable to compare 2015 scores with next year's scores (same assessment), but not with last year's HSA scores.

Three components
There are three SBA summative assessment components: A computer-adaptive test, a classroom activity, and a performance task.

Computer Adaptive Test: An online adaptive test that provides an individualized assessment for each student.
Classroom Activity: A group exercise, usually lasting about 30 minutes, meant to provide context and familiarize all students with an upcoming Performance Task.
Performance Task: Tasks that challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to real-world problems. They can best be described as collections of questions and activities that are coherently connected to a single theme or scenario.​ They​ will be used to better measure capacities such as depth of understanding, research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with selected- or constructed-response items. Some performance task items can be scored by the computer; most will be manually​​ scored.
On average, the assessments are expected to last a combined 7 hours for grades 3-5; 7:30 hours for grades 6-8, and 8:30 hours for grade 11. The test is not timed; students will be given appropriate time to answer all questions. The tests can be administered over several days.

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