Washington State Assessments

Current Washington State Assessments 2017-18 School year:

  • Smarter Balanced
  • WA-AIM (Washington Access to Instructional Measurement)
  • ELPA21 (English Learner Proficiency Assessment)
  • WaKIDS (Washington State Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills)
  • WCAS (Washington Comprehensive Assessment in Science
  • IAB (Interim Assessment Blocks)
  • EOC (End of Course) This is only for mathematics.
  • WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment)

Smarter Balanced is computer-based

Forget about the standardized stereotype in which students darken bubbles with a pencil; the majority of our students will use a computer. Smarter Balanced assessments are:

Students may be asked to drag-and-drop answers, complete a chart or highlight evidence.

The test offers built-in calculators and dictionaries, and we can accommodate special needs.

Test adapts to ability; questions change for each test-taker depending on answers.

Smarter Balanced requires complex thinking

Smarter Balanced Assessments check to see how well students are meeting Washington State Learning Standards. These rigorous standards mean more rigorous tests.

Its not enough to skim-read and answer questions with personal opinion. The tests demand careful reading and evidence-based responses, such as highlighting phrases that support an answer

It's not to memorize formulas and apply them to a set of numbers out of context. The new standards apply math concepts to real-life situations, often requiring multiple steps.

It's not enough to use process-of-elimination techniques to find an answer. The test includes some multiple choice with more than one answer as well as other demands for higher-level thinking.

Writing is now assessed at all grade levels, with extended writing in English language arts. Each test- in both language arts and math - ends with a "performance task" and includes authentic writing.

The district is in year four of the Smarter Balanced Assessment

This year along with classroom teaching and assessments on the Common Core Standards we have also implemented both training and Interim Block Assessments.  The Interim Block Assessments (IAB’s) are written by Smarter Balanced on content areas that are covered in the summative.  These assessments help to gauge student progress towards mastery of their grade level standards.  Teachers can use these assessments in a variety of ways to both monitor progress and provide intervention before the summative assessment in the spring.

Other State Assessments

Washington Comprehensive Assessment in Science (WCAS)
Students in grades 5. 8 and high school participate in WCAS testing. This comprehensive assessment replaces the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) in grades 5 and 8. It also replaces the biology End of Course (EOC). Washington state as well as the rest of the nation moved away from life science to this more inclusive science approach following the release of the Next Generation Science Standards in spring of 2013.

End-Of-Course Exams (EOC)
EOCs measure the knowledge of students in algebra, geometry and biology as students complete each course.


WA-Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM)
The WA-AIM is the operational alternate assessment aligned to the Common Core State Standards beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Special Education students in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed, per Individualized Education Program, in mathematics, English language arts, and science.

English Language Proficiency Assessment ELPA21
Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English Language Learners. (ELL). This assessment tests: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The ELPA21 consists of two tests: A Placement used to determine initial student eligibility for services and an annual measurement of student growth in English language knowledge and skills.

Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Skills (WaKIDS)
This program helps bring families, teachers and early learning providers together to support each child’s learning and transition into public schools.

Interim Assessment Blocks IABs
The interim assessment blocks are fixed assessments arranged by standard and target. These assessments are meant to be given by instructors as formative assessments before the spring Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment. This information assists teachers in monitoring and intervening as needed to prepare students in ELA and mathematics.

Learn more about OSPI State Testing Information