The length of the summative assessment has not yet been decided. This fall, Governing States will be asked to review and approve the summative assessment design, which encompasses test length, reporting categories, and the test blueprint.
Test length is influenced by several factors, including the amount of content that the test assesses. The Common Core ELA/literacy standards cover writing and speaking and listening. This represents a much broader range of content than most statewide reading assessments cover today. Smarter Balanced will assess the depth and breadth of the Common Core to provide a richer picture of student achievement.
In addition, the summative assessment is made up of the computer adaptive test (CAT) and performance tasks that are delivered by computer but are not adaptive. Computer adaptive testing is more efficient than fixed-form tests, requiring fewer questions to produce a more accurate picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Performance tasks—which may require one to two class periods to complete—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. The length of both of these components will determine the overall test length.