Skip To ContentSkip To Content

    Smarter Balanced Assessments

    Washington State requires all districts to administer the Smarter Balanced assessments each spring. These tests:

    • Measure how well students are meeting College and Career Readiness Standards
    • Help teachers, schools, and districts identify which students need more support
    • Cover Math and English Language Arts (ELA)
    • Take about 2.5-4 hours per subject
    • Are given to students in grades 3 through 8 and 10
    • Are required for federal and state accountability


    Spring 2021 Assessment Dates*

    Smarter Balanced English/Language Arts and Math (SBA)

    • March 1 to June 4

    Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS)

    • April 12 to June 4 for students in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades.

    *Contact your child's school for exact testing dates


    Spring 2021 Participation Details

    1. All students in grades 3-8 and 10 are expected to take the SBA Math and ELA assessments.
    2. Students in 11th and 12th grades may take Smarter Balanced if needed to fulfill their graduation pathway.
    3. All 5, 8, and 11 grade students will take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) in the spring.  
    4. Reduced assessment time. The assessments have eliminated the previously required classroom-based activity before each Performance Task. This will reduce time spent on the assessments.
    5. Uniform assessment windows. No longer do third-graders and 10th-graders have a shortened testing window. All grades may take the assessment between mid-March and early June.
    6. Option to release high school scores to colleges. At the end of the Smarter Balanced assessment for grades 10 and 11, students are given the option to check a box that would allow scores to be released to colleges. Scores will only be requested after a student has been admitted to a college (so that colleges can determine whether to waive placement tests and remedial courses), so this option would not impact admission.


    Do you have questions about state testing requirements, participation, or scores? 

    Please contact Will Hodges, District Assessment Coordinator for State Testing at 206-252-0148 or email to

    You can also:

    Visit our FAQ page to learn more about Smarter Balanced, from assessment format to accommodations and much more.

    Contact Us

    Will Hodges
    District Assessment Coordinator for State Testing

    Audrey Roach
    Assessment Development Program Manager 206-252-0974


    Useful Assessment Links:

    State Testing FAQs

    Smarter Balanced Website

    WA State Assessment Information

    Why Smarter Balanced?

    Washington State Report Card