It’s a Good Question


Just tried taking the prototype of the high school smarter balance test offered on line.

I would concede that the test is different. I am wondering if different is better. I am also wondering if that difference is very significant. The test seems to me to be too much like the old test to make much of a difference.

The test is text-centric. It is a reading text test. Instead of five options all the time, you sometimes have more. It is much like an AP test in that there is frequently more than one answer that needs to be marked.

There are also differences. First, there is the need for some writing. Instead of actually picking the right answer, the test taker has to go back to the test and re-write it. To me this part of the test was superficial.

This test has a large interest in persuasion. Those concerns are mostly cosmetic. There is nothing especially relevant to persuasion that is persuasion and only persuasion. But persuasion is the new five paragraph essay here.

But there is one piece of writing that calls for a bit more of than other tests. I like it. It gives a narrative paragraph that is basically a sequence of telling sentences and has the test taker re-write it—jazz it up. I read that that to mean use your showing knowledge, dialogue, action, sensory images and other tricks. I liked it because it was the only part of the test that I could have fun with. This part of the test was my favorite.

There were also listening portions on the test. I took them without listening. I think it that is a statement about the questions in general. Now if I were to retake this test or take another practice test, I would try taking the reading part without reading. The accessibility of the answer without having dealt with the text suggests that the smarter balance is not quite what it appears to be—smarter.

There were dumber parts to the test as well. Those dumber parts? Me. I had a big problem with the tech on the test. You need to be facile with the way the Smarter Balance application works. I had trouble taking not quitting out of the test. Also, even finding that there was a way to expand the text and hide the question proved difficult. The scrolling nature of the text made it difficult to count the paragraphs when needed to answer a question. The bottom line is that kids are going to screw up the test because the technology will probably be not friendly not enough.

It’s a good question. Just tried taking the prototype of the high school smarter balance test offered on line.


I would concede that the test is different. I am wondering if different is better. I am also wondering if that difference is very significant. The test seems to me to be too much like the old test to make much of a difference.

The test is text-centric. It is a reading text test. Instead of five options all the time, you sometimes have more. It is much like an AP test in that there is frequently more than one answer that needs to be marked.

There are also differences. First, there is the need for some writing. Instead of actually picking the right answer, the test taker has to go back to the test and re-write it. To me this part of the test was superficial.

This test has a large interest in persuasion. Those concerns are mostly cosmetic. There is nothing especially relevant to persuasion that is persuasion and only persuasion. But persuasion is the new five paragraph essay here.

But there is one piece of writing that calls for a bit more of than other tests. I like it. It gives a narrative paragraph that is basically a sequence of telling sentences and has the test taker re-write it—jazz it up. I read that that to mean use your showing knowledge, dialogue, action, sensory images and other tricks. I liked it because it was the only part of the test that I could have fun with. This part of the test was my favorite.

There were also listening portions on the test. I took them without listening. I think it that is a statement about the questions in general. Now if I were to retake this test or take another practice test, I would try taking the reading part without reading. The accessibility of the answer without having dealt with the text suggests that the smarter balance is not quite what it appears to be—smarter.

There were dumber parts to the test as well. Those dumber parts? Me. I had a big problem with the tech on the test. You need to be facile with the way the Smarter Balance application works. I had trouble taking not quitting out of the test. Also, even finding that there was a way to expand the text and hide the question proved difficult. The scrolling nature of the text made it difficult to count the paragraphs when needed to answer a question. The bottom line is that kids are going to screw up the test because the technology will probably be not friendly not enough.