Overview of the Test Site for Smarter Balanced Assessments

Sample Test Page

Sample Test Page

There are two types of test tools available:

Global Tools Instructions

Help (?) button

To view the on-screen Test Instructions and Help window, select the question mark Online Help Button button in the upper-right corner.

To use the on-screen calculator, select Calculator in the global menu.

This tool is available for the following tests:

  • Mathematics 6, 7, 8, and 11

To search the Merriam-Webster dictionary or thesaurus, select Dictionary in the global menu.

This tool is available for the following tests:

  • ELA Performance Tasks

The Masking tool temporarily covers a distracting area of the test page. To use this tool:

  1. Select the Masking button in the global menu.
  2. Click and drag across the distracting area.

To close the Masking tool, select the Masking button again. To remove a masked area, select X in the upper-right corner of that area.

Note: This tool requires you to have the Masking accommodation.


To enter notes in an on-screen notepad, select Notes in the global menu.

This tool is available for the following tests:

  • ELA Performance Tasks
System Settings

To adjust audio volume during the test, select the cog wheel icon cog wheel icon in the upper-right corner.

Zoom buttons
To enlarge the text and images on a test page, select Zoom In. Multiple zoom levels are available. To undo zooming, select Zoom Out.


Context Menu Tools Instructions
American Sign Language

You can watch videos that translate test content into American Sign Language (ASL). To view ASL videos:

  1. From the context menu, select American Sign Language.
    • If only one ASL video is available, the video opens automatically.
    • If multiple ASL videos are available, sign language icons American Sign Language Icon appear next to the test content for each video. Select the icon for the test content you wish to translate into ASL.

Note: This tool requires you to have the ASL accommodation turned on.

This tool is available for the following tests:

  • Mathematics
  • ELA
Expand Passage

To expand the passage section, select the double arrow icon double arrow icon in the upper-right corner of that section. The passage section will overlap the question section for easier readability. To collapse the expanded section, select the double arrow icon double arrow icon again.

Glossary (Word List)

To open the glossary, click a word or phrase that has a border around it. This tool is only available for certain words.


To highlight text, select the text on the screen and then select Highlight Selection from the context menu. If multiple color options are available, select an option from the list of colors that appears.

To remove highlighting, select Reset Highlighting from the context menu.

You cannot highlight text in images.

Mark for Review
To mark a question for review, select Mark for Review from the context menu. The marked question number displays a flap in the upper-right corner, like this: Item number displaying bent flap to indicate the item has been marked for review; and a flag icon flag icon appears next to the number on the test page. The Questions drop-down list displays (marked) for the selected question.

For selected response questions, you can cross out an answer option to focus on the options you think might be correct. There are two options for using this tool:

Option A:

  1. To activate Strikethrough mode, open the context menu and select Strikethrough.
  2. Select the answer options you wish to strike out.
  3. To deactivate Strikethrough mode, press the Esc key or click outside the response area.

Option B:

  1. Right-click an answer option and select Strikethrough.

To view a short video demonstrating how to respond to a particular question type, select Tutorial from the context menu.

Test Rules for Smarter Balanced Assessments

Navigation Rules

Pause Rules

For ELA and Mathematics tests:

For ELA Performance Task tests:

About Print-on-Demand and Text-to-Speech for Smarter Balanced Assessments

About Print-on-Demand

The following tests require you to have a print accommodation if you need to request printouts:

To send a print request to the Test Administrator, choose from the following options:

About Text-to-Speech

If you are testing with Text-to-Speech, you can listen to instructions, passages, and questions in the test. For ELA tests, some passages are not read aloud.

To listen to content with the Text-to-Speech tool: