Smarter Balanced State Testing

What is Smarter Balanced?

In spring 2015, Gladstone students began taking the state-required Smarter Balanced tests in English and math. The new tests replaced Oregon’s OAKS tests in English and math, required for many years. Smarter Balanced is the same test that is given in several other states. A similar test, PARCC, will be offered in other states.

How are the new tests different than the OAKS tests?

Aligned to our Common Core Curriculum, The Smarter Balanced tests include writing at every tested grade level, new question types, and performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate research, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Test questions come in many forms, and allow students to interact with graphs and to type their own responses in addition to selecting answers in a multiple-choice format. Essay questions give students the opportunity to use evidence from multiple sources to build arguments and explain their reasoning.

The tests will given in sections over a few days. These tests are not timed, and students will be allotted the time they need to complete the test. While the test takes longer than the OAKS tests used previously, students will be tested only one time at each designated grade level.

Who will take the tests?

The tests will be given in both English and in math at grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. At John Wetten and Kraxberger, the tests will be given after Spring Break. At Gladstone High, the tests will start May 11.

Any questions?

If you have questions about the Smarter Balanced tests, please email and our education team will provide a response in a Frequently Asked Questions section on this page.

If you have a question about your student’s unique needs or participation in the test, please contact your school principal.