The Ultimate SBA Exam Guide: 5 Must Ask Questions for Parents

The SBAC test is coming!

The SBA exam is upon us. It is the single most important month for many students. Here’s how to help them prepare.

Ensure your child is ready for the SBA exam with these tips!

For members. Otherwise, I am pasting it below for you. 🙂

The SBA Exam/ (Formerly SBAC) Test in California

Each May, California students in grades 3–8 and 11 are preparing to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – the SBA exam.

These exams measure a student’s readiness in English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics, providing valuable information to teachers, parents, and school districts on student progress.

At the middle school where I teach, SBA exams last an entire month, two weeks for ELA and two weeks for Math.

What is the SBA Exam (SBAC Test)?

SBAC Testing is upon us. Is your child test-ready?

The SBA exam is a computer-adaptive test that measures a student’s mastery of grade-level academic standards.

The questions come from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), designed to ensure that all students receive a consistent, high-quality education that prepares them for college and career success.

The SBAC test has three parts: ELA, Maths and Science (8th+ grade).

English Language Arts SBA Exam

The ELA test measures how well students read and understand complex texts, write effectively, and demonstrate critical thinking skills. I believe our school averages about 18% proficiency, slightly higher than math.

Maths SBA

The mathematics test measures their ability to solve problems, reason abstractly, and use mathematical models to solve real-world problems.

Why is the SBA exam Important?

8th+ grades will also take the SBA exam in science.

The SBA exam provides valuable information to teachers and parents on student progress.

1. Areas of Need

This information identifies areas where students need additional support and helps educators develop strategies to help them succeed.

2. Effectiveness of Schools

Second, SBAC exam results help to evaluate the effectiveness of schools and districts in meeting student academic needs.

3. Effectiveness of Education within the State

Finally, the SBAC exam results show how California students compare to students in other states.

What Can Parents Do to Help Their Children?

The English SBAC test usually takes the longest because of the essay component.

Testing season is hard for students because there is a lot of pressure on everyone to perform well.

  • You can help your student by making sure your child is well-rested and eats breakfast,
  • Ensure children attend school regularly and arrive on time,
  • Encourage children to complete their homework and study for the exam,
  • Try to ensure students have a quiet place to complete assignments at home,
  • Talk to your student’s teachers to learn more about the exam and how they can support their child’s preparation.

I can say that during this time, all the work I give to students is somehow related to the SBAC exam.

You can help by making sure your student is keeping up with their assignments.

I also encourage adults to treat their students like college students preparing for finals.

Make them something special to eat, if possible.

Complete some of their chores so they can study.

If students see how invested you are in their success, they will be more motivated to do well.

Questions Parents Should Ask Teachers

The SBAC measures how well students understand content area subjects.

Here are some questions parents should ask their child’s teacher to learn more about the SBAC exam:

  1. What specific academic standards will students need to know on the SBAC exam? Note: These standards vary in difficulty according to grade level.
  2. How can I support my child’s preparation for the exam at home?
  3. What resources are available to help my child prepare for the exam?
  4. What strategies are you using in the classroom to help students prepare for the exam?
  5. How will you use the exam results to help my child improve academically?
    If you’d like more resources, please check out this blog with additional testing tips for parents!


Ensure your child is completing their in-class and homework assignments.

The SBAC exam is a tool for measuring student progress in California schools. It’s a stressful time for educators, and especially students.

As parents, there are several things that you can do to support your child’s preparation for the exam, including talking to their teacher and encouraging regular attendance and homework completion.

By working together, parents, teachers, and students can ensure that all California students are well-prepared for success in college and careers.

5 Questions You Should Ask About SBAC - A Parent Guide
Valerie de la Rosa

I am an educator with almost 15 years of experience teaching in Japan, Hawaii, and in Los Angeles. My goal is to change education and the way we view literacy instruction in America.

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