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Online Test Preparation - web version

Online Test Preparation at Home

This web page contains the same information as the pdf documents of the same name found on our Student Resources to Prepare for Online Testing web page (posted there in English and Spanish), but is put in web format here so that it can be translated using the Language/Translation function on our district website.

Prior to taking an online test, students should have the opportunity to practice using the tools that will be available to them within the test, as well as experience the types of questions that will be asked on each test.

  • Training and Practice Tests are available from the state's website (refer to Take a Training Test section below).
  • We recommend you first view a Universal Tools Training video on YouTube.  This video was created by the state of California, but is applicable to our tests as well.  The video is titled Universal Tools Overview and is available at these links.  English version  Spanish version
    • NOTE: There is one part of the California video that is not the same for Washington tests, and that is the spell-check tool seen toward the end of the video.  In the video they demonstrate it as 1) identifying possibly misspelled words, and then 2) they show it providing a correct spelling when you click on the misspelled word.  In Washington, the tool does identify possible misspelled words, but it does not provide the correct spelling for the student.
  • For Math and Science testing, there are training videos available for the Desmos calculators that are embedded in those tests (embedded means it's an online calculator).  Those can be found on the Desmos website.  The types of calculators used in testing are:
    • High School SBA Math = Graphing Calculator 
    • Grades 7-8 Math and Grade 8 and HS Science = Scientific Calculator 
    • Grade 6 Math and Grade 5 Science = Four Function Calculator 
    • Note: There are no embedded calculators in Grades 3-5 Math tests.

Here are some important notes about Training and Practice Tests:

  • Training Tests are short sample tests.  We recommend you start with these.  The will introduce you to the types of test questions you will see on the real test, along with most of the online tools.
  • Practice Tests are full-length sample tests, a comparable length to the real test that you will take.  In these you will see many more examples of the types of questions you will encounter.
  • Answers entered into Training and Practice Tests are not saved and not scored.
  • You may access Training and Practice Tests from home using your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari).

We recommend the following for students wishing to prepare for testing:

  • If you will take the Smarter Balanced ELA (English Language Arts) test (taken by grades 3-8 and high school students), we recommend:
    • The California Universal Tools Overview video (links above)
    • The ELA Training Test for your grade level
    • The ELA Performance Task Practice Test for your grade level
  • If you will take the Smarter Balanced Math test (taken by grades 3-8 and high school students), we recommend:
    • The California Universal Tools video
    • The Math Training Test for your grade level
    • Desmos Calculator training, if you want to know more about that tool
  • If you will take the WCAS Science test (taken by grades 5, 8, and 11), we recommend:
    • The Science Training Test for your grade level
    • Desmos Calculator training if you want to know more about that tool

Take a Training Test

  1. On your web browser, go to the WCAP Portal (WCAP stands for Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program). 
  2. Click on the Practice and Training Tests button and sign in as a Guest User with a Guest Session.   To do so, leave the login screen as is and click on the Sign In button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. On the Your Tests screen select a Grade Level from the drop-down menu and you'll be presented with sample test options available for the grade level selected.
  4. Scroll down the list and select (click on) one of the options.
    • Gold section = SBA Practice Tests in ELA and Math
    • Blue section = SBA Training Tests in ELA and Math
    • Pink section = WCAS (Science) Training Tests
  5. On the Choose Settings screen click on the Select button to continue (found at the bottom of the screen).  Doing this means you will be provided with the standard (default) test settings that most students use when testing online. 
    • If you wish to experiment with different settings, such as text-to-speech (audio read-aloud), ASL video, translated glossaries, or Spanish translated test, you would select those while on this screen but remember that you may not have access to those additional tools in the real test (check with your teacher if you have questions about that).
  6. Audio Check screen.  If there is an audio component to the test you selected, you will have to check here to make sure your sound is working properly.  Click on the audio icon, listen for the sound, and if you heard it, click on the I heard the sound button.  If you did not hear it, adjust the volume on your computer before continuing.  Prese the Continue button to move to the next screen once you confirm you can hear the sound.
  7. You Are Almost Ready to Begin Your Test screen:  This screen provides you with a Help Guide which you can review prior to starting the test.  You can also return to the Help Guide once you are in the test by clicking on the question mark button you will see at the top right corner of the test screen.
  8. Note that, at any time up until this point you wish to go back to a previous screen or log out, you can either use the Go Back button (at the bottom of the screen) or the logout button (icon at top right corner of the screen).  Once you are in the test itself, those particular buttons will no longer be available.
  9. Click on the Begin Test Now button to continue.

Once in the Test, Some Basic Test Rules You Need to Know

  • Remember that answers are not saved or scored.
  • On all tests except the Performance Tasks, you must answer every question on a page before you may continue to the next page.  You may mark a question for review if you wish to return to it, but you must input some answer to each question even then.
  • Make sure you read each question carefully to make sure you understand what you're being asked to do.  Some questions require multiple responses. 
  • On some tests there may be multiple segments.  When you complete a segment, you will not be able to return to those questions again.
  • In the Science test you may run across "Locking Questions."  Once you answer those questions and move forward you cannot change your answers.  Locking questions have a little padlock that appears next to the question number.  A green padlock means you may answer the question.  A red padlock tells you the question is now locked and your answer cannot be changed.
  • If at any time you wish to exit the test, but haven't yet completed it, you can click on the Pause button (the two vertical lines in the gold square) which is found at the top right corner of your screen.  Or, if you have completed all items, use the End Test button, which is a red square in a circle icon that will appear in the heading.  Even in a Training Test, this is a useful process to practice in order to experience the normal sequence of events in the test, exactly as you would in a real test.
    • NOTE:  If you pause a real test, your answers will be saved and when you log in again, you will be returned to the place where you left off, but if you pause a Practice or Training test, your answers will not be saved and if you log in again you will start again from the beginning.

 

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