Smarter Balanced ELA

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ELA Computer Adaptive (CAT) Items

ELA Performance Task (PT)


  • May be done in one session,  but no more than six sessions 
  • Session durations range from 40 – 60 minutes



  • Administer in two sessions corresponding to Parts 1 and 2 of the PT
  • Session durations range from 60 – 120 minutes

Once students begin CAT items, they will be available for 45 days

  • Recommended that students complete within 5 days of starting

Once students begin the PT, it will be available for 10 days.

  • Recommended that students complete each part of the PT within one day

Headphones are required for the listening portion of the ELA assessment and for students requiring text to speech. 

Scratch paper will be provided for note taking, if necessary

Headphones are required for some performance tasks and for students requiring text to speech.


Scratch and graph paper will be provided, if necessary


*A performance task (PT) is a portion of the test that requires students to answer a set of complex questions that are centered on a common topic or problem.

*A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is the online portion of the test.  This test may include videos, audio, power point slides or interactive test questions.  In the adaptive portion of the online assessment, the questions are chosen for each student so that the test is neither too hard nor too easy.