If your child attends public school in California, he or she will need to take the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). CAASPP is not just one exam, but a system of assessments that was designed to measure the progress of California students toward the academic skills and knowledge outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Students in grades 3-8 and in grade 11 take the CAASPP annually. In this article, we’ll focus on the 4th grade CAASPP.
Because these tests are both unique and challenging, it is essential to have your child complete practice questions in order to gain confidence and familiarity with test content. To help you out, we’re also providing links (see button below) to CAASPP practice tests 4th grade. In addition, you will also receive a bonus PDF "5 Proven Test Prep Strategies for Using Practice Tests" to help you develop a study plan.
Grade 4 SBAC California (aka CAASPP) Practice Test PDF:CAASPP Practice Tests Grade 4
4th Grade CAASPP Basics
Although your child will not be required to take every CAASPP test, CAASPP consists of the following assessments:
In the next few sections, we’ll take a closer look at each of the CAASPP tests and help you determine which tests will be administered to your child.
Smarter Balanced (SBAC)
California is a member state of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a group of states committed to creating and consistently improving accurate assessments that are linked with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
For this reason, students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 are required to take the SBAC English Language Arts and SBAC Mathematics tests each year.
The only California public school students who do not take the SBAC are English language learners who have attended school in the United States for less than a year and those with significant cognitive disabilities.
Each SBAC test contains two parts: a computer adaptive test and a Performance Task. Unlike most state exams, the SBAC’s computer adaptive test adjusts to match the individual student’s skill level, with questions becoming more challenging if students answer correctly and less challenging if students submit incorrect responses.
Performance Tasks take about 45 minutes to complete and prompt students to apply grade level appropriate skills and knowledge, as well as critical thinking and problem solving, to respond to complex real-world problems.
All SBAC questions fall into the following categories:
SBAC question types include the following:
The SBAC is untimed so that students can perform their best without the added pressure of time constraints. However, it is estimated that 4th grade students will need about 4 hours for English Language Arts and about 3 hours for Mathematics. The tests are usually spread over the course of a few days.
SBAC Mathematics 4th Grade
The objective for 4th grade students on SBAC Mathematics is to ”demonstrate progress toward college and career readiness in mathematics.”
In order to achieve this goal, students must show ability in the following areas:
For Concepts and Procedures questions, 4th grade students are asked to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, understand place value and fractions, solve problems involving measurement and estimations of time, mass, and volume, and understand the basics of shapes and their characteristics.
4th graders must additionally understand decimals, generate and analyze patterns, convert measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit, represent and interpret data, and draw and identify lines and angles.
Problem Solving questions require students to apply grade level appropriate math to real-world situations. They must be able to strategically select and use tools as they solve problems, and they need the ability to interpret results in context and map relationships using diagrams, graphs, and formulas.
For Communicating Reasoning questions, students need the ability to explain their reasoning, construct examples to evaluate a proposition or conjecture, and identify flaws in arguments or logic. Students may be asked to critique, prove, justify, or investigate mathematical conjectures and logic.
Modeling and Data Analysis questions are particularly challenging, as students are expected to apply mathematical knowledge to complex real world situations. Students may be asked to develop mathematical models of their own or to improve upon provided models. Students may also be asked to plan, design, and evaluate tasks.
The key to a successful SBAC Mathematics performance is the ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-world situations.
While this is a complex, high level skill, remember that your child will be learning key mathematical concepts throughout the school year. Additionally, the CASPP practice tests 4th grade can go a long way toward preparing your child for success.
SBAC English Language Arts 4th Grade
For 4th grade students, the goal on SBAC ELA is to “demonstrate college and career readiness in English Language Arts.”
Students can reach this goal by successfully using the following skills:
Reading questions ask students to read both literary and informational texts of grade level appropriate difficulty.
Students then answer questions focusing on key details, central ideas, the meaning of words in context, reasoning and evidence, analysis within and across texts, text structures and features, and figurative language, connotative meanings, and the impact of word choice on meaning and tone.
The key skill in this section is the ability to provide evidence to support responses. Many questions consist of two parts, with the second part asking students to select evidence that supports their answer in Part One.
Writing tasks require students to demonstrate the ability to write a variety of text types, including narrative, informational, and opinion pieces. Although many of the writing tasks are “brief writes,” there are longer form writing pieces as well. 4th grade students may be asked to respond to a question by synthesizing and responding to three provided sources.
Students may also need to edit pieces of writing, and they will be assessed on proper use of language and vocabulary.
The Speaking and Listening questions are very similar to the Reading questions, but students are responding to an audio text instead of a written text. 4th grade students are permitted to rewind, pause, and take notes.
Research and Inquiry questions require the ability to locate information to support main ideas and key details, distinguish relevant and irrelevant sources, and cite evidence to support opinions.
California Alternate Assessments (CAA)
Most students are not required to take the California Alternate Assessments (CAA). Instead, it is an alternative to the SBAC for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
Like the SBAC, the CAA is a set of computer adaptive tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics that are designed for students in grades 3-8 and grade 11.**
The CAA is much shorter than the SBAC and is based on an alternate version of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The test is administered in a one to one setting by a trained teacher who is familiar to the student being assessed.
To qualify for the CAA, students must be unable to complete the SBAC even with the use of accessibility supports. They must also have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) specifying that they must be provided with an alternate test for assessment.
A CAA Science test is currently in the piloting stages. It will eventually be administered to eligible students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (10th, 11th, or 12th grade).
Of course, this means that the test will not be required for 4th grade students, but any eligible California public school student will take CAA Science at some point.
California Science Test
For students who will not take CAA Science, a California Science Test (CAST) is also being piloted. The test will be administered to students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (grade 10, 11, or 12).
This test, too, is not required for your 4th grade student, but your child will encounter the test if he or she remains in a California public school for 5th grade.
CAST questions are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards. This test will be computer based as well.
The California Standards Test (CST) for Science, the California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science, and the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science will no longer be administered.
Standards Based Test in Spanish (STS)
Like the CAA, the Standards Based Test in Spanish (STS) is not required for all students. It is an alternative to SBAC English Language Arts.
The STS is for grades 2-11. It is a multiple choice paper and pencil test that is written in Spanish.
The STS is for students who receive instruction in Spanish OR for Spanish speakers who have been enrolled in a United States school for less than 12 months. These students will not be asked to take SBAC English Language Arts.
CAASPP 4th Grade Recap
That was a lot of information! Let’s recap the key points:
This means it is essential for your child to pay attention in school, especially in ELA and Mathematics. Tell your child to complete classwork and homework, take notes, and let you know if he or she is struggling.
If your child does struggle in one of these key areas, it may be a good idea to hire a tutor or ask the teacher for additional assistance.
The other key to success is to have your child complete practice questions in order to gain familiarity with test content. The CAASPP practice tests 4th grade are the perfect resource for this test prep strategy.
We hope that you’ve found this information useful, and we wish you and your child the best of luck on the CAASPP!