The CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) is a system of assessments that was designed to measure the progress of California students toward the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which outline the skills and knowledge necessary for success in college and careers.
The CAASPP is administered annually to California public school students in grades 3-8 and in grade 11. In this article, we’ll focus on the 5th grade CAASPP.
While preparing for the CAASPP, it is important for your child to complete practice questions in order to become familiar with test content. To help you get started, we’re also providing links to CAASPP practice tests 5th grade.Click button below to access 5th Grade SBAC California Practice Test PDF (aka CAASPP). 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. CAASPP Practice Tests Grade 5
5th Grade CAASPP Basics
Your child will not be required to take every test in the CAASPP system, but CAASPP consists of the following assessments:
We’ll now take a closer look at each of the CAASPP assessments and help you determine which tests your child will need to take.
Smarter Balanced (SBAC)
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a group of states committed to creating and continuing to improve reliable assessments that are linked with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Since California is an SBAC member state, students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 are required to take the SBAC English Language Arts and SBAC Mathematics tests annually.
Each SBAC test consists of two parts: a computer adaptive test and a Performance Task. While most state assessments assign the same set of questions to every student, the SBAC’s computer adaptive test individually adapts the questions a student is asked to more closely match the student’s skill level.
As a student answers questions correctly, the questions become increasingly difficult. If a student begins to miss questions, questions become less challenging. This allows the SBAC to more accurately assess student progress and performance.
Performance Tasks require students to respond to complex real-world scenarios using critical thinking, problem solving, and other grade-level appropriate knowledge. Performance Tasks take about 45 minutes to complete.
SBAC tests ask the following question types:
The SBAC is an untimed test to prevent time constraints from negatively impacting student performance.
However, it is estimated that 5th grade students will need about 3 and a half hours for English Language Arts and about 2 and a half hours for Mathematics.
SBAC Mathematics 5th Grade
On the SBAC Mathematics test, the stated objective for 5th grade students is to ”demonstrate progress toward college and career readiness in mathematics.”
To demonstrate that they have reached this goal, students must show ability in the following areas:
To answer Concepts and Procedures questions, 5th grade students must add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions, classify two dimensional figures into categories, and graph points on coordinate planes to solve real-world problems.
Problem Solving questions require students to apply 5th grade level math skills (as outlined by the CCSS) to real-world situations. Students must be able to interpret results in context and map relationships using diagrams, graphs, and formulas.
Communicating Reasoning questions ask students to explain their reasoning, construct examples to evaluate a proposition or conjecture, and identify flaws in mathematical arguments or logic.
Students may also be asked to critique, prove, justify, or investigate mathematical conjectures and logic.
Modeling and Data Analysis questions are perhaps the most challenging, since students are required to apply mathematical knowledge to complex real world scenarios. Students may be asked to improve upon provided mathematical models or design models of their own, and they may need to plan, design, and evaluate tasks.
The most important skill for SBAC Mathematics 5th grade is the ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-world situations.
This is a challenging skill, but remember that your child will be learning key mathematical concepts throughout the school year. Plus, the CASPP practice tests 5th grade are a tremendously helpful tool in preparing your child for success.
SBAC English Language Arts 5th Grade
For 5th grade students, SBAC states that the goal on the English Language Arts assessment is to “demonstrate college and career readiness in English Language Arts.”
To reach this goal, students must successfully use the following skills:
Reading questions are based on 5th grade level informational and literary texts. The questions are designed to test a student’s ability to understand, analyze, and find supporting evidence in a written text.
The questions focus 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.
Providing evidence to support responses is one of the most important skills on SBAC ELA. Many questions have two parts: Students answer the question in Part A and then select evidence to support their response in Part B.
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. 5th 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 correct and effective use of language and vocabulary.
The Speaking and Listening questions test essentially the same comprehension and analysis skills as the Reading section, but students are responding to an audio text instead of a written text. 5th grade students are permitted to individually rewind, pause, and take notes as they listen.
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) for 5th Grade
The California Alternate Assessment (CAAs) are not required. Instead, they are an optional 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 aligned with an alternative version of the Common Core State Standards, and it is significantly shorter than the SBAC.
Instead of occurring in a group setting like the SBAC, the test is administered in a one to one setting by a familiar teacher who is trained to proctor the CAA.
To qualify for this alternate assessment, 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 being piloted during the 2016-2017 school year. It will eventually be administered to eligible students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (10th, 11th, or 12th grade).
California Science Test
For students who will not take CAA Science, a California Science Test (CAST) is currently in the piloting stages as well. The test will also be administered to students in grades 5, 8, and once in high school (grade 10, 11, or 12).
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)
The Standards Based Test in Spanish (STS), is also not a required assessment. The STS serves as an alternate to SBAC ELA for students who qualify.
The STS is for grades 2-11. It is a multiple choice paper and pencil test that is written in Spanish.
To qualify to take the STS instead of SBAC ELA, students must either receive instruction in Spanish or be a Spanish speaker who have been enrolled in a United States school for less than 12 months.
CAASPP 5th Grade Recap
CAASPP can be a bit complicated, so let’s recap the key points:
The strong connection between teachers’ curriculums and the CAASPP means it is essential for your child to work hard in school, especially in ELA, Science, and Mathematics. Advise your child to pay attention, complete classwork and homework, take notes, and let you know if he or she is struggling.
If your child does seem to struggle in one of these core areas, you may want to ask the teacher for extra help or hire a tutor.
Equally important is completing practice questions and practice tests in order to gain familiarity with test content and build both skill and confidence. The CAASPP practice tests 5th grade are an excellent place for you and your child to get started.
By simply reading this article and following the test prep tips discussed here, you’ve set your child on the path to CAASPP success!