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State Assessments Overview

Statewide assessment is critical because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education.

  • Elementary and middle school students are regularly assessed by the state to assess their progress as they move toward higher education.
  • High school students are tested on their proficiency of basic skills, content knowledge, and college and career readiness and must pass specific assessments to be eligible to graduate.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) develops or selects and administers all state assessments and reports achievement data for students, schools, districts and the state. This information assists districts and schools in refining instructional practices and curriculum, and gives families valuable information about how well their children are doing.

To learn more about state testing, visit or click on the names of each test below. For questions, write to

State Assessments

  • Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Skills (WaKIDS)
    This readiness assessment helps bring families, teachers and early learning providers together to support each child’s learning and transition into public schools. Given to students entering kindergarten.
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)
    Given to students in grades 3-8 and 11 to assess progress and college and career readiness in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.
  • Measurements of Student Progress (MSP)
    Given to students in grades 5 and 8 to measure student progress in science.
  • End-of-Course Assessments (EOC) 
    Math and biology tests taken as students finish algebra 1/integrated math 1, geometry/integrated math 2, and biology for students through the Class of 2018 (in math) and for federal accountability (in science).
  • High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)
    Reading and writing assessments for students through the Class of 2016.
  • Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA)
    WELPA placement test assesses the reading, writing, listening, and speaking knowledge and skills of students whose families answer "yes" to questions #2 or #3 on the Home Language Survey. The WELPA placement test is used to determine student eligibility for English language development (ELD) services.
  • Washington – Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM)
    ELA, math, and science alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive challenges documented in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • OSPI-Developed Assessments and Performance Assessments (formerly CBAs and CBPAs)
    The state supports the development of classroom-based assessments that are based on the state’s learning standards and help guide day-to-day  instruction. State curriculum specialists create tasks and questions that model good assessments and provide them to local school districts.
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
    NAEP is a national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states. Federal law requires every state to give the NAEP in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding to aid educationally disadvantaged students in high poverty areas must participate in these assessments. Other subjects also are tested.