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Home » Student Success » Testing » State Assessments » Scores and Reports » Achievement Level Descriptors

Achievement Level Descriptors

Achievement level descriptors (ALDs) describe the knowledge, skills, and processes that students demonstrate on state tests at pre-determined levels of achievement for each tested grade level.

Smarter Balanced Assessments

Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics are administered to students in grades 3-8 and high school. Smarter Balanced ALDs were developed by K-12 teachers and administrators and higher education faculty from the Smarter Balanced Governing States. The ALDs are aligned to the academic level colleges expect students to have when they arrive on campus.

Information on Achievement Levels, Achievement Level Setting, and the ALDs is available on the Smarter Balanced Reporting Scores webpage.

Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS)

The WCAS is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and 11. The WCAS ALDs were developed by science educators (classroom teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum specialists, science consultants) from across Washington. The ALDs are derived from the Washington State 2013 K–12 Science Learning Standards which are the Next Generation Science Standards.

The WCAS ALDs are intended to describe the performance exhibited by students at Level 2, Level 3, or Level 4 on the state science assessment. ALDs can enhance understanding of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses and guide educators in planning.