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Testing and Assessment Services

Alternative Assessment: Smarter Balanced Math and English Placements

Please note that TAS will not accept SBA scores for placement purposes if the student has been out of high school for more than one year.

Automatic Placement Options Available to Students Entering Directly from High School:

Math English

For placement into Math& 107 (Math in Society), Math& 146 (Statistics), or their equivalents:

1) Level 3 or 4 score on high school Smarter Balanced assessment plus

a) B or better in Algebra 2, and

b) successful completion (passing grade) of one math course in the junior or senior year


2) B or better grade in designated Bridge to College Math class as a senior

For placement into other entry-level math courses (including pre-calculus):

Requires Smarter Balanced Level 3 or 4 plus

B or better in a high school pre-calculus or higher course

For placement into any entry college-level English course (including but not limited to English Composition or its equivalent):


1) Level 3 or 4 score on high school Smarter Balanced assessment


2) B or better grade in designated Bridge to College Englishclass as a senior



  1. Dual-credit students (Running Start, College in the High School) can use their discipline-appropriate Smarter Balance scores to enroll in Math& 107 (Math in Society), Math& 146 (Statistics), or their equivalents (requires score plus B or better in Algebra 2) or an entry college-level English course (including but not limited to English Composition or its equivalent).
  2. For all score levels in math, placement into more advanced courses than designated in the agreement will depend on additional local institutional placement processes (transcript, high school GPA, additional testing, etc.).
  3. The agreements apply only to placement considerations for high school students with Smarter Balanced high school assessment scores admitted to and enrolling in the academic year (for math, fall quarter only) immediately following high school graduation or students enrolling in dual-credit courses in the academic year after taking the assessment. Local colleges may extend the time period for honoring the scores for placement.
  4. The Bridge to College courses are not yet available statewide; the courses can be identified on transcripts by a common course code (WA0001 for English, WA0003 for math).

Specific Terms of the Agreement

  1. This system-approved placement agreement represents the commitment of Washington’s community and technical colleges to provide high school students with multiple options for placement to establish their readiness for college-level coursework.
  2. The goal of the agreement is to increase the number of students enrolling directly into college courses without remediation by 
    1. offering students an early opportunity to know whether they are ready for college-level academic work;
    2. providing an incentive for achieving the Common Core standards as reflected in the Smarter Balanced assessment; and
    3. creating alternatives for students, if necessary, to use their last two years of high school more effectively in getting ready for college-level work.
  1. Anything not specifically defined in the language of the agreement is left up to individual colleges to determine.
  1. This agreement applies beginning with students taking the high school assessment in spring 2018 and is in effect for the high school graduating classes through the Class of 2022. It will be reviewed and renewed or revised formally by winter 2021 based on relevant data gathered on the Smarter Balanced assessment, including a) correlations with SAT/ACT scores, b) grade 12 student performance, and c) student performance on placement tests into and success in entry college-level courses, especially math and English.
  1. High school students who took the previous version of the Smarter Balanced high school assessment as juniors in spring 2017 will be able to use the results for placement in the 2018-19 academic year under the terms of the May 2017 system agreement.