The CBAL Reading Assessment

CBAL is a long-term research and development program targeted at creating a model for a comprehensive summative and formative assessment system for K-12. The model incorporates many innovations, including a basis in learning sciences research, technology-based performance tasks, and a through-course approach to summative assessment.


Subdomain (previous)
Applied Comprehension Skills, Pre-Reading Strategies, Model Building Strategies, Strategies for Going Beyond the Text
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade,
4th Grade,
5th Grade,
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade,
9th Grade,
10th Grade,
11th Grade,
12th Grade

Administration Information

Not specified
Not indicated

Access and Use

Use in Research

Fu, J., & Wise, M. (2012). Statistical Report of 2011 “CBAL”™ Multistate Administration of Reading and Writing Tests. Research Report. ETS RR-12-24. ETS Research Report Series.

Bennett, R. E. (2010). Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL): A Preliminary Theory of Action for Summative and Formative Assessment. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 8(2–3), 70–91.…

Liu, L., Rogat, A., & Bertling, M. (2013). A “CBAL”™ Science Model of Cognition: Developing a Competency Model and Learning Progressions to Support Assessment Development. Research Report. ETS RR-13-29. ETS Research Report Series. 

Fife, J. H. (2013). Automated Scoring of Mathematics Tasks in the Common Core Era: Enhancements to M-Rater in Support of “CBAL”™ Mathematics and the Common Core Assessments. Research Reports. ETS RR-13-26. ETS Research Report Series.

Fu, J., Chung, S., & Wise, M. (2013). Dimensionality Analysis of “CBAL”™ Writing Tests. Research Report. ETS RR-13-10. ETS Research Report Series.

Arieli-Attali, M., & Cayton-Hodges, G. (2014). Expanding the “CBAL”™ Mathematics Assessments to Elementary Grades: The Development of a Competency Model and a Rational Number Learning Progression. Research Report. ETS RR-14-08. ETS Research Report Series. 

Deane, P., Sabatini, J., Feng, G., Sparks, J., Song, Y., Fowles, M., O’Reilly, T., Jueds, K., Krovetz, R., & Foley, C. (2015). Key Practices in the English Language Arts (ELA): Linking Learning Theory, Assessment, and Instruction. Research Report. ETS RR-15-17. ETS Research Report Series.

Sparks, J. R., & Deane, P. (2015). Cognitively Based Assessment of Research and Inquiry Skills: Defining a Key Practice in the English Language Arts. Research Report. ETS RR-15-35. ETS Research Report Series.

Deane, P., Odendahl, N., Quinlan, T., Fowles, M., Welsh, C., & Bivens-Tatum, J. (2008). Cognitive Models of Writing: Writing Proficiency as a Complex Integrated Skill. ETS Research Report Series.

O’Reilly, T., Deane, P., & Sabatini, J. (2015). Building and Sharing Knowledge Key Practice: What Do You Know, What Don’t You Know, What Did You Learn? Research Report. ETS RR-15-24. ETS Research Report Series.


Computer scoring,
Manual scoring
Psychometric References

Embretson, S. (2010). Cognitively Based Assessment and the Integration of Summative and Formative Assessments. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 8(4), 180–184.…