PARCC Test – Introduction

PARCC stands for “Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.” The tests are developed by a number of states to administer state exams. States participating in PARCC use the tests to monitor academic progress rather than using individual state tests and to standardize Common Core educational expectations and practices across states.

The participating states claim that PARCC tests better provide information about a student’s educational development and skills to educators, parents, and the students themselves than other standardized diagnostic assessments.

PARCC exams are not so widespread and relatively new. They are administered, generally on a yearly basis, at the states’ public schools to monitor student academic development and progress. The tests additionally set expectations and standards for what students are expected to command by the end of each school year.

PARCC exams are developed to assess and evaluate college & career readiness already from a young age. The idea is that when schools evaluate a student’s achievements early and regularly (for example on a yearly basis), educators and parents can better help children get ready for the future. Teachers can, for instance, use the generated information to identify which students require extra help on what subject fields.

One of the goals of the PARCC exams is to set an indication for college-readiness for college-bound high school students comparable to how ACT and SAT scores are used. So far, however, only a few colleges are accepting PARCC test results just like they do SAT, ACT, or GED college-ready scores.

There are many assessments that are administered through the PARCC system, most being annual end-of-the-year tests that measure proficiency in English Language and Mathematics in grades 3 through 11. The PARCC program includes additionally many instructional tasks and tools that teachers can be used all through the academic year.

By the end of 2017, the following states administered the PARCC assessments: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington DC.

The PARCC tests assess a student’s proficiency mainly in the content areas Math and English Language and are contemporary measurements of problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The PARCC exams do not only test content, but they also assess a student’s skill development so they can succeed academically and in life.

Check out also MyCareerTools’ free PARCC college entry-level practice tests.

When trying to monitor if students develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills (essential elements for performing in post-secondary education and the workplace), the way questions are are equally important as the related content.

For all students (grade levels 3 through 11) counts that they have to read one or several passages or watch simply a video, and are asked to write down something about what they’ve read or seen while providing evidence from those sources. At middle schools and high schools, students are required to read a number of passages and then produce a written response.

All students (grade level 3 through 11) must demonstrate mathematical proficiency in line with their grade level and understand quantities to solve problems in real-world settings. Middle school and high school students must demonstrate proficiency in math procedures, concepts, and models related to number sense, ratios, proportions, rational numbers, including their understanding of dealing with equations, expressions, and graphs.

Students may use PARCC practice tests just like they would prepare for the ACT, SAT, or GED exams. All of these diagnostic tests measure to what extent students are prepared for success in college and beyond. Taking practice tests will let you see if you have weak subject fields so you can use your precious study time efficiently.

The PARCC assessments are diagnostic tests that have no passing or failing scores. You will not be rewarded or penalized related to your performance on the PARCC exams. The test results are used by educators, administrators, and parents to see whether the students command what they are supposed to have learned and to help teachers come up with customized study plans for students.

The PARCC test results are not a measure of a student’s intelligence or an indication of how successful they will be in college or life. The tests measure how familiar students are with specific academic knowledge and the tests’ content and at the 11-grade level, will indicate to what extent students are on track for success in post-secondary education.

There are five PARCC “Performance Levels”:

  • Level 1 indicates a student wasn’t meeting the expected level
  • Level 2 indicates a student did partially meet the expected level
  • Level 3 indicates a student was approaching the expected level
  • Level 4 indicated a student performed in line with the expected level
  • Level 5 indicates a student exceeded the expected level

PARCC exams are assessing high-level cognitive skills instead of measuring simply memorizing straight-up content. The questions you’ll find on the PARCC tests may be similar to questions found on the SAT or ACT college-entrance exams.

Disclaimer: MyCareerTools is not affiliated with or endorsed by the PARCC organization. PARCC is a registered trademark and used here solely for reference and identification.