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Note: the PARCC Practice Pack is NOT included in our Premium Membership.

About the PARCC ELA

The PARCC ELA test presents students with passages from fiction and non-fiction texts as well as videos and audio files. These are followed by questions in various formats. The questions ask students to analyze the media carefully and critically and to support their ideas using evidence. The writing tasks require students to demonstrate full comprehension by providing an accurate argument that addresses the prompt, uses relevant reasoning, and utilizes coherent and effective language. The reading tasks challenge students to analyze texts critically and to demonstrate appropriate grade-level knowledge of the English language, vocabulary, and syntax.

PARCC Scoring Rubric

The scoring rubric describes the level of achievement a response demonstrates for each score point. The rubric provides specific insight per item, and it measures students' reading comprehension by assessing the accuracy of students' reasoning and evidence selection. The mastery of the English language, grammar, and mechanics is also tested.

Aside from the explanation, the scoring rubric also provides a range of score points for each item. Scorers are provided with examples that serve as a reference and which ensure they interpret rubrics consistently and correctly. Learn more about the PARCC scores.

PARCC Question Types

Students can expect to encounter three types of questions on the PARCC test:

  • EBSR – Evidence-Based Selected-Response questions have two parts: The first is a traditional multiple-choice item asking students a question about the text. The second asks students to find evidence from the text that supports the answer they provided to the first question. The first part measures the accuracy of students' understanding of the text, while the second part measures the depth of the students' comprehension.

    EBSR instructs students to cite evidence from texts to support their reasoning. In addition, there may be more than one right answer to allow for students to generate a range of insights. Because of their evidence-based nature, EBSR items ask students to demonstrate close analytical reading and to compare and synthesize ideas.

    To earn full credit (two points), students must answer both parts of the question correctly. They may earn partial credit if they only answer part A correctly, but they will earn no credit if they only answer part B correctly.
  • TECR – Technology-Enhanced Constructed-Response questions also measure both reading comprehension and accuracy and later ask students to support their reasoning with evidence from the text. However, TECR questions vary in format and means of assessment. Students are often not presented with a list of choices but are asked to highlight the sentence they chose or drag and drop it into a dialogue box.

    Because of the multiple choices and parts of the TERC, the scoring varies as well. If students answer all parts (A, B, and sometimes C) correctly, they earn two points. If they answer part A correctly but miss parts B and C, they still get one point. If, however, they miss part A, they don’t get any points regardless of their responses to parts B and C.
  • PCR – Prose Constructed Response is an essay response that generally utilizes three different prompts: Narrative Task, Literary Analysis, and Research Simulation Task. The PCR asks students to write a response to a text unfamiliar to them so that they will generate their own ideas and not base their work on anything they heard in the classroom.

    The questions preceding the PCR address the same text to help guide students to think deeply about it. Students are also asked to write consciously for a specific genre (narrative, persuasive, or analytic) and to consider their audience as they utilize different vocabulary, rhetoric devices, and syntax.

PARCC ELA Grades 3–11

Information for each ELA unit per grade:

  • Third Grade – The test consists of seven reading passages overall. The test contains literary texts and assesses students' vocabulary, written expression, and knowledge of language and conventions.
    • Unit I contains a literary analysis task (two reading passages) and a literary short passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 35.
    • Unit II contains a research simulation task (two reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 27.
    • Unit III contains a narrative writing task (one reading passages) and an informational long passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 32.
  • Fourth Grade – The test consists of eight to nine reading passages overall. The test contains literary and informational texts and assesses students' vocabulary, written expression, and knowledge of language and conventions.
    • Unit I contains a literary analysis task (two reading passages) and a literary short passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 37.
    • Unit II contains a research simulation task (three reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 35.
    • Unit III contains a narrative writing task (one reading passages) and a long passage or paired passage set (one or two reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 32.
  • Fifth Grade – The test consists of eight to nine reading passages overall. The test contains literary and informational texts and assesses students' vocabulary, written expression, and knowledge of language and conventions.
    • Unit I contains a literary analysis task (two reading passages) and a literary short passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 39.
    • Unit II contains a research simulation task (three reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 35.
    • Unit III contains a narrative writing task (one reading passages) and an informational long passage or paired passage set (one or two reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 32.
  • Sixth–Eleventh Grades – The test consists of ten reading passages overall. The test contains literary and informational texts and assesses students' vocabulary, written expression, understanding of the major claim of the text, and knowledge of language and conventions.
    •  Unit I contains a literary analysis task (two reading passages) and a long passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 43.
    • Unit II contains a research simulation task (three reading passages) and a short passage set (one reading passage). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 43.
    • Unit III contains a narrative writing task (one reading passage) and a paired passage set (two reading passages). The maximum number of points a student may earn is 32.

How to Prepare for the PARCC ELA

Here are three tips to help you ace the PARRC ELA assessment – ELA:

  • Evidence. Nearly every PARCC task asks your child to justify his or her reasoning. The search for evidence will help your child analyze the text better, pay closer attention to various literary devices, and generate richer insights. Practicing with both an academic and investigative approach will help your child find stronger evidence and write stronger arguments.
  • Learn from mistakes. Help your child find his or her weaknesses by reviewing and analyzing various types of texts. Interaction with persuasive, informative, and narrative-based texts will help your child spot and conquer whichever task posed a challenge to him or her in the past.
  • Always go back to the source. Whether it is a question or an essay, any uncertainty can be addressed by going back to the text. The text serves not only as the test but also as a guide and a source for ideas, arguments, and evidence.

PARCC Practice for ELA - Online

The PARCC ELA test assesses students' reading comprehension and accuracy by asking them thought-provoking questions about the texts. By requiring them to support their arguments with evidence from the text, the PARCC measures not only knowledge but also skill and reasoning. Since the PARCC plays a significant role in influencing your child's future, it is vital to spend time preparing for it. TestPrep-Online's PARCC preparation packs contain PARCC practice tests, study guides, and detailed answer explanations, all of which will help prepare your child for the PARCC. 

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