- What Is the PARCC
- Sections of the PARCC
- Interpreting the PARCC Scores
- States using the PARCC
- How to Practice for the PARCC

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, also known as PARCC, is a Common Core-aligned assessment designed to measure the progress of students in 9 states. The PARCC is an annual year-end test used to measure the student's progress as well as encourage the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The PARCC test covers Math and English Language Arts progress from third through eleventh grade. Most schools administer the PARCC on a computer, though some still use the paper-and-pencil format. The computerized test presents students with new and engaging question formats that require them to think critically and demonstrate a deep understanding of the taught material.

States may use the entire test system as designed by Pearson, or they may buy test questions from an item bank to create a customized test system. States may also buy groups of questions or add their own test questions to create a test that is adapted to their needs. This method grants the states more flexibility and control over the testing system.

PARCC scores became part of the graduation requirements in some of the aligned states starting in 2016. The test can also play a role in determining if a student should be held back or admitted into a gifted program. Additionally, some colleges already use PARCC scores to determine placement. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare in order to ensure a score of three or above. Only students who score 3 and above receive a certification of readiness as part of their graduation.

Schools have a 30-day time window to administer the test, but most will finish it within a week or two.

The PARCC test contains three ELA units and four Math units. The time per unit changes with the grade, as can be seen in the following table:

Grade | ELA Unit 1 | ELA Unit 2 | ELA Unit 3 | Math Unit 1 | Math Unit 2 | Math Unit 3 | Math Unit 4 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

3 | 90 min | 75 min | 90 min | 60 min | 60 min | 60 min | 60 min |

4-5 | 90 min | 90 min | 90 min | 60 min | 60 min | 60 min | 60 min |

6-8 | 110 min | 110 min | 90 min | 80 min | 80 min | 80 min | X |

9-11 | 110 min | 110 min | 90 min | 90 min | 90 min | 90 min | X |

Math Units | X | X | X | 90 min | 90 min | 90 min | X |

*Note: Your school may follow a different timetable, but these are the recommended times per section.

PARCC score reports divide students' scores into five different performance levels, each demonstrating the different degrees of knowledge and skills accumulated by the students:

Level | Description |
---|---|

1 | Did not yet meet expectations |

2 | Partially met expectations |

3 | Approached expectations |

4 | Met expectations |

5 | Exceeded expectations |

PARCC scores have become part of the graduation requirements in some of the aligned states starting in 2016. This test may also play a role in determining if a student should be held back or admitted into a gifted program. Additionally, some college already use PARCC scores to determine placement. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare to ensure a score of three or above. Only students who score 3 and above receive a certification of readiness as part of their graduation. Read more on PARCC scores.

11 partners are currently participating in the PARCC assessment system to various degrees.

Fully Participating:

- Colorado – Grades 3–9, as well as any of the high school math assessments (Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Integrated Math I, II, or III).
- District of Columbia – Grades 3–8 and high school.
- Illinois – Grades 3–8.
- Maryland – Grades 3–8 and high school.
- New Jersey – Grades 3–8 and high school. While classes of previous years could graduate by achieving passing scores on high-level PARCC assessments.;students of the class of 2021 must take all PARCC high school assessments associated with courses in which they enrolled and received valid scores.
- New Mexico – Grades 3–8 and high school. Already from 2016 students have been required to earn a score of 3 or more on the PARCC grade 11 to meet graduation requirements.
- Rhode Island – Grades 3–9.

Partially Participating:

- Bureau of Indian Education.
- Department of Defense schools.
- Massachusetts – Grades 3–8 and high school. Some districts may administer the MCAS instead of the PARCC if they administered the MCAS the previous year.
- Louisiana – Students may be asked to take either PARCC or LEAP (a mix of PARCC and state-designed items) during grades 3–8 and high school.

The PARCC is an important test that can influence and shape your child's future academic development. The PARCC assesses a thinking process rather than memorized facts, so it is important to prepare for the test ahead of time. Make sure your child is ready by preparing with TestPrep-Online’s PARCC test practice pack. Our pack contains realistic practice tests, detailed answer explanations, and helpful study guides, allowing your child to become familiar with the test structure and providing him or her with the confidence needed to succeed.

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