What is PARCC Testing?

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One of the hottest topics you may encounter is the effectiveness of any standardized test. You may hear different opinions. Others may agree with it, while many oppose it. One of these is PARCC. What is PARCC Testing? PARCC test is also known as the Partnership for Assessing of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC stands that since they replace the traditional state test, they are more effective in measuring the student’s knowledge and skills.

However, whether this claim from PARCC is valid or not, you must know what is PARCC testing used for and its other relevant information that will help you, whether you are a parent or a teacher. Let us discuss each piece of information in detail below.

What is PARCC Test Used for?What is PARCC Test Used for?

PARCC was formulated by a group of states, such as the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Educational Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education, that formed a partnership to create a standardized test to measure the student’s readiness for life in college and beyond. The test composes of Mathematics, English Language Arts/Literacy. According to PARCC, the test measures essential skills such as comprehension of advanced vocabulary, application of evidenced-based writing, and problem-solving. These skills are vital in determining students’ academic success.

The PARCC test results have significance to the teacher’s teaching based on the students’ needs. For example, if the results are low, the teachers will have the chance to assess their teaching method and identify the areas needed for improvement. If the results are high, the teacher’s way of teaching is effective for the students. Thus, the group of states believes that this test is a base for enhancing the teachers’ ability to teach and measuring the students’ readiness for college.

How is PARCC Administered?

How is PARCC Administered?

The different standardized tests have different manners of administering them to the students. Below is how PARCC is administered:

Who are the test takers?

Students from grade 3 to grade 8, who are currently enrolled in Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, and English 1 and 2 need to take this test.

When to take the exam?

According to the District of Columbia, for the school year 2022-2023, the test will be administered in April and May. The school will announce the exact testing schedule, so the parents to be well informed. The results of the test will be released by September 2023.

How is it administered?

PARCC is administered online. Thus, it is a computer-based assessment test. However, for those states like some of the Illinois school districts, where an online test is not doable, they administer it in paper and pencil.

Tests Administered by PARCC

Tests Administered by PARCC

There are five components of the test. These are the following:

  • Summative assessment – this is used to measure the students’ skills and knowledge. It has two parts: Performance-based Assessment (PBA) and the End of Year (EOY). The PBA is administered in early spring, while the EOY is at the end of the year. The overall PARCC score is the combination of the result of these assessment tests.
  • Interim assessment serves as the teachers’ guide in determining the students’ strengths and weaknesses. Thus, it helps the school in improving the instruction and curriculum.
  • Formative assessments – K1 may use this.
  • Diagnostic assessments – grades 2-8 may use this.
  • Speaking and listening assessments – this may be administered in grades 3-8.

States that Use PARCC Testing

States that Use PARCC Testing

The PARCC test has faced a lot of controversies, especially among parents. That’s why some states continuously use the PARCC test. However, some states have changed their assessment test. Below are the states that use PARCC:

  • District of Columbia – until now, the District of Columbia has been using the PARCC test as the annual assessment of Mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).
  • New Jersey – the state of New Jersey started using the PARCC test in the year 2014-2015. Now they are still implementing it for the students.
  • New Mexico – the state of New Mexico began using the PARCC test in 2010. The students in Grades 3-8 are taking Mathematics and ELA or English, Language, and Arts. They also require their high-school students to take Algebra 1/2 and Geometry.
  • Illinois – Illinois state stopped using the PARCC test in the year 2019. The Illinois Assessment of Readiness, or IAR, replaced it.
  • Mary Land – the last implementation of the PARCC test in Mary Land was in 2018. It was replaced by Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP).

What is on the PARCC Test?

What is on the PARCC Test?

Below are what you can expect from the PARCC test based on its blueprint:

Grade 3

Form A

Task

Subtopics

Max Points from EBSR/TECR Items

Max Points from PCRs

Time Given

Unit 1

Literacy Analysis Task

Reading: Literary Text

8

3

75 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

9

Writing:   Knowledge of Language     and Conventions

0

3

Unit 2

Research Simulation Task

Reading: Informational Text

8

3

75 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

9

Writing:   Knowledge of Language     and Conventions

0

3

Total

24 Reading

6 Reading 24 Writing

2.5 hours

Form B

Task

Subtopics

Max Points from EBSR/TECR Items

Max Points from PCRs

Time Given

Unit 1

Narrative Writing Task

Reading: Literary Text

8

0

75 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

0

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

9

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Short Passage Set

Reading: Literary Text

4

N/A

Reading: Vocabulary

4

N/A

Unit 2

Research Simulation Task

Reading: Informational Text

8

3

75 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

9

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Total

 

28 Reading

3 Reading 24 Writing

2.5 hours

Grade 4-5

FORM A

Task

Subtopics

Max Points from EBSR/TECR Items

Max Points from PCRs

Time Given

Unit 1

Narrative Writing Task

Reading: Literary Text

8

4

90 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

12

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Short Passage Set

Reading: Literary Text

6

N/A

Reading: Vocabulary

2

N/A

Unit 2

Research Simulation Task

Reading: Informational Text

12

4

90 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

12

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Total

 

36 Reading

8 Reading 30 Writing

3 hours

 FORM B

Task

Subtopics

Max Points from EBSR/TECR Items

Max Points from PCRs

Time Given

Unit 1

Narrative Writing Task

Reading: Literary Text

8

0

90 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

0

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

9

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Long or Paired Passage Set

Reading: Literary Text

8

N/A

Reading: Vocabulary

4

N/A

Unit 2

Research Simulation Task

Reading: Informational Text

12

4

90 minutes

Reading: Vocabulary

4

0

Writing:   Written Expression

0

12

Writing:   Knowledge of Language and Conventions

0

3

Total

 

36 Reading

4 Reading 27 Writing

3 hours

 Mathematics

Items

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II

Type 1

1 point

24

20

20

18

20

20 16 18

16

2 points

3 5 5 4 5 3 5 6

7

4 points

1 0 1 1 0

0

Type II

3 points

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

2

4 points

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1

Type III

3 points

2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1

1

6 points

1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2

2

Type I total

27 25 25 23 25 24 22 24

23

Type 2 total

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3

Type 3 total

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3

What Topics are Covered?

What Topics are Covered?

The topics covered are English, which tests the students’ critical thinking skills, and Math, which measures the students’ problem-solving skills.

Specifically, the grade 3-5 students have to answer the writing assessment that measures their four criteria: development of ideas, organization, clarity of language, and knowledge of language and conventions.

They must read a story, fable, folktale, and myth, and a series of questions follow. For example, the students must describe the story’s characters, like their traits or emotions. They may also need to describe the story in chronological order. They also need to identify the lessons of the story. That’s why students need to have high reading comprehension skills.

The mathematics for grade 3-5 students need to answer the exact standard language, like applying the properties of integer exponents to come up with the correct numerical expressions. The students also need to practice the specific parts of the standard, mathematical modeling, mathematical reasoning, and the integrative evidence statement.

How Many Questions?

How Many Questions?

For Mathematics, there are 43 questions for students Grade 3-8. Below are some of the pointers to take note of:

  • multiplication and division
  • products and quotients
  • two-step problems
  • fractions as numbers and equivalence
  • time
  • volumes and masses
  • multi-digit arithmetic
  • geometric measurement
  • scaled graphs
  • understanding shapes
  • measurement data
  • perimeter and area
  • concrete referents and diagrams
  • properties of operations
  • determining the accurate reasoning
  • modeling

For English, there is a total of 94 questions. Unit one is a literary analysis task with two reading passages and one short literary passage. Unit two has a research simulation task with two reading passages, while unit three has a narrative writing task with one reading passage and a long informational passage.

How Does the PARCC Scoring Works?

How Does the PARCC Scoring Works?

PARCC test uses scale scores, sub-claim performance indicators, and performance indicators. The scale score contains the numerical value to measure the student’s performance. Different questions have various weights.

For example, more straightforward questions have lower weight, while complex or more advanced questions have greater weight. The scale score ranges from 650 to 850. For reading, it ranges from 10 to 90, and for writing, it ranges from 10 to 60. Reading and writing come with sub-scores. Aside from the scale score, the students will also receive a qualitative description of the results like the following:

  • Level 1 indicates “Did Not Yet Meet Expectations”
  • Level 2 indicates “Partially Met Expectations”
  • Level 3 indicates “Approached Expectations”
  • Level 4 indicates “Met Expectations”
  • Level 5 indicates “Exceeded Expectations”

As much as possible, you must aim to score from level 4 to level 5 to qualify for the next level, which is college.

How Do You Prepare for the PARCC Test: Study Tips & Guides

How Do You Prepare for the PARCC Test: Study Tips & Guides

Although the PARCC test has encountered many controversies, particularly from parents, you can still make it if you prepare. Below are the study tips and guides before taking the PARCC test:

  • Be familiar with the evidence. As you read the above article, you keep on reading about evidence. It is because you will have to provide or discuss your reasoning. That’s why you must know how to justify your reasoning. As a parent, you may teach your students in academic and investigative methods for your student to build an in-depth analysis and evidence that could support the arguments.
  • Be specific. Especially in English, you need more than enumerating the story’s characters. You need to explain to each of them their traits and what makes them different from the others. You need to dig deeper and provide more specific details to support your claims.
  • When in doubt, always go back to the main text. There are times when you need clarification about the passages. There is nothing wrong if you go back to the main text, reread it, and understand to answer the questions correctly.
  • Time management is the key. There is an allotted time for each unit. You must be conscious of how much time you spend on every question. Therefore, before the exam, you must practice applying your time management skills.
  • Read, read, and read. Before the exam, your reading skills should be excellent already. There are many passages that you need to read. Therefore, it will be easier for you if you have already practiced reading different stories and even news events.

Wrapping Things Up: What is PARCC Testing?

What is PARCC testing? It is used by various states, such as the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New Mexico, to measure the students’ readiness for college and, eventually, for the future. The PARCC test consists of English and Mathematics. It focuses on writing and reading comprehension for English and problem-solving for Mathematics.

The test results will also determine the teacher’s teaching effectiveness, determining if the school needs to modify and improve the curriculum. Lastly, although the PARCC test is controversial for some, you must adhere to it if it is implemented in your state. Anyways, there are tips and guides that you can always follow to come up with a level 5 result that means “exceeded expectations.”

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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