Understanding PARCC Asessments. What are the assessments based on? Which states are following PARRC Assessments?

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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is one of the two state consortiums responsible for developing assessments aligned to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. A combination of educational leaders from PARCC governing and participating states, along with test developers, have worked together to create the new computer-based English Language Arts and Math Assessments.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) was created from the need to have more robust and rigorous guidelines, and the PARRC Assessments are based on Common Core standards.


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The tests will be conducted online, requiring students to complete tasks to assess a deeper understanding of the CCSS. Additionally, instead of one final test at the end of the year, PARCC understands that the best way to measure student success is to assess them multiple times throughout the year. So, students in PARCC states will take a mid-year assessment called a Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and an End of Year Assessment (EOY).

Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island have adopted PARRC Assessments for students in grades K-12. More information about state specific requirements can be had from the Department of Education website of the respective states.


Online Test Practice Rehearsal

Several vendors have products to help students experience new question types in an online format.


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Several vendors have products to help students experience new question types in an online format such as

  • Lumos Learning
  • Curriculum Associates
  • Triumph Learning
  • Study Island
  • IXL


  • Practice books.

    The students could use the following resources to review and master the topics included in the Common Core State Standards, as well as practice for the PARCC test.

  • Lumos Learning
  • Carson-Dellosa
  • Publishing
  • Mark Twain Media
  • Test Master Press

  • For more practice, you can take advantage of Lumos Learning’s StepUp Program. This provides four practice tests, 2 PBAs and 2 EOYs, which give students opportunities to answer PARCC-like questions, along with getting used to the test format, directions, and simply taking a computerized test. Additionally, students will have access to hundreds of questions by standard for additional practice. For more information on how to access the program, visit:

    Computer-based PARCC Practice Program for Schools

    Online PARCC Practice for Students

    The above article is an excerpt from PARCC Guidebook: Success Strategies for Teachers: Professional Development.

    To learn more about the book, click here.

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    Julie Lyons