Here you will find resources to help our students prepare for and succeed in taking the online PARCC assessments.


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium which is working to develop a standard set of K-12 assessments in math and English.

The PARCC Consortium is comprised of a group of states work together to develop assessments which measure students’ knowledge and understanding of the Common Core State Content Standards. This means that the content of these assessments tests the knowledge and skill sets needed for students to be successful in college and careers in the future.

By aligning the assessments with the Common Core State Content Standards, PARCC will assure that the Common Core is being taught in our classrooms.

PARCC Assessment Overview

The PARCC assessment will contain two summative portions – a performance-based assessment (PBA) and an End-of-Year Assessment (EOY).

The PBA will take place in the spring. In English Language Arts/Literacy, our students will be required to analyze and write about a text. In mathematics, our students will apply skills, concepts, and understandings to solve problems.

The EOY will be administered when about 90 percent of the school year is complete. This section will focus on reading comprehension for ELA/literacy and innovative problem solving for math.

Why do states need new assessments?

These tests will provide more meaningful, actionable and timely information for educators, parents and students because they were built to mirror the Common Core instructional standards.

The PARCC assessments will replace state tests currently used to meet the requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Which states make up PARCC?

PARCC is made up of 19 states. Nineteen are Governing States in the consortium: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Kentucky and Pennsylvania are Participating States. The U.S. Virgin Islands is a participating territory.

What are the benefits of the PARCC assessments?

In ELA/literacy, many states don’t assess writing and few assess critical-thinking skills. PARCC will do both.

In math, most current assessments are fill-in-the-blank “bubble tests.” PARCC will give students a chance to solve real problems. Plus, they’ll not only have to solve complex problems, but show how they solved them.

Many current state tests measure only lower-level skills. The new assessments are designed to measure whether students are actually on track for college or careers.

Most current tests just require students to fill in the blanks. PARCC’s computer-based assessments will be much more interactive and engaging.

Too often, current tests fail to adequately measure the skills and knowledge of students working significantly below or beyond their grade level. PARCC assessments will.

The new tests will create comparability among states and equity among the students who reside in them. What it means to be ready for success in college or careers shouldn’t vary from state to state.

What are the components of the PARCC assessment system?

The assessments will cover English language arts (ELA)/literacy and math for grades 3–11. The system includes the following components:

  • Diagnostic assessments in reading, writing and mathematics. These optional tests, available throughout the year, will help teachers identify students’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Mid-year assessments in ELA/literacy and mathematics. Designed to be given mid-way through the year, these optional tests will help schools shape decisions about curriculum, instruction and professional development.
  • Performance-based assessments (PBA) in ELA/literacy and mathematics. All students will take this summative test toward the end of the school year to show what they know.

In ELA/literacy, this will involve analyzing literature and a narrative writing task. Students will read texts and write several pieces to demonstrate they can read and understand sufficiently complex texts independently; write effectively when using and analyzing sources; and build and communicate knowledge by integrating, comparing and synthesizing ideas.

In math, students will be asked to solve problems involving the key knowledge and skills for their grade level (as identified by the CCSS), express mathematical reasoning and construct a mathematical argument, and apply concepts to solve model real-world problems.

  • End-of-year assessments (EOY) in ELA/literacy and math. All students will take this at the end of the school year. The results will be combined with the performance-based assessment to produce a student’s summative assessment score. For the end-of-year assessment, students will demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge by answering computer-based, machine-scorable questions.
  • Speaking and listening component (ELA/literacy only). All students participating in the PARCC assessments will demonstrate speaking and listening proficiency using this tool, which can be administered anytime during the academic year. While this is a required component of the assessment, currently PARCC does not envision combining results from this with those of the performance-based assessment or end-of-year assessment to determine a student’s summative assessment score.




Technology for Mathematics : PARCC specifications

Online manipulative tools including rulers and protractors have a click and drag feature used for measuring.


  • Grades 3-5 students are not permitted the use of a calculator, with the exception of students with accommodations.
  • Grades 6 and 7 students have accessibility to an online four-function calculator with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8 students have access to an online scientific calculator.
  • High School students will have accessibility to an online graphing calculator (with functionalities consistent with TI-84 or similar models)
  • All students grades 6-12 will be permitted to use a hand held calculator if it meets the PARCC requirements.

Mathematical expression symbols can be accessed through drop down menus as students complete Performance Based Assessments (PBA).

Students will use functions on multiple toolbars to prepare their responses on PBA tasks.

Technology for ELA Literacy

There are two components to the technology for the ELA portion of PARCC.

  • Students may have multiple reading passages they will need to toggle between in order to answer questions (similar to selecting different websites in your browser when multiple sites are open).

Accessibility features for all students include:

  • Blank Paper (provided by test administrator)
  • Eliminate Answer Choices
  • Flag Items for Review
  • General Administration Directions Clarified (by test administrator)
  • General Administration Directions Read Aloud and Repeated (by test administrator)
  • Highlight Tool
  • Headphones
  • Magnification/Enlargement Device
  • Notepad
  • Pop-Up Glossary
  • Redirect Student to Test (by test administrator)
  • Spell Checker
  • Writing Tools

Students may have to select multiple answers, click and drag answer choices, complete graphic organizers, or otherwise manipulate information to demonstrate understanding.

A digital glossary will allow students access to definitions, provided an answer is not dependent upon that particular word’s definition.

For typed responses, students will have access to a spell check tool, copy, paste, bullets and numbering, and font style selections (similar to word processing software)

Sarah DeRollo, Supervisor
District Test Coordinator

Christopher Callahan, Supervisor
Assistant District Test Coordinator, PARCC Coordinator