The PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test is quite new in the educational field and has not yet become widespread in all U.S states. The exam is managed and administered at the state level. It is available on a yearly basis and is administered in public schools within a state. The PARCC test is designed to monitor the progress of students. Basically, it helps evaluate their preparedness for college and career from a young age. The result of this evaluation enables the teachers and parents to know how to help the individuals prepare for their future.
It is important to mention that there are many assessments and tests that are administered through PARCC. These are Annual Year-end exams, as well as Instructional Tools and Tasks. The Annual Year-end tests are administered yearly in the grades from three to eleven. The Instructional Tools and Tasks are designed mostly for the teachers and are administered all through the school years. Technically, the PARCC exam is meant to align with the curriculum of students in each grade level. As a result, the content and level of difficulty of the tests vary from one grade level to the other.
As mentioned earlier, not all U.S states use the PARCC test to evaluate the performance of students. Between 2015 and 2016, there were eleven states within the UA. that were actively administering the exam. They are Colorado, Maryland, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Overview of the PARCC test
The Prepaway PARCC exam has been updated severally since it was launched. However, there are a few things that have remained constant all through the years. First, the two major content areas that are evaluated in the test are Mathematics and English language arts/literacy. Second, the exam is developed to become the modern assessments of competence in problem-solving skills and higher-level critical thinking.
The content of PARCC aligns closely with the Common Core standards of the students’ curriculum. These standards may slightly differ because they are administered independently by participating states. However, they retain the core standards across the participating states. This means the exam evaluates the contents that are shared by these states. Additionally, the content also largely depends on the grade level of the students. The implication of this is that the individuals will need to figure out what to expect in the test based on their grade level. This might be a bit difficult given the fact that the exam is not widespread and there are not many resources on each of the grade levels. However, you can always work around it to find what is appropriate for your level or your child’s level. The first thing you can do is to check the Common Core standards of your state. Secondly, speak with your teacher (or your child’s teacher) about the content they plan to cover within the year and what they expect to see in the final test. Besides, you should check practice tests available for the PARCC exam. Although it is not as popular as some others, there are still some good practice tests that have been collated that you can use for your preparation. You can also find ample information on the PARCC website about what you can expect in both English and Math contents for both elementary and middle school students.
Content of the PARCC test
PARCC English Test for Grade Levels 3-11: The students may be asked to read one or more texts and may also be required to watch a video. They will be expected to write about the content they have viewed and/or read and provide conclusions drawn from their reading and viewing exercise.
PARCC English Test for Middle School and High School: The individuals can be asked to read many passages and incorporate ideas from all the readings into written responses.
PARCC Math Test for Grade Levels 3-11: The students will be required to solve mathematically and show their understanding by making accurate sense of quantities and their connections to proffer solutions to real-world problems.
PARCC Math Test for Middle School and High School: The individuals will be required to develop conceptual understanding, modeling and application, and procedural skills with a focus to widening their number sense into rational numbers, proportions and ratios while transitioning into algebra skills.
The exam questions evaluate the problem solving and critical thinking skills of the students, which is quite tougher than the regular test of content knowledge that is obtainable in most other exams.
Preparation for the PARCC test
The core of PARCCexam preparation will take place in school. The tests are designed to assess state, district, school and instructor’s performance, which means the bulk of the pressure for success is not so much on the student. In fact, it is everyone’s responsibility to prepare the students for their future. This does not mean that the individuals cannot take up additional preparatory resources to perform better in the exam. There are numerous official preparatory materials available for the test. You can go through the PARCC website to review the official practice tests that have been released for each of the grade levels. It is crucial that one devotes the same energy and seriousness they dedicate to SAT and ACT preparation on PARCC. This will not only help you with the PARCC exam but also prepare you for future tests.
Finally, understand that you will not be rewarded or penalized based on your performance in the PARCC exam. The result of the test is meant to inform the teachers, administrators, and parents on the learning potentials of the students. Low or high scores are instructive for the teachers to know how to tailor instruction and teaching for individual students.