Test Items Serve as Groundbreaking Instructional Tools to Spur Student Achievement
The states that make up the PARCC consortium are taking the exceptional step of releasing test items from the PARCC assessments to give teachers a powerful tool to inform classroom instruction. The release of the items gives parents insight into the kinds of questions students are seeing on their tests, so assessments aren’t a mystery. The test items were built with robust mathematics problems and authentic reading passages selected and reviewed extensively by dozens of educators from PARCC states.
PARCC states see these released items as valuable instructional tools that will give teachers better insight into how students may demonstrate mastery of the standards and how they might be helped on their pathways to academic success—whether in earlier graders or, for older students, college and careers.
The released test questions represent roughly one full test per grade level in each subject area. In addition to the questions, the learning standards associated with each test item are indicated and scoring rubrics are included that show what is required to score at each performance level. Examples of scored student responses are also available for teachers and students to see actual work and the corresponding points earned on the student example.
The PARCC tests were built by educators. They were built on higher standards - meant to challenge students to demonstrate skills that are needed to succeed in everyday life, not to memorize facts. Providing the test questions shows parents, teachers and students the skills that are being measured; problem solving, critical thinking, comprehension and analysis. The examples help students and parents see not only what is being asked, but how the answers are being measured to better understand what is being expected of students.
Together, these materials give educators considerable insight into how the PARCC test measures student understanding of the standards and will help educators plan instruction in their classroom. PARCC is committed to releasing at least as many items in each subsequent year, which will demonstrate the diversity and breadth of items.
The released items, in PDF format, are available to the public here.