Starting March 10th, every 3rd-8th grade student will be taking his/her first PARCC assessment in math and English language arts. This assessment is designed to measure students’ progress toward the more rigorous Common Core Standards. These assessments are designed to serve as an educational GPS system, identifying where students are excelling and where they may need extra help to get where they need to be.
Here are some key facts about PARCC assessments for you to keep in mind:
- PARCC assessments test students in grades 3-11 in math and English language arts.
- These tests not only evaluate a student’s progress, but show teachers and parents exactly where a student needs help so they are able to personalize instruction to meet individual student needs.
- PARCC assessments are more engaging than traditional standardized tests. The math section contains multi-step problems that ask students to reason through real-world situations. The language arts section asks students to read passages from real texts – fiction and non-fiction – and sometimes watch video or listen to audio. All of the skills assessed on the test are based on age-appropriate standards.
How Can you Support Your Child:
- Be sure that your child reads a combination of fiction and non-fiction.
- Discuss and “do” real life math with your child. Help him/her know basic math facts.
- Discuss the new tests with your child. Make sure s/he is not scared or anxious going into the new tests.
- Explain to your child that the tests will initially be more challenging. Tell your child to do his/her best on the test and you are there to help every step of the way.
- Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and nutritious breakfast before a test (or any school day!).
- Attend parent/instructor conferences and talk with instructors about your child’s strengths and areas for improvement.
- Talk with your child’s instructor to determine which skills to reinforce at home.
- Above all, be positive and encouraging about the tests.
Take the Test! PARCC has a test online that parents and students can try.