What is the PARCC Test?

Exams can be a hardest thing to pass by,but every exam has it's own purpose and are used to measure some talent inside every student. PARCC test is one such exam which measures your career readiness. Learn more about PARCC Test, how is it scored and ,more

TCM Staff

4th February 2020

PARCC test (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is a state exam, which is administered by a group of several states that collaborate with each other in order to develop and manage the state exams so that the student’s performance and ability is calculated, and also (the PARCC claims) that, they measure both the student and teacher’s performance.

Institutionalized testing has been the toughest thing for many students, though it gives the test takers the merit of getting into their dream colleges as well as, it is a crucial way for measuring the student’s performance, ability and talent, likewise the PARCC test is a standardized test which is a considered to be far-reaching in the recent years.

To explain the purpose of this PARCC test in simple words, it is an examination which is meant to calculate college and career readiness at a level of age, where the teachers and parents should help the children in preparing for their future by identifying the spot where the student is weak, and where he needs help so that the students can work on it.

Test Components

This PARCC test is conducted at the end of the school year, it has problem-solving and critical thinking, as aforementioned this test is to make sure the students are well prepared for their college and professional lives.

There are many tests and assessments, which is conducted through PARCC. In addition to that, the content and level of difficulty of the exams may vary depending on the student’s grade level. 

Instructional Tools and Tasks

this may be used throughout the school year, and are meant mostly for teachers.

Annual Year-end Tests

this test has two components, the first component is English/language arts and the second one is the math component, these are administered in grades 3-11 every year.

To be more detailed about the Annual year-end tests, 

In the English/language arts, the students are required to read fiction and Non-fiction passages, watch videos and listen to audio recordings, then the students need to answer the multiple-choice questions and write responses depending on what they have learned, and their understanding and thinking.

In the math component, students will have to solve math questions which involve real-life situations by making use of logical reasoning, they are also required to solve problems by multi-step solutions.

Test Content

The PARCC test contents mostly align with what the students learn depending on the Common core standards. Though the  PARCC exams are standardized across the list states that participate in PARCC, the standard may vary sometimes slightly.

The following is information on what is the expected test content for both elementary and middle school students.

English expected Test Content ( for 3-11)

the students may read a few texts and sometimes watch a video, then write about what they read, or saw and provide evidence drawn from the reading.

English expected Test Content for Middle and high school

the students are required to read many passages and consolidate ideas from the read passages.

Math expected Test Content (for 3-11)

the students are required to reason the solutions mathematically, and also to solve problems based on real-life situations and explain the logical reason.

Math expected for middle school and high school

students are required to build conceptual understanding, procedural skills, modeling and application skills with broader knowledge in the ratios, proportions and rational numbers, along with equations and graphs.

How the PARCC Scoring System Works

These PARCC scores are assigned based on the performance levels. Students receive marks between level 1 and level 5, keeping level 1 the lowest and a level 5 the highest.

  • Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations

  • Level 2: partially met expectations

  • Level 3: Approached expectations

  • Level 4: Met expectations

  • Level 5: Exceeded Expectations

If a student reached level 4 and 5, then, it shows that the student is goo to go, level indicates that the student is almost ready, but still needs some help, and if the student is at level 1 and 2, then, it indicates that the student requires more help from the instructors, to work on his level of grade standards.

Depending on the score the level is calculated, the following table shows the score range for level ion PARCC tests.

Grade Level

Score Range

Level 1


Level 2


Level 3


Level 4


Level 5


What do your  PARCC Test Scores Mean?

These PARCC exam results are used to measure how much the student has learned, and to inform their results to teachers, parents, and administrators, the students may be penalized or rewarded for their performance levels.

But don’t confuse yourself with the above-mentioned statements, the following table shows some nuances between what do these scores mean, and what they don’t mean.

What these scores are

What these scores are not

Your familiarity with the test content and general test-taking strategy

Not a measure of your intelligence.

It is a measure of whether you’re ready for college and a professional career.

Not a measure of your success rate in your future

States participating in the PARCC

In the year 2010, 24 states were participating the PARCC Test, but later due to its drawbacks, many states started dropping the program. Keep reading this article to know the drawbacks of the PARCC test. And following is the list of states that were active in the participation of PARCC

  • New Mexico

  • North Dakota

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Tennessee

As of 2019, there are only 3 states active in the participation of the PARCC Test,


Participation Status


Dropped (2013)


Dropped (2014)


Dropped (2015)


Dropped (2013)

District of Columbia

Active member

DoDEA(Department of Defense Education Activity)

Active member


Dropped (2013)


Dropped (2019)


Dropped (2014)


Dropped (2014)


Hybrid PARCC/state test


Dropped (2018)


Hybrid PARCC/state test


Dropped (2015)

New Jersey

Dropped (2019)

New Mexico

Dropped (2019)

North Dakota

Dropped (2013)


Dropped (2013)


Dropped (2014)


Dropped (2014)

Rhode Island

Dropped (2017)


Dropped (2014)


  • It is said that many administrators argue the fact that many teachers are already spending huge time preparing the students for the test as well as few institutions which are providing tips for the PARCC test, instead, those times can be better spent in the classroom. It is not because students can’t perform, but because they have not encountered a standardized test just like the PARCC.

  • Some critics say that the PARCC test causes a lot of stress for the test takers. Because as aforementioned, scoring at a lower level may result in a penalty for the student, like being held back, and resulting in tension, anxiety and more.

  • And also some of the PARCC Critics believe that the test can be used for unfair treatment on underprivileged students and their teachers because when the student scores low-level grade, that the result will be used to justify holding students back, firing teachers, and even closing schools saying that it is an underperforming school.


Every exam is new for a student, like most other state tests, this test helps the instructor or teacher to assess whether the student is ready for the college or profession. but no exam should be a factor for student’s and teacher’s stress and anxiety.

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