|Several years have passed after the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (Common Core) in the K-12 public school system, and now the Common Core aligned assessments are rolling out in more than twenty states across the U.S. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states creating these standardized assessments to determine whether students are learning what the standards set out to do – equip students to be college and career ready. The computer-based PARCC assessments will better address students’ needs and learning styles within the classroom. Results of this assessment will be directly utilized to assist teachers with planning successful instruction customized to their classroom environment.|
The new PARCC assessments will include text-based questions, thus challenging the students to refer back to the text and find explicit details pertaining to main ideas and supporting details. Many sets of questions will ask the students to choose a quote that directly supports the main idea, such as in the example below
|Teaching the students to go back to the text helps them hone in on the details of the text itself instead of on the students’ opinions or relying on rote memory.|
Also, the PARCC assessments encourage students to compare and contrast two texts. When doing so, make sure that the texts are within the same topic. Have students use graphic organizers such as a Venn Diagram or highlight the pieces of information for similarities and differences using multiple color highlighters if needed. See the example below that compares and contrasts the classic character of the Big Bad Wolf in the “Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood” stories. This type of example challenges the students not only to analyze the similarities and differences from the stories, but to make connections across texts.
|Tips for Test Taking:|
1. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep as well as eat a good breakfast the day of the test.
2. If you are feeling nervous, take a deep breath and understand that if you get an answer
wrong, it doesn’t count against you.
3. Read all directions and questions carefully. If you need to, read the question twice to ensure that you understand the question thoroughly.
4. Take your time. The more you rush, the more nervous and careless you may get.
5. If you are unsure of an answer, skip the question and go back to it at the end.
6. If you have time at the end, go back and review your work. Be sure to go back to any unanswered question first.