PARCC releases new sample test items in preparation for field testing next spring

PARCC released more sample test items for both English language arts and math that assess critical thinking, writing and the ability to solve real-world problems.

While initially presented in PDF format to focus on content, PARCC will re-release the items later this fall on the platform that students will use for the spring field test. To view the sample items by grade, click here.

From the PARCC website:

Washington, D.C. – August 19, 2013 – The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a 19-state consortium working together to create next generation assessments, today released additional sample items for both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The sample items show how PARCC is developing tasks to measure the critical content and skills found in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The sample items have undergone PARCC’s rigorous review process to ensure quality and demonstrate the content that will be on the assessments in 2014-2015.

“We are developing a high quality next-generation assessment system to measure the content and skills students need to succeed at the next level and in college and career,” said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, chair of the PARCC Governing Board. “The sample items we are releasing today will help to provide a clear signal to educators, parents, and others about the rigor of the test.”

Today’s release of paper-based items is the first of two that PARCC will be providing throughout the remainder of the calendar year. PARCC will provide a complementary set of paper-based items in October, so that there will be sample items in each grade level.  In November, all sample items will be re-released on the technology platform that students will use for the spring field test, providing an early opportunity for students and educators to engage with the tools and functionalities on the assessment.

The primary purpose of sharing sample items is to provide information and to support educators as they continue the transition to the CCSS and the PARCC assessments. The sample items presented on the PARCC website demonstrate that core shifts at the heart of the CCSS are also integrated into the design of PARCC’s assessments.
“PARCC assessments are being designed to promote quality instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards,” said Laura Slover, senior vice president of Achieve, which serves as the project management partner for PARCC. “They are designed to be work worth doing rather than a distraction from good work.”    For more information about PARCC, please visit