School Improvement in Maryland

PARCC: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career

What Should Maryland Teachers Know About PARCC

  • The PARCC assessments will be fully implemented in school year 2014-15.
  • The PARCC assessments will be administered online for most students when it is fully implemented in 2014-15, although there will be a paper-and-pencil back up option at first.
  • The PARCC mathematics and ELA/literacy assessments will include many different types of questions.
  • There will be accommodations and accessibility features that allow all students to have the support they need to do well on PARCC.
  • In ELA/literacy, the PARCC assessments will look much deeper at student writing abilities and critical-thinking skills.
  • In mathematics, students will solve multi-step math problems that require reasoning and address real-world situations. This requires students to reason mathematically, make sense of quantities and their relationships to solve real-world problems, and show their understanding.
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What is PARCC?

PARCC assessments will measure the content and skills contained in the new Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. In school year 2014-15, the PARCC assessments in mathematics and English Arts(ELA)/Literacy will replace the current State assessments in those areas. For more information »


English Language Arts/Literacy

Sixty percent of the PARCC ELA/literacy assessments will involve writing. Unlike previous assessments that chiefly assessed ELA through multiple choice questions, writing will be a key element of PARCC. In all tested grade levels, students will be asked to analyze text and use that information to create a written response.

All text passages in the ELA/literacy portions of the assessments will come from authentic texts. The PARCC passage selection guidelines state: "The texts students encounter on tests should be worthy of careful attention, be content rich and challenging, and exhibit professional published quality." Unlike previous assessment passages, written for the purpose of the test, PARCC will feature only previously published texts. Multiple-choice and selected-response questions on the ELA/literacy assessments will focus on reading and vocabulary. All multiple-choice questions will be based on a text and require students to provide evidence to support their answer. Additionally, vocabulary questions will focus on meaning as presented in the text. Students will not be expected to have prior knowledge of the content of the text.

ELA Assessment Resources for PARCC

Sample ELA Items

Condensed Scoring Rubrics for Prose Constructed Response Items
3 Rubric
4 - 5 Rubric
6 - 11 Rubric