A Quick Guide to the Upcoming PARCC Field Test

Posted by Steve Rudolph on Feb 22, 2014 2:15:00 PM

PARCC_Field_Test_InfoBeginning in March 2014, the PARCC assessment consortium will be launching the first large-scale field test of its Common Core-aligned assessment items.

With these field tests being only a few short months away, the Wowzers Team put together a quick primer describing what to expect (and what not to expect) from the upcoming field tests, including:

  • What schools/districts are participating?
  • What will the field tests look like?
  • When is the field test being held?
  • What accommodations will be made available by PARCC?
  • What are the technology requirements for the field tests?
  • Where can I find PARCC sample and practice items for my students?

Read below the break to learn more about the upcoming PARCC field tests and (if you are in a PARCC state) why you will want to keep an eye on the progress of this “dry-run” as we lead up to the official 2014-2015 rollout.

When will the PARCC field test be administered?

The PARCC folks intend to run the field test in two different windows:

Participating schools have the entire window to cycle selected students into the exams, making it possible for schools with even limited technological means to participate.

Who’s participating in the field tests?

Schools and districts from all 18 PARCC states and the District of Columbia are participating in the field test. However, not every district or every school who will be taking the official PARCC tests in 2014-2015 will be participating in the field test.

  • In fact, per PARCC, a demographically representative sample of roughly 1 million students will be taking the field test. This is a relatively small sample size of the estimated 20 million total students scheduled to take the PARCC assessments in 2014-2015.

Participating districts and schools have already been notified by PARCC. Additionally, only one to six classrooms per school will participate and the grades/content being tested is pre-selected by the consortium.

What is the format of the field test?

It is important to note that there will be two different types of test formats available during the field test:

  • A computer-based assessment
  • A paper-based assessment

Per PARCC, the field testing of the two different formats is by design, as some schools and districts simply won’t be able to accommodate the technology requirements in time for the 2014-15 rollout. In turn, students will only be required to take a half-section of one subject area’s test portion (see PARCC’s Frequently Asked Questions about the PARCC Field Test PDF for more info).

What accommodations will be available on the field test?

Students with disabilities and English language learners are expected to be included as part of the random sample. However, as we’ve noted before in the Wowzers Blog, not all of the proposed test accommodations will be available on the 2014 field test.

The lack of a full range of accommodations is disappointing for obvious reasons. However, I do give the PARCC team credit for putting together a very clear and concise Field Test Technology Guide that lays out what accommodations will be available and what will not.

What are the field test's technology requirements?

According to the PARCC Field Test Technology Guide, the online version of the field test supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows (but not Windows RT)
  • Mac OSX
  • Chrome OS (though not all accessibility features will be available)
  • iOS

However, devices using either Android or Linux operating systems will not be supported for the field test. For more information concerning minimum and recommended specifications, as well as projected support for the 2014-2015 official assessments, be sure to check out the technology guide linked above.

Are PARCC sample tests and prototype items available?

PARCC sample test items are available to all students (whether they are taking the field test or not). Your students and you can gain access to the official PARCC sample resources at the link below:

Also, be sure to check out the blog post below to learn more about the available PARCC math assessment sample items and examples:

More Common Core Math Resources from Wowzers

I hope this quick primer gave you and your fellow educators a better view of what to expect from the upcoming PARCC field tests!

If you'd like to learn more about the Common Core online assessments, be sure to check out the rest of the helpful online assessment posts found on the Wowzers Blog.

  • Want to see how the Wowzers Online Math content can help your students practice the PARCC online math assessments? Be sure to check out this quick 40-second video showcasing the Wowzers Online Math Assessment Solution!

As always, if you have any questions or comments related to Wowzers or this blog post, be sure to reach out to us via our Facebook page or tweet us at @Wowzers!

Click here to download the free Wowzers PARCC eBook

PARCC (R) is a registered mark of PARCC, Inc. Wowzers is not owned, endorsed by, or affiliated with PARCC Inc. nor the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and no fees paid to Wowzers are paid to PARCC, Inc. 

Topics: Common Core Assessments

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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