If you were patiently waiting for truly interactive official PARCC assessment sample items, the wait is finally over!
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, better known as PARCC, recently released its first grouping of web-based English Language Arts and Math sample items designed as a practice aid for schools taking the upcoming Spring 2014 Field Test.
Up until now, PARCC's CCSS-aligned assessment counterpart Smarter Balanced (SBAC) held a considerable "leg up" on legitimate web-based practice/sample items, but with this release, PARCC has officially joined the "race".
A breakdown of the new PARCC field test sample items
These sample items provide educators and students the ability to practice online testing functionality and to gain an understanding of the different PARCC question types.
- The sample items range from 17-24 total items per grade grouping
- The items are available 24/7 and will always be free
- The items are intended as a direct aid for the Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test, but can also be used as a general guide for the official 2014-2015 PARCC Assessments
How to access the sample item sets
You and your students can access the new PARCC web-based sample items by going to http://practice.parcc.testnav.com/# and then selecting the "Sample Items" tab. Once on the "Sample Items" page, you'll notice that the sample items are broken into three different sets, separated by grade level:
- Grade 3-5 ELA & Math Sample Item Set
- Grade 3-8 ELA & Math Sample Item Set
- High School ELA & Math Sample Item Set
Each sample item set contains both ELA and math items separated into two sections. The ELA section always comes first and each individual ELA item must be answered/bypassed before attempting the math samples. Unfortunately, the user cannot choose to try only math and/or ELA items (you must do both) and the user cannot see the results of the individual sample items.
Quick test taking tips
As I tested the various sets, I noticed that there are not a lot of on-screen directions for the test taker, so here are a few tips to help you get started. To submit an answer or response, you must click the "Go to Next Question" button in the upper-left of the testing window. This button is represented by an image of an arrow pointing to the right (see below).
If you'd like to skip a question and come back to it later, you have the option of "flagging" an individual (or multiple) sample items. To flag a sample item, simply click the "Flag" button at the top of the testing window. Next, to review your "flagged" items, (you guessed it) click the "Review" button at the top.
Lastly, PARCC also installed a few of its basic digital manipulatives and accommodation features to these sample item sets, including a magnifier, a digital ruler, a digital calculator, and the ability to change the color scheme. You can access the features via the top navigation bar (as seen below).
I tested the sample items on a variety of different electronic devices and web browsers and found that the items functioned best on desktop/laptop computers utilizing either Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari web browsers. Google Chrome web browsers are not supported when using a desktop/laptop, so keep that in mind.
Additionally, you can access the sample items via iOS and Android tablets, however I experienced mixed results in regards to being able to complete the full group of items. All of these results seem to be in line with the official PARCC Field Test Technology Guide, which you can access here.
More PARCC Assessment resources from Wowzers
Hopefully, you were able to access and utilize the new PARCC sample items with ease. If you need any direct help regarding these sample items, I recommend consulting the PARCC Support Team.
If you'd like to learn more about the upcoming Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test, be sure to check out "A Quick Guide to the Upcoming PARCC Field Test" (via the Wowzers Blog).
- Help your students practice and model the PARCC online math assessments with Wowzers Online Math! See how in this quick 40-second video.
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.