What Devices Can My Students Use to Take the PARCC Online Assessments?

Posted by Andrew Howard on Oct 15, 2014 6:00:00 AM
Andrew Howard

Can my student take the PARCC online assessment on this computer/tablet?

PARCC technology requirements informationIf your state adopted the PARCC online assessments as its Common Core-aligned testing means, there is a good chance you'll run into the above question. And let's be honest, ensuring that each student has access to an electronic device that can support the PARCC testing technology is no small task.

Read below the break to learn more about the specific PARCC technology requirements for testing devices and how can you ensure that your students’ devices (either school-owned or brought from home) meet these requirements.

The must-have attributes of a PARCC testing device

In general terms, varying desktop computers, laptop computers, netbooks, and tablets are all compatible with the PARCC testing software. However, as you know, not all electronic devices were created equal.

Below are the basic requirements your student’s testing device must meet to be PARCC-compatible (whether it be a computer or tablet):

  • The ability to connect to the internet via a wired or wireless network

  • The administrative tools/capabilities to “lock down” testing security risks (such as cameras, screen capture, Bluetooth, printing, etc.)

  • An up-to-date version of a PARCC-approved web browser (view this page for more info regarding approved web browsers)

  • A screen size that is 9.5 inches or larger

  • A screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or greater

  • Access to a working physical keyboard (wired or wireless/Bluetooth)

  • The ability to listen to audio via headphones and record via a microphone

For more general info on device guidelines, check out this official Technology Guidelines for PARCC Assessments (Version 4.0) PDF from the folks at PARCC.

Device-specific technology requirements

Next, let's take a look at the specifications/qualifications that are device specific.


If your students intend to test via a laptop computer, desktop computer, or a netbook (i.e. a Chromebook), this section is for you.

According to PARCC, its online testing platform is supported on four different operating systems (OS):

  • Windows
  • Apple iOS
  • Linux
  • Chrome OS
The chart below indicates the “minimum” and “recommended” operating system version numbers. If your student’s device does not meet the minimum version, then an update will be required.

PARCC_computer_laptop_requirementsBe aware, PARCC recommends that the testing computer have a minimum memory of 512 MB RAM.  However, 1 GB RAM or greater is recommended.


Tablets, like the Apple iPad, Google Nexus 10, or Samsung Galaxy Tab, are becoming increasingly popular within schools across the country. But, not all tablets can be used to administer the PARCC online math assessments.

Per PARCC, the online testing platform is supported by three different mobile operating systems:

  • Android
  • Apple iOS
  • Windows 8
Check the image below to see the minimum and recommended version specs for each operating system.


Be aware, tablets with a screen size less than 9.5 inches, e-readers, and smartphones are not PARCC-approved.

Lastly, we'd love to hear your questions, comments, and opinions regarding your online assessment preparation efforts. Feel free to reach out to us via our Facebook page or tweet us at @Wowzers.


Image Credits: parcconline.org

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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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