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Opportunities to Practice with Sample PARCC Test Questions NEW!

PARCC sample items are now available online in the same testing platform that students will use on the field test this spring and when they take the first official tests during the 2014-15 school year. Teachers, students, parents, and the public can now try out PARCC sample test items using computer-based tools such as drag-and-drop, multiple select, text highlighting, and equation building. PARCC has also released online tutorials that provide more details about the tools and features that make the test more accessible for all students, including those with disabilities and English language learners.

You can find the sample items here and tutorials here.

Here are a few examples of potential uses of the PARCC sample items in your district or school:

  • With teachers at faculty meetings or other professional development opportunities
  • With students during instruction on relevant topics or to introduce them to the format of the field test
  • With parents at parent teacher conferences or other meetings
The computer operating system and web browser requirements for viewing the sample items are the same as those for the general testing platform. Please note that due to the use of newer technologies to enable assessment item interactivity and accessibility across a broad range of platforms and device types, some older browser and operating system combinations do not support all item types. Please reference Pearson's website (here) for the complete list of supported systems.


What will PARCC look like? 


Educators from across the state have raised questions about PARCC and specifically asked what will be different about PARCC than previous TCAP tests.  The PARCC Top 20 document outlines 20 key understandings about the PARCC assessment with links to additional information about the design of PARCC. PARCC is still in the design process.  This list represents the best information about the PARCC assessment as of October 2013.  As is true of any assessment design process, there may be changes to the PARCC design informed by ongoing feedback and the field test.

PARCC Top 20 PowerPoint

Emily Barton and Doug Sovde presented “The Top 20 Things Educators Need to Know About PARCC” during the closing session of the LEAD conference.  The PowerPoint presentation is available HERE and can be used in your district and school communication efforts.

The Promise of PARCC NEW!

The department’s Assistant Commissioner of Curriculum and Instruction, Emily Barton, explains the three reasons she believes PARCC will help Tennessee students achieve in the classroom and beyond. You can view the blog on the department’s Classroom Chronicles website here.

Release of additional PARCC sample items NEW!


PARCC has recently released a set of new sample test items in mathematics (here) and ELA/literacy (here) to show educators, parents, and students what the PARCC test questions will look like. Once you follow the links for each subject, click on each grade level linked on the left-hand navigation bar and look for sample items marked "New!"

With this release, PARCC has now shared exemplar test items across the grades in both mathematics and English language arts/literacy. These sample items are designed to help teachers, students and parents get a better sense of how PARCC will measure student learning in mathematics and ELA/literacy. The new assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

PARCC will make all of its sample items available later this year on the PARCC technology platform, providing an opportunity for students and teachers to try out the assessment system in the manner in which it will be administered. Next spring, more items will be released as an online practice test, available to everyone-students, teachers, parents-via

For additional information please contact,

Information on PARCC Field Test, Practice Test and Non-Summative Components NEW!


PARCC has recently shared new information regarding the availability of a free, online practice test which will be available to all schools and districts. They have also provided more details about the non-summative components of the PARCC assessment system, which includes diagnostic, mid-year and speaking and listening assessments. Click here for a document which outlines this information and includes links to lengthier descriptions of each component. The document includes a chart outlining the proposed timelines for development and release of the PARCC assessment components. For questions, please contact


PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual NEW!


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC) Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual is a comprehensive policy document that describes the supports that will be available for all students and gives guidance in the selection, administration, and evaluation of accommodations for the assessment of students with disabilities and English Language Learners on the PARCC End-of-Year, Performance-Based, and Mid-Year assessment components. The full manual was released on July 25 and may be accessed on the PARCC website here.


PARCC’s Performance Level Descriptors NEW!


PARCC has released the final Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) for grades 3-8 and high school which are linked here, as well as a FAQ that provides answer to general questions about their development. The PLDs will be used to inform item and rubric development for the PARCC assessments, and will serve as the basis for standard setting in summer 2015. They outline the knowledge, skills and practices that students performing a given level should be able to demonstrate in each content area at each grade level. They were developed and reviewed in a process which involved K-12 educators, higher education faculty and content area experts.

Webinar on what to expect on PARCC Test 


PARCC recently released assessment blueprints and evidence tables (here) in mathematics and English language arts. These test specification documents contain information that can help educators and the general public better understand the design of the PARCC assessments. The Division of Curriculum and Instruction hosted a webinar on PARCC assessment blueprints and evidence tables (mathematics and English Language Arts). A recording of that presentation can be found here and the accompanying slides can be found here.

PARCC Frequently Asked Questions Update


PARCC has recently released several updated documents on their website including a FAQ, a glossary of assessment-related terms and a communications timeline. These documents contain helpful information that can be used to provide answers and guidance for many of the most frequently-asked questions from educators, school leaders and parents. For questions, please contact

The PARCC  Assessment Consortium

PARCC’s Model Content Frameworks

 PARCC Technology Readiness: Preparing for Online Testing

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