PARCC in Massachusetts

One teacher's attempt to connect with other educators across Massachusetts and beyond and provide relevant, up-to-date, and sometime helpful information on next generation assessments, common core state standards implementation, and college and career ready initiatives

Online Assessment Samples, Tutorial, and Communicating about the Field Tests


For those interested in seeing the look and feel of the upcoming PARCC assessments, it is now up for public perusal.

Sample Items

The released items located at that were initially released in .pdf files are now in their intended digital environment.  All of these can be found under the “Sample Items” tab at  The sample items are organized in the following way:

Name Audience ELA Literacy Rubric
Grade 3-5 ELA & Math Sample Item Set Grades 3-5 students, Grades 3-5 educators Grade 3 – Generic Rubrics (Draft)Grades 4-5 – Generic Rubrics (Draft)
Grade 6-8 ELA & Math Sample Item Set Grades 6-8 students, Grades 6-8 educators Grades 6-11 – Generic Rubrics (Draft)
High School ELA & Math Sample Item Set High school students, High school educators Grades 6-11 – Generic Rubrics (Draft)


The site includes a great deal more than an experience of the online test environment and a sense of how significantly different this exam is compared to MCAS, it also provides the information on tech requirements (be sure you meet them before trying it for a test drive) and a tutorial on navigating the assessment.

The purpose of the tutorial is to demonstrate the navigation and tools available on the assessment technology platform (TestNav 8). The tutorial will contain a sequence of screens that demonstrate basic TestNav 8 navigation and tools. The current tutorial is the first of two releases.  This first release includes navigation and some accessibility features and a second tutorial will be released in mid to late February 2014 with all item interaction types. The items appearing in this tutorial are not PARCC items. They are samples used to allow students and educators to gain familiarity with the technology platform that will be used for PARCC assessments.

Some of the most revealing aspects of the tutorial are the different graphing calculators available by grade level, answer elimination tool, line reader tool, and answer masking (for students who are allowed this tool).  As a math teacher, here are the screenshots of the calculators [5-function calculator (Grades 6-7), scientific calculator (Grade 8), or graphing calculator (High School]:

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An excellent example of communicating about the field tests to students, teachers, and the larger community can be found at Massachusetts PARCC Trial.  It is a great clearinghouse for information about PARCC as it pertains to the unique context of Massachusetts.  It is always up-to-date and attempts to answer the questions about technology, MCAS, testing time, etc. that all people have regarding the pilots.

Testing Windows for Field Test





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This entry was posted on January 28, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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The opinion expressed within each post is my own and is not a reflection of the Massachusetts' Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, PARCC, or any other body.

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