PARCC Sample Test Answers and Rationale

Fourth graders in our district will pilot the PARCC test in a few months.  I know that many of you are looking for digital learning resources to prepare your students for digital testing next year.  A previous post about digital learning everyday was one of the most viewed posts we have ever had.

If you read that post, you were guided through steps to get to a practice test released by PARCC just a few days ago.  Many of you took the test relevant to your grade level and posted your thoughts and observations on our Facebook page.
The most common comment we received was, “Wow!  That was hard!” followed closely by, “Where do I find the answers to see if I was correct?”.
That speaks volumes.  These comments came from parents and veteran educators.  Yes, it really is that dramatically different from what we are accustomed to.
Without further delay, here are the steps to the answers and rationale.  Note: I could just put a link here, but I feel that each webpage is useful and offers more insight than this blog can offer.  I encourage you to spend time reading the websites and viewing tests from your grade level band (one grade below and one grade above).
Go to PARCConline.org and click on “For Educators” tab at the top.
parcc online 2

 Click on “Sample Items and Task Prototypes”

 parcc sample items

On the left side, click the grade level and subject you are interested in viewing.

 parcc by grade level

I have chosen to highlight 4th grade, as they will be piloting the test this year.  For now, let’s look at Math.  By scrolling down, you will see 3 columns and prototype items.  Select one.

parcc prototype

On the left side, select the level you wish to view.

parcc prototype 2

Select a sample item.

parcc prototype 3

By selecting “Part A” at the top, you will be directed to the question page.

parcc prototype 4

Take a minute to read it and find the solution.  Thoughts?  Was it as easy as A, B, C, or D?  In fact, let me ask you this: how many equations did you have to do to find the answer to this one question?  When you click on scoring (at the top right), you will see that it was no less than 3 equations.

parcc prototype scoring

This page shows the solution, as well as the rationale.  Another new twist on the PARCC that we are not accustomed to is that students may get partial credit for questions.  For instance, this question is worth 6 points, and students can score anywhere on that spectrum.
When you are done looking at the prototype questions and getting the answers to your questions, return to the tab on your browser for PARCC online.

parcc prototype

This time, click one of the sample questions at the bottom.  For instance, Subtraction Fluency.

parcc 4th grade math

This question seems like a typical 4th grade question.  However, entering the answer may confuse some students. We teach our students to always start on the right side.  If they subtract 3-2, they will try to enter 1.  But, as an adult with experience with calculators, you know that the 1 will shift to the left when you enter the next digit.
I will highlight calculator games in the coming weeks on my series of STEM@home.  Check back in a week, when I walk you through the accommodations for PARCC (another eye-opener!).

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Posted on February 7, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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