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What is PARCC? 

“The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of assessments in English and math anchored in what it takes to be ready for college and careers. These new assessments will build a pathway to college and career readiness by the end of high school, mark students’ progress toward this goal from 3rd grade up, and provide teachers with timely information to inform instruction and provide student support.” (

PARCC will help us measure how well schools around the country are doing on the Common Core State Standards.  New Jersey has replaced the NJASK test with the PARCC test, so this is not “extra” testing – it IS the test!

The Common Core State Standards sets common goals for learning, but allow each district and state to decide what to teach, and how to teach it.  Then PARCC measures students’ progress against those goals.

Think about it like this:   the Olympics measure how well athletes perform, but they don’t tell the coaches how to train their athletes! 

Who Participates?

All students in grades 3-11 will be assessed in English Language Arts and Math.  

A very few students, who used to take the APA, will now take a different test called the DLM.


When are the Tests Given?

Students are assessed twice a year. 

  • Performance Based Assessment (called PBA) is in March and covers about 75% of the year.
  • End of Year Assessment (called EOY) is in May and covers about 90% of the year.
What are the Differences Between the NJASK and the PARCC?
  • The major difference is that the students will take the PARCC exam on the computer and not the old pencil and paper-bubble sheet way. 
  •   PARCC will be given twice per year and test Algebra I and II.
  • The test will be more student interactive, since PARCC will include a drag and drop interactive section as well as a scrolling style to look at information.
  •  The testing period will be longer than NJASK or HSPA (closer to eight to 10 hours to complete) compared to the more typical six hours.
  •  PARCC requires more analytical thinking than the other two tests. For example, where NJASK simply asked comprehension or problem-solving questions, students are now asked to apply and understand a concept. With PARCC, a question may have several correct responses, and the student must defend his or her choices.
  • The new language arts require more argument-based, persuasive types of writing, replacing the formerly used method of reading text and answering questions based on information in the story.


Can My Student Opt-Out?

  • No.  The district must test any student who is present at the time of testing (regular and make up administrations), as directed by New Jersey’s Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) 6A:8-4.That means that if your student is in school at any time during the testing months of March or May, he or she must sit for the test.  In accordance with the administrative code and Commissioner Hespe, "Schools are not required to provide an alternative educational program for students who do not participate in the statewide assessment."

Commissioner Hespe’s letter regarding student participation


Parent Resources

PARCC Website for Parents

The PARCC assessment will allow parents to engage in their child’s education. It’s sometimes difficult for parents to measure whether or not their child is learning what they need to know to succeed in the future. The new assessments will provide parents with more information about how their child is progressing in school.

PARCC Sample Items

Try out a few sample questions on the technology platform that students will use when taking the computer-based PARCC tests. Engage with the different types of items (drag-and-drop, multiple select, etc.) and computer based tools (calculator, highlighter, etc.) that will be available. Sample Items will not be scored.


PARCC Practice Tests

Do you want to know what taking the English/Language Arts/Literacy or Math portion of the PARCC Performance-Based Assessment is really like? A practice test for each grade is available for you to use to familiarize yourself with the kinds of items and format used for the PBA tests.


Myths vs. Facts

Successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards requires parents, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to have the facts about what the standards are and what they are not. The following myths and facts aim to address common misconceptions about the development, intent, content, and implementation of the standards.


Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards- (In English and Spanish)

The Council of the Great City Schools' parent roadmaps in English language arts/literacy provide guidance to parents about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning in grades K-8. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.

Parent Toolkit

This toolkit will help you navigate your child’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school. It is designed to help you track and support progress at each stage.


Raise the Bar:  Parents Helping Parents

A community of parents committed to high expectations and support to ensure our children’s educational success.  We are working to provide ways for parents to understand how our children are doing, how parents can help at home, and how we can promote meaningful family involvement in education.

PARCC Games for students

PARCC Games was created to help students and teachers take on the new Common Core standards as well as the PARCC assessment. This site was designed as a reinforcement tool for previously taught content. Game links found on this site have been previously screened and found to support Common Core learning goals. We encourage students to use our site to practice both during school and at home.