A Teacher’s Review of PARCC Reading Test

I completed parts A, B, and C of the PARCC tutorial. Part A was Moving through the tutorial and understanding the toolbar. One of the difficulties I feel that’s students might consider to be difficult is that the toolbar and arrows are on top. Being on top requires that after completing problems the students have to divert their focus back to the toolbar just to get to the next questions. Other than that fact, the toolbar was easy to understand. Part B was using tools. The tools that are included are pointer, answer eliminator, text highlighter, and other tools such as calculators for specific tests. Each of the tools require practice with using these online as it takes time to get comfortable with the tools not being physical such as protractor. The skills on how to use the tools is important because if the students do not have skills necessary they will have a harder time overall especially with timing on the actual exam. To overcome this difficulty, I will students practice using online exams. I researched online that Mastery Manager offers practice tests that resemble PARCC so that students get used to using the tools when it comes to the actual exam day. If students do not have access to computer labs, I will give print outs giving step my step direction on how to use the tool and toolbars with arrow on it similar to how Mr. Pelech showed us how to call up articles in the beginning of the class. Another thing I can do is, if the teacher has access to a computer and a projector they can show the students how to use the tools and students can learn by demonstration even if they do not have access to computers. Part C was item types. Item types include many different formats that PARCC test questions can be presented which may throw off students as they may never have seen these formats. This difficulty can also be overcome by including these formats for students to have practice on regular classroom assessments. Overall the more practice the more confidence a student will have when taking the official PARCC test.

I took the English- Language Arts/ Reading section of the PARCC test related to grade level (9th grade). I choose to take this section and analyze it because reading is an important factor when it come to science learning.

To do well on this section of the PARCC students need to be able to:

  • Find evidence (quotes) in the reading to answer subsequent questions on the reading
  • Quickly condense a chuck of reading into terms of its overall meaning
  • Use context clues to help answer questions such as:
    • A) Understand metaphors/similes based on context
    • B) Using context clue to find meaning to vocabulary
  • Compare and contrast reading passages and or arguments for writing essay


I analyzed my list of objectives for students on the Reading part of PARCC and my experience with trying the practice. Based on my experience the fist thing I would change on how I would teach, is by incorporating PARCC item types (questioning formats) into my daily assessments for my curriculum. In my philosophy students learn best by doing, so this way if students have practice with the format of the PARCC questions from an earlier stage they will be better able to answer questions on the actual exam. Specially for prepping students for the English Language arts section of the PARCC I will include weekly/monthly practice of analyzing scientific papers that include the topic we are learning but also skills that students need to do well on the reading reactions. The topics will be relatable to appeal to modern day problems and students interest, attitudes, and knowledge as Phopham has said. This way I can benefit both my own content scores and student standardized test scores as well.


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