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February 28, 2017

PARCC Practice Tests Made Easy

In the next few weeks, schools across the country will be embarking on the spring PARCC assessments. Make PARCC prep easy with Pear Assessment's (formerly Edulastic) practice tests!

Whether your state uses PARCC, SBAC or its own state standards, the common core-inspired standardized test can create a flurry of activity ranging from adjusted school schedules to last minute study sessions, not to mention all of the logistical issues. To help minimize the anxiety of the testing season, you can use Pear Assessment to give students a PARCC practice test so they can feel prepared when the official testing date arrives.

Our Assessment Library contains PARCC-released practice assessments for grades 3-8 and high school. You will find links to several of these PARCC practice tests to the right. We've also compiled a list of top technical skills your students need to be ready for PARCC tests and the ways teachers can use Pear Assessment to help.

Top 5 skills for PARCC test success

1. Familiarity with technology-enhanced questions

Students need to know how to manipulate the mouse to perform a variety of tech-specific maneuvers. High-stakes assessments such as PARCC require them to do things like drag and drop, fill in boxes on a table, highlight, select and de-select, use drop down menus, activate a video, and even use online calculators.  

The tech-enhanced questions in Pear Assessment will give your students the opportunity to practice taking the test on a platform that mimics the test. By the time the students get from the PARCC practice test to the official PARCC test, they'll be comfortable with the mechanics of the questions and can focus on the content. If students need a little extra practice focusing on digital assessment question types, consider giving them a fun, low-stakes assessment.  

2. Keyboarding

The assessments have free form essay and short answer questions which require typing on a keyboard. Students should be familiar with the keyboard’s letters, numbers, delete, space bar, scrolling, etc. For younger students, understanding the keyboard can be a challenge, so exposure to typing time in class will give them the extra advantage at testing time.

You can use Pear Assessment'’s Essay question type in a PARCC practice test, to practice both short answer or essay responses in class, or as outside assignments. Open response question types will also enable students to practice attention to detail when using the keyboard to submit responses. Aside from getting that extra keyboard practice in, typed answers guaranteed that student writing will be clearly legible!  

3.  Comprehension of nonfiction and informational texts

Understanding and analyzing nonfiction or informational texts has a much more significant place on these assessments than has traditionally been taught. Both PARCC and SBAC have placed an emphasis on students learning via informational texts; on SBAC it makes up between 45%-55% of the reading based questions depending on the grade level.  

Incorporating passages into test practice is crucial to adequately preparing students for the PARCC assessment. A PARCC practice test that includes Pear Assessment’s Passage Based tech-enhanced questions will give the students exposure to these types of questions and get them used to reading and comprehending online. From there, students can adjust to scrolling through text, locating portions of the text, and responding to passage-based questions online.  

4. Comfort with the device

Some schools will use iPads on the assessments, others, computers. Students should be familiar with the device they will be tested on, specifically for academic uses - watching YouTube on the iPad isn’t the same as being tested on it. Students should know some basic troubleshooting techniques, such as how to open the browser if it closes.  

Give students practice assessments on the device they will use for the official exam. In fact, try giving students an Pear Assessment PARCC practice test ahead of time and on a regular basis on the device. Bonus points if you can set up the room and atmosphere to mimic the conditions that students will experience on the official testing day.  

5.  Able to go the distance

The students will be sitting at a computer or a device for an hour or more. Exposure to working in front of a computer for a lengthy period of time can help them build up the stamina needed complete the tests.  

Here are just a few PARCC Assessment tests from our library that you can use to build stamina.  For the complete list of PARCC practice tests, enter the term PARCC in the search box in the Assessment Library and filter for your grade or subject.


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