Non-Summative Assessments

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To help teachers assess the extent to which students are on track to mastering the CCSS at their grade levels, PARCC will develop diagnostic  and mid-year assessments in reading, writing and mathematics, in addition to K-1 formative tools and speaking and listening assessments.



As students progress through their instructional program, teachers will collect a variety of diagnostic data to determine instructional choices so that all students can master the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The overarching purpose of the PARCC Diagnostic Assessments is to provide instructionally useful information about how well students have learned, or how prepared they are to learn key content and skills tied to the CCSS in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics to educators.  With this information, educators can: 

  • more efficiently provide students with appropriate instructional support, and
  • better identify students who require intense interventions or enrichment activities in order to meet (or exceed) grade level performance targets.

In addition to the diagnostic assessments at grades 2-8, PARCC envisions a set of innovative assessment tools to support teachers at kindergarten and first grade.  As with the grade 2-8 diagnostic assessments, the primary purpose for these tools is to provide educators with instructionally useful information related to how students demonstrate CCSS proficiencies (including in relation to content progressions), and to provide that information at an appropriate level of detail and specificity to supplement a teacher’s current understanding of student proficiency.

The formative tools will be curriculum-embedded and gather information about student learning in a manner that seeks to be “invisible” to the student- that is, the formative experiences will be designed to fit within the regular experience of young students.  Such information will be designed to provide teachers with information they can use to adjust instruction as appropriate.

It is anticipated that the diagnostic assessments will be available in Summer 2015, for use in the 2015-16 school year. More information about the timeline of the K-1 tools is forthcoming.

Additionally, PARCC will release Mid-Year Assessments for optional use by states and districts. Designed to mirror the PARCC Performance-Based Assessments, the Mid-Year Assessments will provide students and educators the ability to work with constructed response and machine scorable items for formative purposes (students’ scores will not be part of their summative PARCC score).   Mid‐Year Assessments are designed to inform curriculum, instruction and professional development. These assessments will be performance-based and focus on difficult-to-assess standards, including writing effectively when analyzing texts in ELA/Literacy and applications/modeling and reasoning in mathematics.

The Mid-Year Assessments in Grades 3-11 will be field tested in spring 2014 and ready for use in the 2014-15 school year.

As described in the Common Core State Standards, the ability for students to proficiently engage in speaking and listening activities is critical for their long-term opportunities.  PARCC has developed claims for the Speaking and Listening assessment that align with the Common Core State Standards.  Two major claims serve as the expected reporting categories for the assessment:

  • Listening—Students gain and demonstrate understanding of complex information, ideas, and evidence presented orally.  (Grades K-12)
  • Speaking—Students present complex information, ideas, and evidence effectively in speech. (Grades K-12)

In addition, given the anticipated design of the assessments, there are two supporting claims for which there should be evidence for classroom teachers to determine student abilities and to gather formative data to inform instruction as a result of student work produced in response to the PARCC Speaking and Listening Assessments:

  • Research—Students gather, build, and present knowledge through research and the integration, comparison, and synthesis of ideas. (Grades 2-12)
  • Reading—Students read and demonstrate understanding of grade level complex texts. (Grades 2-12)

The CCSS are designed to encourage meaningful integration of the Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language standards. While the reporting categories are built to ensure data is provided regarding speaking and listening, the design of the assessments and these supporting claims are intended to build authentic integrations of the strands in the CCSS where possible.

Through multiple interactions with speaking and listening assessment activities, students and teachers will gain a deeper understanding of students’ progress in mastering these crucial skills. 

While available for use in Grades K-12, the Speaking and Listening Assessment is required for use in Grades 3-11, per the PARCC Assessment System design.

The Speaking and Listening Assessments in Grades K-12 will be field tested in early 2015 and ready for use in the 2015-16 school year.  


For more information about all of the PARCC non-summative assessments, please see the overview documents below.

Diagnostic/K1 (PDF) 

Speaking and Listening (PDF) 

Mid-Year assessment (PDF)


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