Sample Questions

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PARCC Task Prototypes and Sample Items


The primary purpose of sharing samples of PARCC items is to provide information about the assessment system and support educators as they transition to the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC tests.  The samples presented here are designed to shine a light on important elements of the CCSS and to show how critical content in the standards may appear in PARCC’s next-generation, technology-based assessments.
Samples can be found by clicking on each grade level on the left menu. There are two types of samples found on these pages:
Task Prototypes, which were released in August 2012; and,
Sample Items, which were released beginning on August 15, 2013
The task prototypes were created to provide viable early models to guide item development.  The sample items represent the current state of PARCC item development and provide users a snapshot of what the 2014-2015 assessments will look like.  
The new sample items are first presented in PDF format to emphasize a focus on the content of the items.  Later in 2013, the new sample items will be re-released as technology-based items that students, educators, and parents can use to better understand the content and the technologies PARCC will be using.  
Learn more about:

PARCC ELA/Literacy Rubrics


The PARCC ELA/literacy Rubrics have been updated to reflect lessons learned from the extensive PARCC field test. Updates include:
  • Score points for the Conventions trait were reduced from 4 score points to 3 points. Educators saw that there was not enough difference between student responses to have both a score point of 4 and a score point of 3 and apply the rubric with reliability. 
  • PARCC created a separate rubric for scoring of narrative writing. The narrative criteria for Written Expression was separated so that both teachers and scorers could easily apply the correct criteria.
  • PARCC added an additional bullet for score point 1 in Written Expression. During the review of the field test items, educators saw responses that were well-developed and text-based, but not clearly tied to the prompt. Language was added to score point 1 to recognize the writing ability demonstrated in this type of response. 
  • While the criteria themselves did not change, the descriptors for some score points were refined to clearly delineate the lines between score points and to ensure clarity of the criteria.

Use of sample and practice test items

This website displays sample test items and practice test items, located on the PARCC Pearson portal, as well as the Task Prototypes and New Sample Items: ELA/literacy, Task Prototypes and New Sample Items: Mathematics, and the Task Prototypes and Sample Items pages on the PARCC website. These resources are for use by educators, parents, authors, the public, textbook publishers, and others to help raise awareness of the PARCC assessments and to help prepare educators and students. No charge is imposed for the use of the items that are identified as samples. The widespread use and sharing of these materials is encouraged, provided that the source of the materials is acknowledged in any reproduction of the samples.


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