Why New Assessments

Just as Illinois educators worked on developing the new learning standards, they have also been involved in developing a new assessment through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  PARCC debuted in spring of 2015.

Check out this video to learn more about why new standards need new assessments:

PARCC: a test worth taking

PARCC differs from other standardized tests in key ways:

• It is computer-based and given towards the end of the school year, providing parents and students a clearer, more detailed picture of students’ strengths and areas that need improvement.

• Unlike previous tests, PARCC is designed to evaluate critical thinking skills and asks students to justify their answers. Students will no longer “fill in the bubble” of a multiple choice exam but will instead have to analyze information and provide thoughtful answers.

• Eventually, results will be returned within the same school year so that teachers can individualize instruction to meet a student’s needs.

• It will make it possible to compare Illinois’ performance to that of students in the other states giving PARCC.

• PARCC is aligned to the new Illinois Learning Standards, which set college and career readiness expectations at every grade level.

try it out!

Try out practice tests here. It’s a way for parents and students to become familiar with the types of test questions and how the technology platform works. You can also try out some sample questions. There you will find:

• Sample Questions Grades 3-5

• Sample Questions Grades 6-8

• Sample Questions for High School

for more information:

• The Illinois State Board of Education has created a series of fact sheets:

• Learn about the PARCC changes coming in school year 2015/16.

• Read the Parents’ Guide to New Assessments in Illinois by the PTA.

• Check out PARCC games created by teachers.

• Check out PARCC resources for educators and parents.

• Read about PARCC Data Privacy and Security.

Learn why students find the PARCC assessment more engaging: