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An introduction to New Jersey PARCC testing

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016 10:08 AM

If you have children attending school in New Jersey, you have likely heard of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests. This standardized testing helps assess students' learning and improve their knowledge base before they head to the next grade. Learn more about the exams below:

What is PARCC? 
PARCC testing subjects include English language arts and literacy and mathematics. Students in 3rd through 12th grade will take these tests. The PARCC website suggested parents consider these tests as an educational GPS system. Student scores will serve as directions for educators. Low scores on the exams may show that teachers need to better cover certain subjects or topics. This strengthens their instruction and helps parents assess how students are doing and if the kids are ready to advance to the next grade level.

Students must use problem solving and critical thinking skills and analyze information to complete PARCC questions. Some ask for written arguments, and others require multiple choice questions. All in all, these tests offer a better way to see what students learn by asking more in-depth questions and requiring students to solve with more advanced answers than simply filling out a letter bubble.

Why is PARCC important for your children? 
PARCC testing helps schools establish if their students are at the proper level of learning for their age groups. Districts can compare scores with those across the state and others who partake in PARCC testing to learn what areas need more assistance. Plus, the tests are computerized, a format that is typically easier for students to use, as they are digital natives and have grown up using technology as a major part of their education.

How can you help your kids prepare for the PARCC?
Teachers base their yearly curricula around readying students for the PARCC tests. To make sure your children are benefitting from this practice, they should do every homework assignment and project. While regular grades at quarters or semesters don't have any affect on standardized scores, they may reflect what score your children will earn on the PARCC. If your kids are prone to testing anxiety or want to check out the exams ahead of time to become familiar with the format, have them try practice tests.