Is the PARCC Test Inadequate?

“The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high quality K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.” (http://parcc. This is the opening statement on the PARCC homepage, stating that the test is made to test our knowledge of our Common Core State Standards. The PARCC website addresses this, saying, “Because the assessments are aligned with the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards (CCSS), they ensure that every child is on a path to college and career readiness by measuring what students should know at each grade level.” ( This is the first year PARCC testing has been distributed throughout the applying states. I took PARCC March 30 through April 6, but had started my spring break just a week before testing. Since we had just gotten back from a week off of school, we were still in a “vacation” mindset, making us lazy and not think academically. The day after spring break we proceeded into testing. This threw us off, acting as an unjust force taunting us on our first day back to school, therefore putting our results on the down end. The first test we took was the math portion, which took one day.

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The math on the test was incomprehensible for a ninth grade mathematics level. The assignments were simply invalid for someone with our knowledge, where what we’ve learned was barely applied on the test. We took a practice test, and those questions were over things we had learned. I walked into the test confident, and left feeling down because I was at a loss throughout the entire test. The next two days we took the English portion of PARCC. The first day, Thursday, we took two parts to the test.

These portions included stories we had to read, then answer questions effortlessly since the questions seemed as if they were on a fifth grade level. On the next day, we read a story and typed an essay over it at the end, taking only an hour. The odd thing was, the entire English test itself, was far too simplistic for someone who is expected to take a high school test. We were promised digital tools to use on the test, but were never taught how to function them. I found it difficult to use certain tools, and some that I was told would be on there; weren’t there at all. They were available only on certain parts of the test, and on others were there, yet were cluttered.

For the kids, who at the time weren’t testing, were left to do assignments that those testing would not have to do. The one thing I found particularly odd was only the math and English subjects were tested on. If we’re going into a career that may require qualifications in the fields of science, social work, history; or even if we want to work as a blue-collar worker, not all jobs will acquire only English and math. This is supposed to make sure we learn all the fields of knowledge, but makes it a contradiction within itself from the testing matter. When I moved here to Paragould, Ark.

from Tennessee last April, I had heard nothing of this so called, PARCC test. I was told to be prepared for a test that I had no clue how to prepare for within my first week of school. The PARCC test, in my opinion, was a complete failure. It was too hard, yet too easy all at once. It was poorly set up, and was taken at the wrong time for us. If the test is so inadequate, then we simply cannot pass the test.

Thus, making our final scores come out with alow, and a score anywhere above basic would be a blessing. If the next test, in May, is as bad as this one, then I think the test shouldn’t be set in front of students ever again.