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What are the benefits of PARCC testing?

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Quick Answer

The standardized assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers benefits students by challenging them to think critically and determines how well they are likely to perform at a college level. However, as of April 2015, PARCC is still in its trial phase.

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Full Answer

Because many states are still in the field-testing stage and plan to implement the official assessment during the spring semester of 2015, the measurable long-term benefits of PARCC testing aren't clear. Administrators believe the test can help students meet the Common Core standards in mathematics and language arts by encouraging analytical approaches to thinking, rather than memorization and basic comprehension. By administering the test twice a year, teachers are also able to gauge students' individual progress and decide on the appropriate course of action to address specific learning obstacles.

While many existing language arts tests focus on reading a passage and answering simple questions to determine comprehension, the PARCC assessment emphasizes textual analysis. The intended benefit is to develop the skills of gathering evidence, synthesizing ideas and using logic to form well-thought-out arguments. The mathematics assessment builds conceptual understanding of math concepts, rather than promoting procedural memorization. The expected benefit is that teachers can determine how well students can apply mathematics concepts to real-world problems based on a multidisciplinary knowledge base.

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