Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

Mathematics

Helping you to understand the Summative Assessments

The annual summative math tests are available in Grades 3-8 and high school. Students solve multi-step math problems that require reasoning and address real-world situations. This requires students to reason mathematically, make sense of quantities and their relationships to solve real-world problems, and show their understanding. Many previous assessments focused mostly on rote procedure only.

PARCC has released a set of test specification documents, including high-level assessment blueprints and evidence statement tables, to help educators and the general public better understand the design of the state summative assessments.

Performance-level descriptors describe what a typical student at each level should be able to demonstrate based on his/her command of grade-level standards.

Understanding Summative Assessment Design

Test specification documents help educators and the general public better understand the design of the PARCC mathematics summative assessments. These documents were updated in July 2015 based on the updated assessment design.

Mathematics High Level Blueprint

The Mathematics High Level Blueprint defines the total number of tasks and/or items for any given grade/course assessment, the item types, and the point values for each.

Mathematics Assessment Unit Structure

The Mathematics Assessment Unit Structure defines the structure for the mathematics assessments including the number of units, and the timing and calculator designation for each unit.

Claims Structure Documents

Claims Structure Documents define the master claim of the PARCC mathematics assessments as well as the four sub-claims in which student achievement will be measured.

Evidence Statement Tables and Evidence Statements

Evidence Statement Tables and Evidence Statements describe the knowledge and skills that an assessment item or a task elicits from students. These are aligned directly to the Common Core State Standards, and highlight their advances especially around the coherent nature of the standards.

Evidence Statements include information on “Clarifications, Limits and Emphasis,” related “Mathematical Practices” and “Calculator Designations.”

Evidence Statement Documents

​Informational Guides to the Summative Assessments in Mathematics

​Informational Guides to the Summative Assessments in Mathematics provide grade-level information about the design and structure of the state summative assessments. The guides:

  • Help educators understand the content in the summative assessment.
  • Inform instruction by indicating the content assessed by each task type as described by the Evidence Statements.
  • Describe policies for administering the tests.

Informational Guides by Grade

Mathematics Performance-Level Descriptors

Grades 3-11

PARCC reports results according to five performance levels that delineate the knowledge, skills, and practices students are able to demonstrate:

  • Level 1: Did not yet meet expectations
  • Level 2: Partially met expectations
  • Level 3: Approached expectations
  • Level 4: Met expectations
  • Level 5: Exceeded expectations

Performance level descriptors (PLDs) indicate what a typical student at each level should be able to demonstrate based on his/her command of grade-level standards. In mathematics, the performance levels at each grade level are written for each of four assessment sub-claims:

  • Major content
  • Additional and supporting content
  • Reasoning
  • Modeling

The performance levels within each claim area are differentiated by a number of factors consistent with the Common Core’s inclusion of standards for both mathematical content and mathematical practices and PARCC’s Cognitive Complexity Framework for Mathematics.

Download the framework:

Performance-Level Descriptors by Grade Band