Students Preparing for PARCC Test NJ

PARCC Test New Jersey | How to Study?

If you have an upcoming PARCC Test in New Jersey, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. That’s completely understandable, as your performance on this assessment will play a big role in determining whether or not you will be able to move on to the next grade level.

Having the necessary information, familiarizing yourself with this exam, and preparing yourself ahead of time will help to quell your worries. It will also help to ensure that you complete the test properly and improve your chances of success.

Prior to completing the PARCC Test in New Jersey, there are some key pieces of information to know about this assessment. To help boost your chances of achieving the highest score possible, we have highlighted the information that you should know about the exam.

We have also included some helpful tips that you can use to prepare for both your practice exam, as well as your final assessment.

What Is The PARCC Test NJ?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already familiar with the PARCC test. However, you may not have a thorough understanding of this assessment and its purpose. PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

It’s a state exam that is administered to public school students in a group of states that collaborate with one another. The collaboration helps each state calculate and analyze students’ performance and their ability to manage material in the next grade level.

The exam also assesses teacher performance. In addition to measuring the progress of students, the results of the PARCC test are also used to establish Common Core standards for students in grades 3 through 11.

In addition to examining the performance of students by school to pinpoint problem areas, the schools assess the performance of individual students to determine if extra help is needed.

New Jersey is one of the states that employs the PARCC standardized test. It measures public school students’ ability to understand concepts rather than memorize facts, which was common with older forms of standardized tests.

When Is The PARCC Test?

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Several tests and assessments are administered via PARCC. These tests and assessments include the following:

  • Annual tests. Public school students in grades 3 through 11 are administered this test at the end of every school year.
  • Instructional tools and tasks. These tests and assessments may be administered throughout the school year, and they are primarily intended for teachers.

Similar to other standardized state exams, the PARCC tests should align with the content that students are being taught in the classroom at each grade level. That said, the content and the level of difficulty of the PARCC exam vary according to grade level.

PARCC Test NJ Components

The PARCC tests assess two key academic areas:

  • Math
  • ELA (English Language Arts)


For the math portion of the test, students are asked to apply mathematical principles that they have been taught, as well as mathematical reasoning that they have developed, in order to solve given questions.

Some basic information regarding what is expected from elementary, middle, and high school students in Math can be found on the PARCC website. This information includes the following:

  • Math for students in grades 3 through 11. Students are expected to exhibit mathematical reasoning, make sense of quantities and the relationships of those quantities in order to solve real-world problems, and demonstrate their understanding of this information.
  • Math for middle and high school students. Students are expected to demonstrate procedural skills and conceptual understanding, as well as modeling and application skills that highlight their ability to broaden numerical sense into ratios, rational numbers, and proportions. They are also expected to demonstrate their understanding of algebra, including their ability to understand expressions, graphs, and equations.

Also Read: High School Placement Test (HSPT) Guide

ELA (English Language Arts)

For the ELA portion of the test, students are asked to critically read and analyze texts. They should apply evidence from the texts that they have read in order to support the arguments that they provide.

  • ELA for students in grades 3 through 11. Students are expected to read at least one text (and, in some cases, watch a video) and provide a written summary of what they read and/or viewed, including supporting evidence from the text and/or the video.
  • ELA for middle and high school students. Students are expected to read multiple passages and provide written responses that include information from the passages that they read.

The content on the PARCC test aligns most closely with the content that students have been taught according to the Common Core standards.

There are a few ways that you can find out what questions will you will be asked:

  • Check the New Jersey Common Core standards.
  • Speak with your teacher (or your child’s teacher) about the content that he or she intends to cover for the year, as well as what he or she expects will be included in the PARCC test.
  • Look into PARCC practice exams.

PARCC NJ Question Format

The question format that is used on this exam is where the PARCC exam claims to stand out when compared to the standardized tests that the state of New Jersey (and the other participating states) used.

Assessing critical thinking and problem-solving skills is more challenging than assessing basic content knowledge; the question format used on this exam reflects this.

Both the practice PARCC tests and the official PARCC exams use multiple-choice questions for both the math and ELA portion of the assessment. The questions are answered online. Typically, the questions asked are scenario-based and provide students with some insight prior to asking the question.

In both the math and ELA portion of the exam, students are given a statement, which is then followed by a question. Students must then choose the option that they think is the correct answer.

PARCC Exam NJ Performance Levels

The PARCC score levels in the state of New Jersey rate student performance. Each level indicates how well a student has met the expectations for his or her grade. The scoring levels are as follows:

  • Levels 1 and 2. Levels 1 and 2 indicate that a student did not meet the expectations for his or her grade, or that he or she partially met the expectations for his or her grade. Levels 1 and 2 are marked by a down arrow and indicate that the student has failed the assessment.
  • Level 3. Level 3 indicates that a student has approached expectations. Level 3 is the minimum score that is required to pass the PARCC exam. A bidirectional arrow is used to mark a level 3 score.
  • Level 4. Level 3 indicates that a student has met the PARCC expectations and that he or she has demonstrated readiness for the next grade and, eventually, college and a career. An up arrow is used to mark a level 4 score.
  • Level 5. Level 5 indicates that a student has exceeded PARCC expectations. This is the highest level possible. An up arrow is used to mark a level 5 score.

The following is the score range for levels on the PARCC exams:

Level 1: 650 to 700
Level 2: 700 to 725
Level 3: 725 to 750
Level 4: 750 to 800
Level 5: 800 to 850

PARCC Test NJ Assessment Report

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The PARCC Assessment Report summarizes a student’s achievements on the exam. The report is divided into two parts: English Languages Arts/Literacy Assessment and Mathematics Assessment. The reports are sent to students’ schools, and parents should contact their child’s school if they wish to receive the information from the report.

Furthermore, the PARCC Assessment Report indicates the average scores of the school, the district, and the state. To gain a better understanding of a student’s performance, teachers and parents can compare these averages to a student’s averages.

The PARCC Test Scores Explained

The results of the PARCC exam are used to measure what students have learned, and to inform parents, teachers, and students how much students have learned. It is important to note that the results of the PARCC exam are used to illustrate a student’s familiarity with the content of the test, as well as his or her general test-taking strategies.

Moreover, the results are a measure of whether or not a student is ready to advance to the next grade, go to college, or obtain a professional career. It is also important to note that the scores of the PARCC test are not a measure of a student’s intelligence nor a measure of a student’s future success.

How PARCC Test Scores Affect New Jersey Students

The PARCC exam scores are beneficial not only for the state of New Jersey but for students and their schools, as well. Educators can use the information obtained from the tests to promote students to accelerated programs, for example.

Additionally, some colleges use PARCC results as a placement tool. Teachers can also use the information obtained from the test to determine if students are struggling and in need of remedial support. If so, they can provide students with the additional help that they require.

In some school districts in the state of New Jersey, the results of the PARCC exam are used to determine 10 percent of the overall ratings of the school for the corresponding school year.

Moreover, the New Jersey Department of Education uses the scores of this standardized test are used to generate performance reports for each school. These reports impact the rating of the school.

How To Prepare For The PARCC Test NJ

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Once you have familiarized yourself with what to expect on your PARCC test, preparing for the exam is advised. The earlier you begin preparing for the exam, the better. It should be noted that a lot of what you will need to do in order to prepare for the PARCC assessment takes place in school.

State standardized tests are not only used to assess student performance; they are also used to assess teacher, school, district, and state performance.

As such, while it is important to do your best, you should not feel pressured. Your ability to successfully complete the test and demonstrate what you have learned doesn’t just fall on you; it also falls on the teachers, administrators, and schools who are preparing you for your future.

That said, performing to the best of your ability is important, as the results of the PARCC exam will inform teachers of your needs. Additionally, preparing for the PARCC assessment will help you prepare for other types of standardized tests that you might take in the future.

The following tips can help you prepare for your upcoming exam:

  • Take PARCC practice tests. One of the best ways to prepare for your upcoming PARCC exam is by completing online practice tests. Take them in a quiet place with a timer. You can find amazing online practice tests and resources at Test Prep Online.
  • Analyze your mistakes. Assess the results of your practice exam to analyze the mistakes that you made so that you can work on areas where you may be struggling. You can use notes from class, ask your teachers to provide you with extra help, or perhaps work with a tutor.
  • Work on time management. The PARCC exam is a timed test. As such, developing your time management skills prior to completing the actual test is important. By doing so, you can avoid not being able to complete the test because time ran out. To practice your time management skills, complete PARCC practice tests within the same time limit that you will be provided for the actual exam.


While the PARCC exam can provide valuable information for New Jersey students, as well as for teachers, administrators, and districts, the test should not be a source of stress for students and their parents. Like the majority of standardized state tests, the PARCC exams are check-in assessments.

The scores are used to help teachers, schools, and districts, determine whether or not students are gaining the knowledge that is necessary to attend college or to obtain a career. To make sure you perform to your highest standard, head to Test Prep Online for the best, tailored practice materials.