March 27, 2014

PARCC Field Test Alert - ELA PBA Prose Constructed Response Items PDF format

Dear Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test Participants:

The purpose of this communication is to address questions regarding the time students are taking to complete the ELA Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) sessions and the extent to which students are expected to respond to Prose Constructed Response (PCR) items.

PARCC has received numerous reports of students completing the ELA sessions in much less time than originally estimated. The first two test sessions (Literary Analysis and Research Simulation) include tasks that require reading/viewing multiple passages/multi-media. The third session includes a Narrative task that requires reading a single passage. Each task culminates in a PCR item, which requires an extended response. For the Literary Analysis and Research Simulation tasks students are expected to cite evidence from the passages in their responses, while the Narrative task, in most cases, requires students to use the passage as a springboard for an original, student-crafted story.

The PCR items are intended to elicit extended written responses. Students are expected to draw on evidence from the passages they have read to support the points they make in their written responses. PARCC’s timing policies have been developed to provide students with time to both read multiple passages and write well-developed responses to PCR items.

In order to provide students with additional guidance and to ensure PARCC is gathering the most meaningful data from as many students as possible, new language has been developed to replace portions of the scripts for the PCR items (i.e., constructed response questions). This language can be found in the attached document. District Test Coordinators should communicate information to school officials to ensure that this information is shared with Test Administrators as soon as possible. Optimally, the new language will be used by Test Administrators administering ELA PBA sessions beginning on Thursday, March 27 and thereafter.

For more information regarding PARCC and the 2014 Field Test, please visit the PARCC website at If you have questions regarding the administration of the PARCC Field Test, please contact Pearson’s PARCC Support Center: 1-888-493-9888 (open Monday through Friday, 6:00am to 8:00pm CST) or We appreciate your support in the PARCC field test! Sincerely, Pearson PARCC Program Team