New State Tests

Starting in 2014-15, Illinois students transitioned to a new state test to measure how well they are mastering the skills needed to succeed in school and beyond. The tests were designed to provide accurate information so that teachers, parents and students can work together now to ensure kids are on track for the next grade and prepared for what comes after high school. Recent independent studies have found PARCC aligns to the standards and assessment criteria that matter most.

“Illinois is deeply committed to minimizing testing. Aligned assessments, curricula and standards dramatically decrease the need for multiple tests and support our belief that the best preparation for testing is good teaching. We need to celebrate the good work our teachers and schools are doing to teach the new content our children must have for success in the future. Tests are simply one measure to help track our progress. We all understand that no test can ever fully capture the inspiring skills and abilities of a great teacher or the extraordinary benefits and positive impact of a great school.”

-Tony Smith, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Education

Score Reports

Parents and guardians received two score reports in the fall from their school, summarizing how their student performed on the English Language Arts/literacy and mathematics tests.  Score reports will come back much sooner this year – by the end of summer – and include adjustments that make the score report easier to read and understand.

Learn about other changes to the test this year.

Need more information?

For more information and resources to help you get the most from the score reports, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education or contact us with questions.

Visit The Illinois State Board of Education
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For state specific questions or to contact your local state official, fill out this form.

Help your child at home

Families of students in grades 3-8 can take advantage of the GreatKids Test Guide for Parents to better understand what their child was tested on and how to support their child’s learning, grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject. To get started, grab your score report and choose your state and the grade your child was in last year. Also available en Espanol.

PARCC Test Guide for Parents
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Parent Questions & Answers

What can I do to support my child?

There are many online resources that provide information about the standards for each grade, tools to enhance your child’s learning in these areas, and examples of the types of work that meet standards. We have collected some of the best resources for you. There may also be organizations in your community that have tutoring and enrichment programs. Your local library may have a book club, or a community center may have after-school programs to help with homework. Visit our Help your Child page to find links, helpful teacher videos and other resources.

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Top resources for parents

Educator-built, kid-tested questions will better prepare students

The PARCC consortium released the test questions from this year's PARCC assessments to give teachers a powerful tool to inform classroom instruction and parents insight into the kinds of questions students are seeing on their tests. Visit the Partnership Resource Center, register, browse and learn more about assessments in the classroom. Visit website >

Parent Checklist: 5 Ways to Help Your Child

Here is a helpful five-step checklist for parents to help their kids get ready for testing. It features links to a host of resources from PARCC and partners such as the National Parent Teacher Association, Learning Heroes, Raise the Bar, and Great Kids, that provide parents and teachers with information about when the assessments will be given, what will be expected of them when they are testing, and much more. Download PDF >