End of Course Exams (PARCC version)

I don't know about you but every year I end the school year feeling like I did not do a good job of preparing my students.

Common Core standards became a thing during my second year of teaching. We were lucky enough to have a school improvement grant and I had an instructional coach. She had me cut up the standards and arrange them into courses in the best way I knew how.

So you see, I've never really taught without the Common Core standards looming over me. I wasn't set in my ways and I didn't have a set curriculum. It's not that it was hard for me to change, it's that I didn't know what to change.

I've always felt like I was missing this foundation of knowledge of what to teach so I didn't know what to change. And I still feel as though I do not understand the standards. They seem vague to me and I don't understand exactly what they're asking for. I just want someone to tell me specificly what to teach and then give me the freedom to teach it the way I want.

But alas, that does not exist. I'm the only high school teacher in my school and in my district so I really do feel like an island just floating out here, wondering if I will ever end up in the right location.

This year I decided to use the PARCC EOY Practice Assessment as a guide. I worked through them and they were very hard. There were problems I didn't know how to do on all of them. I actually still haven't finished the Algebra II test because I ended up crying and get a frustration headache and going to sleep. I would say lol except I definitely was not.

Anyway, I decided to try using the Algebra I and Geometry tests for my end of course exams. I changed the test some so that all questions are multiple choice and so that it is no longer a 54 page document...25 pages is plenty.

I'm scared about using them, especially since they have 45-50 questions but I can't just wander into my students being prepared. I have to take some kind of action.

I wanted to share my work with you in case anyone else could also use these and save themselves some time.

Here is Algebra I (answer keys included):

And Geometry:


  1. Hi Elissa! I too feel completely overwhelmed by the standards and don't get what they're saying. What's helped me understand is the NC unpacked documents. I'm not sure if you still need/want this, but check out the unpacked files on this site: http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/HS+Standards
    North Carolina has done an awesome job of making HS math classes unlike any other state's, but all standards are covered in those three documents (sometimes more than once, for the standards that span multiple courses) and explained with supporting examples. I hope this is helpful!

    1. Thank you Emily! The idea of unpacking standards by myself is so overwhelming!

  2. Thank you for sharing! This is my first year teaching geometry and your blog has been so useful!
    Also, I can't seem to get the Geometry file on this page to download.
    Thanks again!

    1. If you give me your email I can send it to you. For some reason none of my Box files are letting people download.