In most states, third grade is the earliest grade level required to take state assessments in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. With state testing being a new experience for your third grader, it’s natural that you want to go into testing season with as much information as possible.
The vast majority of states administer exams that are at least loosely based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), so your child should be tested on a fairly standardized set of skills regardless of location.
In this article, we’ll focus on 3rd grade math state tests and provide you with a printable 3rd grade math state test which you can download by clicking the button below.
In addition to receving the 3rd grade math test, you will also get a bonus PDF "5 Proven Test Prep Strategies for Using Practice Tests" to help you develop a study plan.
In this article we’ll also break down the expectations of Common Core third grade math, explain the two most common state tests (PARCC and SBAC), and provide you with tips for helping your child ace any 3rd grade math state test.
What 3rd Grade Math State Test Will My Child Take?
The specific test your child will take depends on your location. Regardless of location, however, most current state tests measure extremely similar skills and knowledge.
The majority of 3rd grade math tests are based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of rigorous national standards for ELA and Mathematics meant to adequately prepare students for college and careers.
Even those tests that are not directly linked to CCSS measure closely related skills, so an understanding of Common Core can help you ensure that your child is adequately prepared for mathematics testing.
Two state tests in particular were designed to be linked to CCSS: PARCC and SBAC. Both the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) received funds from the Department of Education to create CCSS-aligned standardized tests.
PARCC states include:
SBAC member states include:
Keep in mind that even if your child is not required to take PARCC or SBAC, your child’s 3rd grade math state test will likely measure skills that are closely related to CCSS.
Common Core Third Grade Math
Since state tests are closely linked to Common Core, what exactly does your child need to know and be able to do, according to CCSS?
Common Core third grade math skills fall into five categories:
Let’s take a look at the specific skills and knowledge third grade students should be able to demonstrate in each category.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
Third grade students should be able to:
Number and Operations in Base 10
By third grade, students should be able to perform multi-digit arithmetic using place value understanding and properties of operations.
This includes the ability to round numbers, fluently add and subtract within 1000 (using place-value understanding), and multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of ten.
Common Core State Standards suggest that fractions be introduced in third grade, at which point students should begin to understand fractions as numbers .
They should also be able to represent fractions on a number line diagram and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
Third grade students are expected to:
According to CCSS, students in grades 1-3 should be able to reason with shapes and their attributes, building on this knowledge each year.
You can expect Geometry questions on a 3rd grade math state test to look similar to the examples below:
You shouldn’t expect your child to be asked an equal number of questions for each of the five categories described here. For example, there will likely be significantly more questions about Operations and Algebraic Thinking than about Geometry.
Additionally, keep in mind that your child will be asked mostly multiple choice questions, but he will also encounter a few constructed response questions. These questions involve showing work, filling out a chart, etc. and providing a brief explanation of the reasoning involved in solving the problem.
Now that you have an understanding of Common Core 3rd grade math, we’ll take a look at the specifics of the SBAC and PARCC, the two most common 3rd grade math state tests. Remember that you can view additional sample questions by checking out the SBAC practice test 3rd grade or the PARCC practice test 3rd grade.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Mathematics test measures the following four skill categories:
Concepts and Procedures
Problem Solving questions require 3rd grade students to apply math to real-world situations. They must be able to strategically select and use tools as they solve problems, and they need the ability to interpret results in context.
In order to answer Communicate Reasoning questions, your child must critique, prove, justify, or investigate mathematical conjectures and logic. Students may be asked to explain the reasoning behind an answer, or they may be provided with a sample problem and be expected to identify flaws in mathematical reasoning.
Finally, Modeling and Data Analysis questions ask 3rd grade students to apply mathematical knowledge to real world scenarios at a grade-level appropriate understanding. Students may be asked to develop mathematical models of their own or to improve upon provided models. Students may also be asked to make reasoned estimates and plan, design, evaluate, and recommend tasks.
SBAC tests are untimed, but 3rd grade Mathematics generally requires about two hours and 30 minutes to complete.
To learn more about the SBAC, try reviewing an SBAC practice test 3rd grade with your child.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) Mathematics tests measure students’ ability to solve multi-step math problems that require critical thinking and address real-world situations.
PARCC test questions consist ofthree major task types:
All three task types require students to use and apply Common Core 3rd grade math skills, as described in the Common Core section of this article.
Each math exam is divided into “units,” and third grade students must complete four units lasting 60 minutes each. Third grade students are not permitted to use a calculator on the test, as a calculator is not needed to solve third grade math questions.
To learn more about PARCC, be sure to check out the PARCC practice test 3rd grade.
Is your child taking PARCC, SBAC, or another 3rd grade math state test entirely? No matter how you answered this question, the following tips can help your child ace his or her math test!
We hope that the tips, information and the printable practice test provided here help you and your child feel more comfortable and confident heading into test day. Good luck!