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# South Carolina PAC Parent Brochure

State: South Carolina Department of Education
Updated on Dec 19, 2011

### What is the PACT?

The Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT) are administered statewide in South Carolina to public school students in grades three through eight. The PACT includes tests in four subject areas: English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies.

### What is the purpose of the PACT?

The PACT items measure student performance on the South Carolina curriculum standards. The standards are statements of what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

### Where can I find a copy of the South Carolina curriculum standards?

All curriculum standards are published on the Web site of the State Department of Education (SDE).

### How do PACT items measure the student’s performance with regard to the curriculum standards?

What is the mode for this set of numbers?

A. 5

B. 17

C. 66

D. 73

Here is another example of a multiple-choice item that would measure the student’s ability to solve problems involving the mean, median, mode, or range for a set of data:

2.    Use the following numbers to answer the question:

1, 5, 5, 17, 25, 35, 66, 66, 66, 74

Calculate the mean score of this set of numbers.

A. 35

B. 36

C. 37

D. 38

Another way that a student’s knowledge of this standard could be measured is with a test item such as this:

3.     Use the following numbers to answer the question:

1, 5, 5, 17, 23, 35, 66, 66, 66, 73, 101

What is the median score of this set of numbers? Show your work or explain your answer in the space below.

### What types of items are on the PACT, and what are some examples?

The PACT includes multiple-choice and constructed-response items. Most ELA items are based on reading passages. Each ELA test also includes one extended-writing item.

An ELA multiple-choice item might be similar to the following:

What is the tone of the passage?

A. formal

B. humorous

C. persuasive

D. technical

A constructed-response item requires the student to compose an answer or to work a problem. An ELA constructed-response item might be similar to this:

David and his father expressed different views about having a pet. Compare their views. Use details from the passage to support your answer.

An extended-writing item requires the student to write a composition about a topic. Here is an example of an ELA extended-writing item:

Write a composition about a day that was so good you wished it would never end. Describe what happened on this memorable day.

In the "Time to Write" section of the test booklet, the student is given helpful instructions to follow in responding to the topic. For example, the student is told to be sure that his or her written response contains an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. More information about these test instructions is available on the SDE’s Office of Assessment Web page, under the PACT program link.