What is expected of students under Common Core

What is expected of students under Common Core The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a uniform set of benchmarks children across the country must meet. Here's a sampling of what students must master at a certain age.

A complete list of standards is available at corestandards.org.



Know number names and the count sequence


With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text

Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does)

First Grade

Add and subtract within 20

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic and provide some sense of closure

Second Grade

Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication

Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text

Use collective nouns, form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish)

Third Grade

Multiply and divide within 100


Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters

Decode multisyllable words

Fourth Grade

Understand decimal notation for fractions and compare decimal fractions

Determine a theme of a story, drama or poem from details in the text; summarize the text

Compare and contrast a first-hand and second-hand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided

Fifth Grade

Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to hundredths

Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes

Sixth Grade

Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area and volume

Describe how a particular story or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution

Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not

Seventh Grade

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations

Analyze how a drama or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning

Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of ideas

Eighth Grade

Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations

Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events or character types from myths, traditional stories or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new

Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation

Ninth through 10th grades

Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots) and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension or surprise

Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and topics

Perform arithmetic operations on polynomials (in algebra)

Build a function that models a relationship between two quantities (in functions)

11th through 12th grades

Demonstrate knowledge of 18th-, 19th- and early-20th-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics

Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., "The Federalist", presidential addresses)

Make inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments and observational studies (in statistics and probability)

Prove theorems involving similarity (in geometry)

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