EDISON - The results are in for the state's first go at the PARCC standardized tests, and at first look, the numbers don't appear very encouraging.

Less than half of New Jersey students in grades 3 through 11 who took the PARCC exam met grade-level expectations.

State education officials say while that doesn't seem encouraging at face value, it's important to remember it's only the first year of the test, and moving forward they do expect the grades to come up.

New Jersey Commissioner of Education David Hespe says the first round of results from the state's PARCC testing show definitive areas that need improvement, but that the results need to be looked at in the bigger picture.

"It's the first year of an initial test that was delivered in a new format, a computerized format," says Hespe.  "Ninety-nine percent of our students couldn't get on computers, so we should be humble, we should be patient, we should take our time to review all of this information." 

Students were graded on a five-tier scale.  In both English and math, in most cases, the results came in below 50 percent.  They also show on average, the higher the grade level, the lower the scores.  

In most grades for both English and math, roughly 35 to 65 percent of students were scored as partially meeting or approaching expectations.

Many students opted out of the tests in the spring.