The Standards comprise three main sections: a comprehensive K–5 section and two content area–specific sections for grades 6–12, one for ELA and one for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Three appendices accompany the main document.
Each section is divided into strands. K–5 and 6–12 ELA have Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language strands; the 6–12 history/ social studies, science, and technical subjects section focuses on Reading and Writing. Each strand is headed by a strand-specific set of College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards that is identical across all grades and content areas.
Standards for each grade within K–8 and for grades 9–10 and 11–12 follow the CCR anchor standards in each strand. Each grade-specific standard (as these standards are collectively referred to) corresponds to the same-numbered CCR anchor standard. Put another way, each CCR anchor standard has an accompanying grade-specific standard translating the broader CCR statement into grade-appropriate end-of-year expectations.
Individual CCR anchor standards can be identified by their strand, CCR status, and number (R.CCR.6, for example). Individual grade-specific standards can be identified by their strand, grade, and number (or number and letter, where applicable), so that RI.4.3, for example, stands for Reading, Informational Text, grade 4, standard 3 and W.5.1a stands for Writing, grade 5, standard 1a. Strand designations can be found in brackets alongside the full strand title.