The Partial Credit Model (PCM) is sometimes interpreted as a model for stepwise solution of polytomously scored items, where the item parameters are interpreted as difficulties of the steps. It is argued that this interpretation is not justified. A model for stepwise solution is discussed. It is shown that the PCM is suited to model sums of binary responses which are not supposed to be stochastically independent. As a practical result, a statistical test of stochastic independence in the Rasch model is derived.