By WOODREEN CALDWELL, EdS
The North Carolina End-of-Course Tests are used to sample a student’s knowledge of subject-related concepts as specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and to provide a global estimate of the student’s mastery of the material in a particular content area. The North Carolina End-of-Course tests were initiated in response to legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly – the North Carolina Elementary and Secondary Reform Act of 1984. In the 2011-12 school year, students enrolled in the following courses are required to take the North Carolina EOC tests: Algebra I, Biology, and English I.
Assessment items will be designed, developed, and classified to ensure that the cognitive rigor of the operational test forms align to the cognitive complexity and demands of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics (READY EOC Algebra I. These items require students to not only recall information, but also apply concepts and skills and make decisions.
Essential Standards for Science NC Assessment Specification Summary for Biology include:
- Structure and Function of Living Organisms
- Evolution and Genetics, and
- Molecular Biology
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts II include:
- Set of content standards
- CCSS are posted at: https://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/common-core/
- Common Core State Standards are divided into strands which address a specific set of College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards. These strands are reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
- CHS will teach and assess a common set of standards for the second-year high school course of English language arts.
The Plan is a preliminary ACT test designed for sophomores as preparation for the full-length ACT college admission examination taken in the 11th grade. All colleges will accept the ACT or SAT college admission examination tests. Both tests possess different qualities in their content, presentation and scoring.
PLAN data will help your leadership team advance student achievement and improve instructional tools.
Using actionable data at the student, school, district, and state level, PLAN:
- Enables teachers and counselors to take a close look at students’ skills and knowledge and design a college readiness plan to meet the needs of each student
- Helps educators identify gaps in the curriculum and assists with designing more rigorous courses
- When used with EXPLORE®, provides longitudinal data that help chart student growth and identify gaps in teaching and learning
- Offers important feedback for planning and allocating guidance resources
All of our 10th graders take PLAN and the school counselors share the personalized academic and career results with each student. PLAN results are used to more specifically pinpoint areas of additional skill building. For example, students who have anxiety about math—’I’m not good at math’—can use their PLAN results to see more specifically where they may need additional work in math. I think that takes some of the anxiety away and helps students understand that they can fill in the gaps now that they know where to start.
Why should my student take PLAN?
Taking PLAN is a great way to prepare for the ACT. In fact, students who take PLAN tend to score higher on the ACT than students who do not take PLAN.
It covers the same subjects—English, mathematics, reading, and science—and provides an estimated ACT score.
PLAN points out academic strengths and areas where improvement is needed and lets students know if they’re on track for college.
PLAN helps them find careers that match their interests and even helps connect them with colleges interested in them.
What subjects does the PLAN test cover and how long does it take?
PLAN includes four multiple-choice tests covering English, mathematics, reading, and science:
English – 50 questions, 30 minutes
Math – 40 questions, 40 minutes
Reading – 25 questions, 20 minutes
Science – 30 questions, 25 minutes
PLAN also includes a 72-item interest inventory that asks questions about the types of work tasks students would or would not like to do.
The PLAN assessment marks another step forward in our efforts to better prepare all students for college or to enter the workforce, Teachers and school leaders can use test feedback to identify areas in which they need to improve instruction while students can use their results to help map out a plan for the future.
PLAN is the first of three assessments that will receive more focus in North Carolina in the coming years. The State Board of Education voted last week to include results from the ACT and WorkKeys in the new school accountability model that will be implemented beginning in 2012-2013. The ACT is a college readiness test which will be given to all high school juniors
The national assessment, which is administered by ACT, is designed to measure students’ current academic development in English, mathematics, reading and science. Students can use results from the test to help them explore career/training options and make plans for the remaining years of high school and post-graduation years. The PLAN assessment is typically taken before students take the ACT as a junior or senior.
The guidance counselor will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning assessments and their use. Please feel free to call us at 554 5030. Thank you!