Standardized Test Prep in North Carolina
North Carolina uses a variety of tests and assessments to measure how well students are understanding and applying what they are learning in school. North Carolina state testing is aligned to the objectives found in the state-adopted content standards. Results of the tests help teachers, administrators, and parents decide whether students need additional support or enrichment.
On this page you will learn more about North Carolina standardized testing, including the types of tests required, testing dates, and the grade levels targeted. You’ll also learn how you can help your child prepare for standardized tests in the Tar Heel State.
What State Tests Are Available in North Carolina?
Assessments in North Carolina are dependent on grade level. The primary assessments are broken down into three categories: End of Grade testing (EOG testing) for grades 3-8, End of Course testing for high school, and North Carolina final exams. Other tests are administered dependent on specific grade-level requirements. North Carolina also offers alternative tests for those students whose IEP, 504, or LEP indicates that traditional testing is not appropriate.
Below are the primary state tests your student will encounter within the public school system in North Carolina:
- NC Beginning of Grade (BOG) – This assessment of reading for all Grade 3 students is used to identify students in need of assistance in reading. The Reading Test is aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCoS) for grade 3 English Language Arts. The multiple-choice test begins on the 11th day of the school year and continues through the 15th day.
- End of Grade Testing – All EOG tests are based on the standards set out in the NCSCoS. Students in grades 3-8 will be tested annually in the subjects of reading and mathematics and students in grades 5 and 8 will also take a science assessment. Your child’s EOG scores will give you a chance to compare your child’s performance with that of other students in the same grade at the school and with other students across North Carolina.
- End of Course Testing – At the end of the semester, high school students in Math I, Math III, Biology and English II take an online state assessment test. The EOC assessments are aligned to the NCSCoS for English Language Arts and Mathematics and the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science. EOC test scores count as part of the student’s final course grade.
- North Carolina Final Exams – Students in Grades 6 – 8 take a state created Social Studies and Science test which is considered a North Carolina Final Exam (NCFE). The exam lasts 120 minutes and counts as part of the student’s final course grade. The following courses will administer a North Carolina Final Exam: 6th Grade Social Studies, 6th Grade Science, 7th Grade Social Studies, 7th Grade Science, and 8th Grade Social Studies.
- NCEXTEND1 – Students with significant cognitive disabilities and have a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) are eligible to take an alternate assessment, the NCEXTEND1. Alternate assessment items are grade-level, performance-based, multiple-choice items that measure the standards specified in the North Carolina Extended Content Standards. The NCEXTEND1 measures student performance reading, math, and science (depending on grade level).
- ACCESS for ELLs – This test is used to satisfy state and federal requirements for the annual assessment of the English language proficiency of English language learners. ACCESS for ELLs measures English language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for students in grades K-12.
North Carolina standardized testing is mandated for all students, and there is no “opt out” policy in place. All students are expected to participate in assessments.
When is Standardized Testing in North Carolina?
The general North Carolina state test schedule is as follows:
- BOG Reading Test – Days 11 through 15 of the school year
- End of Grade (EOG) Testing – During the final 10 instructional days of the school year
- End of Course (EOC) Testing – During the final 5 instructional days of a semester-long course, or the final 10 instructional days of a year-long course.
- NC Final Exams – During the final 5 instructional days of a semester-long course, or the final 10 instructional days of a year-long course.
- NCEXTEND1 – During the final 10 instructional days of the school year.
- ACCESS for ELLs – Sometime between January and March of each school year.
Do Homeschoolers Have To Take Standardized Tests in North Carolina?
Although homeschoolers are not eligible to participate in scheduled assessments through the public school system, they are required to take a nationally normed standardized test each school year. Homeschool laws in North Carolina require that each homeschooled student be tested annually in reading, spelling, grammar, and math and that parents keep those scores on record.
Many private standardized testing companies offer testing services to homeschoolers. If you keep a homeschool portfolio, you can simply file your child’s score each year in order to track their learning progress and help you discover potential gaps in their education.
How Time4Learning Can Help With North Carolina Test Prep
Time4Learning is an online learning program that teaches many of the skills that are measured on standardized tests. Families can look to Time4Learning as one of the primary tools in their North Carolina test prep toolbox. One of the most frequently asked questions Time4Learning members ask is “How can I help my child succeed on standardized tests?”
Below is a list of ways that our online home education program partners with parents and students toward this goal.
- Subscribers have access to an entire year’s worth of grade-level curriculum that students can access 24/7 from the comfort of home or anywhere with an internet connection.
- Students in grades 3-8 have access to practice assessments that will help them prepare for the North Carolina standardized tests and reduce test anxiety.
- By using Time4Learning as a summer learning tool, rising third graders can take advantage of our standards-based reading program to prepare for the BOG Reading Test.
- Time4MathFacts teaches crucial math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through gamified lessons as part of the Time4Learning membership. This piece of our main curriculum assists students in preparing for EOG testing in mathematics.
- Our middle school curriculum includes over 4,000 activities designed to instill skill mastery in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Animated lessons, instructional videos, worksheets, quizzes, tests, and both online and offline projects give students a wide variety of ways to prepare for North Carolina final exams.
- Time4Learning’s high school curriculum correlates to state standards and is designed to help students achieve college and career readiness. When preparing for EOC tests in math, biology, and English, having a self-paced program that reinforces core concepts can be an incredible boost for testing confidence.
- Time4Learning members are able to work at their own pace and repeat any lesson as many times as they feel is necessary–helping ELL students to thoroughly understand and master a subject before moving on.
Through preparation and practice, your child can achieve successful results when taking standardized tests in North Carolina. In addition, skill-building programs like Time4Learning can prepare your child and build their confidence before they walk in the door.
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