ACT, PLAN AND WORKKEYS
THE ACT® IN NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina high school students are getting their ACT together. The nationally recognized college admissions and career readiness program is being administered in North Carolina high schools free of charge to students in the 2011-2012 school year. The ACT College Admissions Assessment will be given to every 11th grader, the PLAN assessment will be given to every 10th grader and the WorkKeys assessment will be administered to 12th grade Career and Technical Education concentrators. Both the ACT and PLAN are geared to the Common Core, the state curriculum standards initiative now accepted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. After a pilot year (2011-12), the ACT will become part of North Carolina’s school accountability program in 2012-13.
The ACT assessment will be given free of charge to all North Carolina 11th graders in March 2012. ACT test results are widely accepted by college admissions offices and considered an accurate gauge of classroom achievement. ACT results may be used at the high school level to identify students who need assistance with certain subject areas or academic skills, evaluate effectiveness of instruction, and make adjustments to curriculum to improve instruction. Colleges use the ACT for admissions decisions, course placement, academic advising and loans and scholarships. ACT offers a dedicated website for NC that is specifically related to our administration of the ACT. You can find the NC specific ACT website at http://www.act.org/stateservices/northcarolina/.
To prepare for the ACT, North Carolina 10th graders will be administered the PLAN test each December. PLAN is a diagnostic assessment that indicates strengths and areas of need to provide a roadmap to success for North Carolina high school students. PLAN offers a mid-point assessment of academic progress toward college and career readiness and is the most powerful predictor of performance on the ACT. It can be used for course placement, including dual enrollment and more rigorous courses. PLAN also includes a career interest inventory and an educational/career plan component.
Students who complete the four-course Career and Technical Education sequence are administered the WorkKeys examination in the 12th grade. WorkKeys provides a gauge of career readiness and is widely recognized as an industry credential. WorkKeys assessments measure “real world” skills critical to job success. These skills are valuable for any occupation – skilled or professional – at any level of education, and in any industry.