NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: DECEMBER 5, 2011


Starting this week, most sophomores in public and charter high school across the state will take the PLAN assessment. 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. This is the first time PLAN has been administered statewide in North Carolina.

"The PLAN assessment marks another step forward in our efforts to better prepare all students for college or to enter the workforce," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "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."

The PLAN assessment is divided into four sections of multiple choice questions in English (usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills), mathematics (Pre-Algebra/Algebra, Geometry), reading and science. The exam takes about two hours to complete and final composite scores range from 1 to 32. Local school districts will give the test to sophomores between Dec. 5 and Dec. 16.

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 on March 6, 2012. WorkKeys is a career- readiness tests that will be administered only to high school seniors who are Career and Technical Education Concentrators (taking four credits in CTE courses with at least one Level II course.)

For more information about PLAN, ACT and Workeys, visit For more information about North Carolina's testing program, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.