NC Check-Ins 2.0 

Biology Specifications 

Purpose and Overview

NC Check-Ins 2.0 are interim assessments aligned to North Carolina content standards for Biology and are developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). There are four NC Check-Ins 2.0 that can be administered in both the yearlong and semester format. Each NC Check-Ins 2.0 focuses on a strand of the NC Essential Standards for Biology (Structure and Function of Living Organisms; Ecosystems; Evolution and Genetics; and Molecular Biology).

The main purpose of NC Check-Ins 2.0 is to provide students, teachers, parents, and stakeholders with immediate in-depth action-data and a reliable estimate of students’ current performance on the selected subset of content standards. A secondary purpose is derived from NC Check-Ins 2.0s’ strong relationship with the end-of-course (EOC) summative test for Biology. Both EOCs and NC Check-Ins 2.0 share a common item bank, and performance on the NC Check-Ins 2.0 serves as an early indicator of a student’s level of preparedness for the EOC summative test.

The NCDPI does not have validity evidence to support using results from NC Check-Ins 2.0 as a predictor of student performance on the EOC summative test. Even though there is evidence of a significant correlation between scores from NC Check-Ins 2.0 and EOCs, this correlation evidence by itself does not signify prediction. The overall value of NC Check-Ins 2.0 is the use of in-depth action-data for formative purposes throughout the year to help students and teachers adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.

Content Specifications

  • The NC Check-Ins 2.0 are aligned to the NC Essential Standards for Biology, adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education in March 2011. 
  • The Essential Standards may be reviewed by visiting the NCDPI/Academic Standards for Science webpage.
  • The following content specifications are for test development purposes only and are not presented as a mandated pacing guide. The delivery of curriculum and instruction is a local decision; therefore, it is the expectation that since most standards are not taught in isolation, some schools may not have covered all areas in all standards assessed on any one NC Check-In 2.0. 
  • Data from content standards that have not been taught should be used as pre-test data.

Table 1. Content specifications for NC Check-Ins 2.0 Biology

NC Check-Ins 2.0 Biology 

Assessed Standards

Structure and Function of Living Things

(24 Items)


(24 Items)

Evolution and Genetics 

(39 Items)

Molecular Biology

(20 Items)






















































NC Check-Ins 2.0 Format

The NC Check-Ins 2.0 are online resources with twenty to thirty-nine questions each. Each interim will include four-option multiple choice questions. 

Administration and Review

To accommodate local control of curriculum, the NCDPI will offer a flexible administration and review window for all interims that will open the first week of September to the end of May. Public school units (PSUs) may choose to administer interims in the order that best aligns with their curriculum. Each Biology NC Check-In 2.0 can be given only once within any given course. 

Proctors are not recommended for the administration of interims. The interims are not timed; however, the estimated time for most students to complete an interim is about ninety minutes. Schools have the option to administer the interims in one school day or over multiple school days. For multiple school days, the total administration time can be divided into mini sessions.

The interim item-review window for teachers will also be available from the first week of September to the end of May. Teachers may access interim forms after administration so they can conduct formative reviews with their students. The main purpose of these interims is to provide reliable formative data on course-level-specific content standards so teachers may adjust instruction. Previewing or disclosing interim content to students before an administration may result in an invalid interpretation about student performance on course-level-specific content standards.

Some schools may not have completed the entire scope for all standards assessed in a NC Check-In 2.0 before the administration.



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