NC Check-Ins Overview and Purpose 

NC Check-Ins are interim assessments aligned to North Carolina grade-level content standards in mathematics for grades 3 and 6 developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). There are three NC Check-Ins at each grade level.  It is suggested to have approximately nine weeks of instruction between administrations. For mathematics, each NC Check-In focuses on a selected sub-set of grade-level content standards. 

The main purpose of NC Check-Ins 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 sub-set of content standards. A secondary purpose is derived from NC Check-Ins strong relationship with grade-level end-of-grade (EOG) summative assessments. Both EOGs and NC Check-Ins share a common item bank, and performance on the NC Check-Ins serves as an early indicator of a student’s level of preparedness for the EOG summative assessment. 

The NCDPI does not have validity evidence to support using results from NC Check-Ins as a predictor of student performance on the EOG summative assessment. Even though there is evidence of a significant correlation between scores from NC Check-Ins and EOGs, this correlation evidence by itself does not signify prediction. The overall value of NC Check-Ins 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. 

Prioritization of Standards 

  • The NC Check-Ins are aligned to the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) for Mathematics, adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education in June 2017. 

  • The NCSCOS may be reviewed by visiting the NCDPI/K–12 Academic Standards for Mathematics webpage at

  • Assessment specifications meetings were held in April 2018. The NCDPI/Test Development Section collaborated with a panel of North Carolina teachers and educators to develop recommendations for the content standards to be assessed. For each recommended content standard, panelists provided input on the relative importance of the standard, the anticipated instructional time for the standard, and the appropriateness of the standard for different question types. 

  • 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, schools may choose which NC Check-In to give based on when standards are taught. 


NC Check-In 1  

Assessed Standards 

NC Check-In 2  

Assessed Standards 

NC Check-In 3  

Assessed Standards 
















  • 3.OA.1 will focus on the entire standard except decomposing a factor and the associative property of multiplication. 

†  3.OA.3 will focus on multiplication. 

‡  3.OA.8 will focus on addition and subtraction. 



NC Check-In 1 

Assessed Standards 

NC Check-In 2 

Assessed Standards 

NC Check-In 3 

Assessed Standards 
















*6.RP.3 will also incorporate skills presented in standard 6.RP.2. 


Test Format 

All NC Check-Ins are available in both paper-and-pencil and online administration modes and consist of 25 items. All 25 items for NC Check-Ins at grade 3 are four-response multiple- choice items. NC Check-Ins at grade 6 have a combination of four-response multiple-choice items and gridded response item types. Each question is worth one point. 


All administrations and reviews must be completed by the close of the test window. Schools are given the flexibility to schedule the administration of NC Check-Ins at any time during the window. Proctors are not recommended for the administration of an NC Check-In. NC Check-Ins are not timed assessments. However, the recommended time for most students to complete a 25 item NC Check-In is about 90 minutes. It is a local decision to allow students more than 90 minutes to work on the assessment. 

Student Reviews, Scores, and Reports 

Teachers have access to students’ test books (for paper administrations) or an electronic copy of the NC Check-In (for online administrations) to use for review sessions with students. Within five days of administering an NC Check-In and submitting student responses, school administrators and teachers have access to student, class, and school-level custom reports generated by NCDPI scoring and reporting software. These reports provide a summary of standard level performance expressed as number and percent of items answered correctly by student, classroom, and school. These reports are intended to support formative uses at the classroom and school level.  

Comparing performance of schools across public school units is highly discouraged because schools are not assumed to be following the same pacing or curriculum. Schools are not expected to have completed the entire scope for all standards assessed in a NC Check-In prior to the administration because curriculum pacing is a local decision.   

The NCDPI produces a state aggregate report with the summary of percent correct by item grouped by standard. The purpose of this report is to provide a reference on the empirical difficulty of items administered in the NC Check-In.   



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