The North Carolina General Curriculum exam is one of two formal tests required for licensure as an educator for Elementary Education (kindergarten through grade six) and exceptional children, and general education for grades kindergarten through grade 12 in the state of North Carolina.
The General Curriculum exam consists of two computer-delivered subtests – the multi-subject subtest and the mathematics subtest. The multi-subject subtest has one open-response and 55 multiple-choice questions with a two-hour time limit. The mathematics subtest has one open-response and 45 multiple-choice questions with a two and a half hour time limit. Both tests include an additional 15-minute computer familiarization period. You may take the subtests individually or one after the other. If you elect to take both subtests in one appointment, the time allowed is four hours.
The multi-subject subtest consists of four subareas:
- Language Arts – 30%
This subarea assesses your knowledge and understanding of the history and structure of the English language, classical and contemporary periods of American literature, literary genres, literary elements, literary techniques, and the genres, elements, and techniques of literature for children. Additionally, your understanding of the writing process including formal aspects of writing and composition is examined in this subarea.
- History and Social Science – 30%
This subarea tests your understanding of U.S. history from pre-colonial times to the present, the founding documents and governmental systems in the U.S., the fundamental ideas and principles of U.S. citizenship, and the fundamental principles and concepts of economics. As a general education teacher, your knowledge of significant developments and figures in world history, and ability to demonstrate your understanding of the inter-relationship of geographic concepts as it impacts the regions of the world and the United States are assessed.
- Science and Technology/Engineering – 30%
In this subarea, you will prove your understanding and application of basic concepts and principles in life science, physical science, earth science, and space science. Your knowledge of scientific thought, the development of scientific ideas and technology, and the relationships that exist among scientific discoveries, technology, and engineering and their impact on society is assessed. Your knowledge and understanding of scientific inquiry and experimentation and the resultant relationships are examined in this subarea.
- Integration of Knowledge and Understanding – 10%
The subarea consists of an open-response question where you will be asked to display your ability to present an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to either History and Social Science or Science and Technology/Engineering.
The mathematics subtest consists of five subareas:
- Numbers and Operations – 41%
This subarea tests your understanding of the number system and the concept of place value. You also will display your knowledge and understanding of integers, fractions, decimals, mixed numbers, and the operations on numbers. In this subarea, your knowledge and ability to apply the principles of number theory are examined.
- Functions and Algebra – 22%
Three objectives of this subarea test your understanding of algebra as generalized math, the concept of function, and linear functions and equations.
- Geometry and Measurement – 18%
In this subarea, your understanding and ability to apply the concepts of geometry and measurement are assessed.
- Statistics and Probability – 9%
Your understanding and skill with descriptive analysis and the concepts of probability are assessed.
- Integration of Knowledge and Understanding – 10%
You will be presented an open-response prompt asking you to apply your mathematical knowledge and reasoning to communicate the multiple solutions involving two or more of the following: numbers and operations, functions and algebra, geometry and measurement, and statistics and probability.
Registration, cost, and location
Register online for the General Curriculum examination. You have the option to schedule each subtest individually, or you may take them during one appointment. Separately, the tests are $94.00 each. If you schedule your appointment for both subtests, the registration fee is $139.00. Once your registration is accepted, you have one year to make your testing appointment.
Testing centers are located nationwide, and appointments are available year-round, Monday through Saturday.
On your test day, arrive at the testing facility with enough time to complete the pre-test paperwork. Personal belongings are not allowed in the testing facility.
Both subtests include an open-response question which can be typed or handwritten. The materials needed to complete the open-response question are provided to you along with instructions on scanning your response. Additional materials such as an erasable notebook and erasable pen are provided. You cannot bring any study materials or aids with you to the testing center.
Keep track of your test time and review your questions before submitting them for scoring. When you have completed the exam, return all materials to the test center administrator.
Exam scoring and results
Each correct response receives one point. Your total points are combined, and this becomes your raw score. Your raw score is then converted to a scaled score. A scaled score of 227 is required to pass both subtests. You must pass both subtests to pass the General Curriculum examination.
Because the examination requires an evaluation of the open-response answers, you do not receive an immediate report on your score. Your official score report is emailed to you by 10:00 p.m. of the day following the closure of the testing window. Your report is also sent to the state, your educational program (if applicable), and any other facility you identified when you registered for the exam.
How Can I Prepare for the North Carolina General Curriculum Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!