First-Year Competency Assessment

NC State strives for continuous improvement. Assessment of the General Education Competencies, known as the Pack Proficiencies, helps NC State faculty and staff better understand how to support student learning. The Pack Proficiencies include: critical thinkingcreative thinkingoral communicationwritten communication, and quantitative literacy.

This fall, DASA Assessment and the Office of Assessment and Accreditation will administer a completely virtual critical and creative thinking assessment to first-year students. Students who complete the assessment through their class will be eligible for the chance to win $50 or $25 in All Campus Credits on your Wolfpack One Card!

All assessment data are reported in aggregate and individual student results are confidential. Students’ performance on the assessment will not affect their course grade or GPA. NC State faculty and staff will use the data to make decisions to improve student learning in critical and creative thinking for NC State students.


Students who complete the assessment will be eligible for a drawing in which 3 randomly selected students will receive $50 and 4 randomly selected students will have $25 added to their Wolfpack One Card in the form of All Campus credits.

Prize winners can spend their All Campus prize money for any of the following campus services, and more!

Learn more about how All Campus Credits work.

More Information

NC State uses the Critical-thinking Assessment Test (CAT) to assess students’ critical and creative thinking skills. This instrument was developed by Tennessee Technological University with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and vetted by NC State faculty prior to implementation on campus. The instrument is 15 questions and is untimed, however students may anticipate spending about 60 minutes to complete it. All assessments in fall 2020 will be completed virtually. Students with an accessibility letter should contact Alison Krowiak ( to request an accommodation.

Participation in competency assessment is voluntary but highly encouraged. NC State engages in assessment as a process of reflection and continuous improvement. DASA Assessment shares aggregated data with faculty and staff so that they can make their courses and curricula even better. We additionally report on general education competency assessment to our accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Questions about the Pack Proficiencies or competency assessment may be directed to Samantha Rich ( in DASA Assessment.