Senior 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 thinking, creative thinking, oral communication, written communication, and quantitative literacy.

This spring, the Office of Assessment is administering a critical and creative thinking assessment to graduating seniors. The NC State senior competency assessment will be administered February 17-March 5, 2020. Eligible graduating seniors can sign up for a time to complete the assessment on campus. Light snacks will be provided throughout testing. Seniors who complete the assessment in class are eligible to win prizes from the prize drawing. Eligible seniors should check their email for the link to register for a time to complete the assessment.

If you’d like to reschedule or cancel your assessment, please contact the Office of Assessment at Assessment dates and locations are available online

All assessment data are reported in aggregate and individual student results are confidential. Students’ performance on the assessment will not affect their grades, class standing, or graduation status. 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.


The first 140 students who complete the assessment during the first week of the assessment, February 17-20, will be awarded a prize. Prizes include coupons for a free cup of coffee from Port City Java, t-shirts (limited sizes), and car decals. Additionally, every senior who completes the assessment will be eligible for a drawing in which randomly selected students will receive prizes. The drawing will be completed after testing concludes. Prizes for the drawing include:

Five sets of Graduation Regalia*

Five lucky winners will win a $50 gift card to Wolfpack Outfitters. *Apply your gift card to your purchase of graduation regalia!

Two pairs of 2020 Wolfpack Football Tickets

Grab a friend and return to campus for a Wolfpack football game! You’ll receive two tickets to a game in fall 2020. Thanks to NC State Athletics for donating these tickets!

Two $10 Target gift cards

Enjoy $10 off your next Target run- where you’ll find all the essentials!

One pair of tickets to an NC State LIVE performance of SPEAK

NC State LIVE presents SPEAK, Indian Kathak dance and American tap intertwine to celebrate tradition and embrace new possibilities. The performance is on Friday, April 17, 2020 at 8pm in Titmus Theatre. More information at Thanks to NC State LIVE for donating these tickets!

A Free Round of Golf at Lonnie Poole Golf Course

Enjoy a free round on Lonnie Poole’s 18-hole golf course! This course was designed by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer and is home to NC State’s varsity golf teams. Relax after a busy semester at Lonnie Poole!  Thanks to Lonnie Poole for donating this prize!

Three 20-minute Graduation Photo Sessions with a Professional Photographer

Graduation is a time to remember! Grab your graduation regalia and capture your graduation memories with a photo session with DASA’s photographer. Photo sessions will take place on campus and will be scheduled in consultation with the prize winners.

One $25 and five $10 Wolfpack Outfitters gift cards

Wolfpack Outfitters is NC State's go-to shop for officially licensed merchandise! Enjoy $10 of Wolfpack Outfitters merchandise. Apply your gift card towards graduation announcements, a diploma frame, or your other alumni needs!

Two $25 gift cards to Kabab and Curry

Kabab and Curry is a local favorite! Enjoy $25 worth of food and beverages. Stretch your gift card by going to their delicious weekday lunch buffet. Thanks to Kabab and Curry for donating these gift cards!

One $10 gift card to Groucho's Deli

Groucho’s specializes in deli sandwiches and fresh salads. Enjoy $10 worth of food and beverages. Thanks to Groucho’s for donating this gift card!

NC State Swag!

You could win an NC State gym bag, a decorative Wolfpack plaque, or an NC State mug to help you remember your time at NC State as you take the next steps in your journey! Thanks to Wolfpack Outfitters for donating these prizes!

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 completed on paper with pencil. The assessment is untimed, however students may anticipate spending about 60 minutes to complete it. The assessment is administered on campus in rooms that accommodate up to 30 students at a time. 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. The Office of 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 the Office of Assessment.