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How do I pick the right NOCTI assessment for my program?

Selecting an assessment is a critical task and one that may involve input from various individuals.

  • Instructors are encouraged to crosswalk their current curriculum with the assessment blueprints to determine the degree of alignment with their program. NOCTI's Assessment Blueprints provide the specific core competencies and tasks that represent an occupational standard. Curriculum that leads to proficiency in these technical areas will help prepare students for success. The Blueprints also provide the percentage of questions covering each competency area, sample questions and performance jobs, and administration information.
  • NOTE: Your state may have an approved list of test titles for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. Refer to this list for the NOCTI test title that matches your program and review the corresponding Assessment Blueprint to become familiar with the test content.

  • When determining whether to use a Job Ready or a Pathway assessment, consider the following:

    • Job Ready assessments measure the skills of a secondary or post-secondary CTE program completer and offer both a written (cognitive) and performance (psychomotor) component. Online administration is encouraged, but Job Ready assessments are available in a traditional paper/pencil format.
    • Pathway assessments are broader in scope than Job Ready assessments and measure the technical skills within a pathway or cluster as well as soft skills and academic skills contextualized to the occupation. Pathway tests are administered exclusively online and do not have a performance component.


How do I prepare my students for NOCTI testing?

NOCTI provides valuable resources to assist in preparing students for test administration. Some of our most popular resources are listed below.

Assessment Blueprints are available for all NOCTI Job Ready and Pathway assessments. Review the blueprints for a list of the specific competencies and skills covered, sample multiple-choice questions and performance jobs, and administration information. Incorporating blueprints in the classroom may assist with preparing students for test administration. Blueprints can be used throughout the school year as a syllabus and guide for review within the classroom. They can also be sent home with students to share with parents.

Pre-testing is a valuable tool for determining a student's technical knowledge at a point-in-time in a career and technical education (CTE) program. Pre-test score reports provide results that can be used to identify areas where remediation is needed prior to completing the program.

Study Guides provide a structure for teachers and students to work together to build confidence and knowledge as they prepare for NOCTI testing. The Study Guide package includes online sample questions so that students can experience the online testing system prior to high stakes end of course testing.

Countdown Kits assist in familiarizing students with test content and provide testing tips. The kit contains posters for classroom use on a variety of topics including test content overview, study tips, test preparation, and more. Teachers can focus on the poster topics throughout the school year to help students prepare for test administration.


How do I engage parents/guardians?

It's helpful to provide parents with an explanation of the testing program at your school so parents and guardians can encourage and support their student. Research shows a strong connection between parent involvement and student achievement. NOCTI encourages communication with parents about the assessment their child will be taking. A 'letter to parents' template is located in the Teacher Resources section of the Teacher's Corner to assist with this communication.

When pre-tests are administered, communication to parents should include information about how the pre-test results will be used to gauge student knowledge and plan for intervention and enrichment activities to assist in the learning process. When it's time for communication regarding post-test administration be sure to include information about the statewide testing program (if applicable), how the results are used in your school/CTE program, and any recognition the student may receive based on their results.

Individual score reports can be shared with parents. To assist with understanding and interpreting the student's results, you may provide a copy of the 'Parent Guide for Interpreting Scores' along with the score report. This guide is available in the Tools section of the Teacher's Corner.

How do I incorporate pre-testing?

A pre-test is administered to determine a student's baseline technical knowledge in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. NOCTI's Pre-Test Policy should be reviewed when considering pre-testing for your program. Below are examples of how pre-tests may be implemented.

  1. Pre-test students as they enter a CTE program for an overall view about gains in student knowledge over the course of the program.
  2. Pre-test students once during the course of the program, typically at the end of the junior year or the beginning of the senior year to pinpoint areas for remediation prior to post-testing.
  3. Pre-test students at multiple points during the program. Three-year programs using this approach typically pre-test after year one and at the end of year two or the beginning of year three. Two-year programs typically choose two points midway through the program where they would like to capture student knowledge.

Programs using a pre-/post-test combination will receive a comparison report after the post-test is completed. This powerful tool can be used to show individual student improvement and overall program effectiveness.

Pre-Testing Guidelines


How do I interpret score reports?

The NOCTI score reports provide a wealth of valuable information for recognizing student achievement, promoting continuous program and instructional improvement, and meeting regulatory requirements. To assist in interpreting the score reports, review the Score Interpretation Guide which is available to teachers in the Teacher Resources section of the Teacher's Corner. This guide provides an overview of the standard score report package that includes a Group Report, Analysis of Scores, Task Link Report and Individual Participant Reports. Also included are helpful tips for interpreting the data and information about supplemental reports such as the Integrated Academics Report.

Teacher Resources
Score Report Quickview
Integrated Academics Report Flyer


How do I ensure accommodations for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?

At times it may be necessary to allow accommodations for students with an IEP when administering online or paper/pencil assessments. NOCTI offers a variety of tools to assist with accommodations and recommends that the requirements of an IEP be followed to ensure a quality testing experience that will benefit students, instructors, and administrators.

Allowable Accommodations


How do I engage local business and industry about my school's NOCTI testing program?

  • Discuss NOCTI assessment blueprints with advisory committee members to help them realize the test is an accurate reflection of the occupation.
  • Recruit local Occupational Advisory Committees (required by Perkins) to serve as evaluators on any upcoming performance tests.
  • Share and discuss results of NOCTI written and/or performance tests during your Occupational Advisory meetings.
  • Identify changes that could be made in instruction, curriculum, lab layout, and/or equipment to improve student test results.
  • Emphasize to your local advisory committee members that NOCTI credentials should be requested when interviewing any CTE student.


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