Understanding College and Career Ready: A guide to grade 3 EOG reading levels

Read Charlotte’s work to improve children’s literacy aims to help the community reach its goal of 80 percent of students reading at the College and Career Ready (CCR) level on the state third grade reading assessment.

People sometimes ask what exactly College and Career Ready means, and how it relates to another term that is sometimes used – Grade Level Proficient (GLP). Here, we take a deeper look at North Carolina’s standards for third grade reading outcomes. 

The state’s annual End-Of-Grade (EOG) tests assess students’ reading and math skills in third through eighth grade, as well as science skills in fifth and eighth grade. Students’ test scores are grouped into four Achievement Levels: Not Proficient, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5. If a student scores a Level 3 or higher, they meet the GLP standard. If a student scores a Level 4 or 5, they meet the CCR standard.

The public reporting of test results by the state, school districts, and individual schools can sometimes be confusing:

  • Sometimes the results are reported for a single grade level and single subject, like Grade 3 reading. These results could be reported as GLP, CCR, or both.
  • Sometimes results are reported for a single grade with combined reading and math scores. These results can be reported as GLP, CCR, or both.
  • Sometimes the results are reported for grades 3-8 combined for multiple subjects. This is quite common when reporting on results at a school level. These results can be reported as GLP, CCR, or both.

Let’s unpack further what each of the four achievement levels (Not Proficient, Levels 3, 4, and 5) mean in terms of third grade reading achievement. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) defines what each level means in terms of student reading ability in three categories: Reading: Literature (fiction), Reading: Informational (non-fiction), and Language. 

We’ve included one example from each category with the explanations of each Achievement Level below. The entire list is much more comprehensive and we encourage you to visit the NCDPI website to get a full sense of what our children are expected to be able to do to be “College and Career Ready.” 

Achievement Level 5 (meets GLP and CCR standard)

Students who score at this level demonstrate comprehensive understanding of grade level content standards, are on track for career and college, and are prepared for advanced content at the next grade/course. 

Examples of what students at this level can do include: 

  • Reading: Literature: Ask and answer complex questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • Reading: Informational: Determine the implied stated main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain in depth how they support the main idea.
  • Language: Demonstrate in-depth understanding of nuances in word meanings: distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context.

Achievement Level 4 (meets GLP and CCR standard)

Students who score at this level demonstrate a thorough understanding of grade level content standards and are on track for career and college.

Examples of what students at this level can do include: 

  • Reading: Literature: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • Reading: Informational: Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • Language: Demonstrate understanding of nuances in word meanings: distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context.

Achievement Level 3 (meets GLP but not CCR standard)

Students who score at this level demonstrate sufficient understanding of grade level content standards, though some support may be needed to engage with content at the next grade/course.

Examples of what students at this level can do include: 

  • Reading: Literature: Ask and answer simplistic questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • Reading: Informational: Determine the explicit main idea of a text; recount a key detail and explain simplistically how it supports the main idea.
  • Language: Demonstrate simplistic understanding of nuances in word meanings: distinguish the literal and/or nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context.

Not Proficient (does not meet GLP or CCR standard)

Students who score at this level demonstrate inconsistent understanding of grade level content standards and will need support at the next grade/course.

Examples of what students at this level can do include: 

  • Reading: Literature: Attempt to answer simplistic questions to demonstrate understanding of a text.
  • Reading: Informational: Attempt to determine the explicitly stated main idea of a text; attempt to recount a key detail and attempt to explain simplistically how it supports the main idea.
  • Language: Demonstrate emerging understanding of basic word meanings: attempt to distinguish the literal and/or nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context.

For the full list of descriptors for each achievement level, click here.

Families receive the results of a student’s EOG test in the form of an Individual Student Report (ISR). In addition to the student’s score and Achievement Level, the report also includes the average score for the school, district, and state. To see a sample ISR, click here

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