Just when students thought they were freed from the nightmares of standardized testing in high school, the tests are now following them to college.
A 2010 survey conducted for the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that only one in four employers thought colleges were doing an adequate job of preparing their graduates for the workforce.
The Collegiate Learning Assessment, also known as CLA+, was created to measure critical thinking, problem solving, scientific and quantitative reasoning, writing and the ability to critique and make arguments.
Starting in the spring, the Council for Aid to Education will offer college seniors a chance to write long, extended essays to test their scientific and quantitative reasoning. The CLA+ will be used for additional admissions information for college applicants to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of potential incoming students
I thought the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, SAT and ACT would be enough to matriculate to the next level of learning.
Students who are just graduating from high school aren’t thinking about preparing for another standardized test. They are more than likely waiting by the mailbox, looking for an acceptance letter from a school of their choice. The same goes for students who are preparing to graduate from college.
I’m sure they aren’t looking forward to an exit exam, which asks them if they’ve learned anything from their four-year experience in college.
However, it is not mandatory for students to take the test at this moment. According to the CAE, there are over 700 institutions – both in the United States and internationally – that have used the CLA+.
Of those 700, seven institutions are in Florida, with Florida State University being among them.. The cost for institutions to participate in the 2013-2014 CLA+ is $7,000 for the first 200 students and $35 per each student thereafter.
Do we really need another college expense? I’ll pass.
The test is performance-based and delivered online to students in two sections, a performance task and a set of selected-response questions.
The CLA+ is similar to the SAT because it is graded on a point system. But who’s grading these tests? How will students be ranked or categorized?
In summary, the CAE group says the use of the CLA+ will help the corporate world differentiate between top-notch and mediocre universities. Once the 90-minute exam is complete, students will then receive their results and be able to present it to employers.
There are benefits to this test. However, as a graduating senior, I’ll just stick with trying to pass Capstone.