In the ever-evolving education landscape, evaluating students’ academic potential has been traditionally measured through standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.
These assessments have long been seen as gatekeepers to higher education, offering universities and colleges a glimpse into students’ comprehension of higher learning. As educational philosophies and teaching methods have evolved, so has the need for an assessment that aligns with a more all-inclusive approach to education.
One newcomer is the Classic Learning Test (CLT), an alternative standardized test for college-bound students. This exam — approved last month by the Florida Board of Governors — focuses on testing the basics of liberal education, such as logic, reasoning and reading. The format of the CLT is also different, unlike the SAT, which has two sections plus a writing portion, and the ACT, which has four areas and a writing portion.
According to Prep Scholar, the CLT consists of three sections: verbal reasoning, grammar and a quantitative reasoning section. The verbal reasoning portion tests students’ textual comprehension and analysis skills.
The grammar portion is designed to test students on textual editing and improvement skills, and the quantitative reasoning is designed to test students’ skills in logic and mathematics.
Additionally, there is an optional writing portion which will not affect the overall score on the exam.
Each section, not including the writing portion, will consist of 40 questions and will last up to two hours, an hour shorter than the SAT and 55 minutes shorter than the ACT. Not only is the time a little quicker but the CLT exam is also scored differently. To demonstrate a perfect score on the CLT exam is 120; so if a student scores 114 on the CLT, it will be considered the same as making a 36 on the ACT or a 1600 on the SAT.
Theoretically, scoring between 114 and 120 would be considered perfect on the two other exams.
Despite this, the CLT is only accepted by a limited number of schools. So even if a student would consider taking this exam, it would have to be accepted by their chosen college.
Officials at Rickards High School said they are still unclear when students will be allowed to take the CLT. The alternative test is still relatively new, and teachers are still receiving training on how to administer the exam.
Leon County Schools spokesman Chris Petley did not respond to several attempts for a comment regarding the CLT.
Allison Helms, assistant director of Transfer Admission at Florida State University said, “as of recently, the Florida School Board has approved us to start accepting CLT scores to be considered for admissions.”
It is unclear whether Florida A&M University will follow the same route. Officials in FAMU’s admissions office did not respond to requests for an interview.
Ultimately, the CLT’s role in education will likely continue evolving, adapting to students’ and educators’ changing needs and expectations.
Whether it remains a staple in academic assessments or undergoes further refinements, the CLT has undeniably left a mark on the educational landscape, but its influence on the future of learning remains unclear.