By JOSHUWA DEAL
The CLA (Collegiate Learning Assessment) plus is a new test that is being implemented in more colleges across the country. The test overall assesses the college level institution’s ability to implement concepts into the student’s analytical abilities rather than the capabilities of the student themselves. However, the test does directly engage in a student’s ability to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and write effectively.
The test is currently not an exit exam or mandatory test. In regards to Lynn, the university offered the CLA plus exam to students that rank in the top 100 of the class. People who decide to take the exam are faced with many open ended questions and are timed accordingly.
For example, students may be asked to solve a crisis and are given documents to help support their claims and arguments while solving the crisis. Furthermore, the exam consists of math, writing, and science article but the questions do not test the test taker’s knowledge on the subject but rather their research capabilities, attention to details, and critical analysis skills.
So why take the test? The test so far can further the interest of the test taker by aiding their resume. Many employers around the country are becoming rapidly unsatisfied with the work recently college graduates are offering.
In the past, a GPA score was a acceptable indicator towards a student’s abilities, However, due to the rapid growth of students obtaining A’s as an average score, employers are desperate to discover which undergraduates are prepared for critical thinking in a real world sense and which graduates obtained A’s by simply following the system.
Perhaps, the CLA plus will allow employers to determine who are the critical thinkers but just as the SAT now offers specialized classes which capitalizes on the idea of assessment, skeptics predict the CLA plus will fall in the same category as other standardized tests.