There’s a new standardized test that experts predict will be even more make-it-or-break-it than the SAT; it’s the Collegiate Learning Assessment or the CLA+. It’s for college students to take after graduating, and they can send copies of their score directly to potential employers or put it on their resume.
The 90-minute test is modeled after the SAT. But instead of testing how much a person knows about math and English, it tests things employers really find important like critical thinking, reasoning and written communication skills. For example, you may be asked to write an argument defending why it should be legal to use cell phones in cars.
So what’s the point of the test? It’s basically a tool for employers to gauge your intelligence. A lot of employers feel that good grades don’t mean much as far as being ready for the working world. And they may have a point. THREE times as many “A”s are handed out now as when your grandparents graduated from college. So GPA is no longer an accurate indicator of intelligence.
Plus only 25-percent of employers say that colleges are doing a good job preparing students for the workforce. They may be able to spit out facts and figures they’ve memorized, but they can’t think for themselves. That’s where the CLA+ comes into play. Students can use their test score to market themselves to employers as a strong candidate with proven analytical, communication and problem-solving skills. The senior class of 2014 will be the first class to take the voluntary test next spring. If you want to check it out, go to CollegiateLearningAssesment.org.