Exit exam is like post-college SAT

college studentsCollege seniors already feel the pressure of trying to bolster their resumes with real-world experience and keep their grades up, all in hopes of finding a great job once their degrees are in hand. But they now might have one more hurdle to conquer before full-time employment — a college exit exam.

According to The Wall Street Journal, seniors at 200 U.S. colleges will take the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA+, next spring. Employers are tired of college graduates with good grades and impressive resumes being lousy employees, and the college exit test could provide a way to more accurately judge a grad’s job readiness.

The CLA+ “is a performance-task based assessment that measures your critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills,” according to a practice test. It provides students with a real-world scenario and asks them to problem-solve using additional information. The test is scored on a 1600-point system, like the SAT was previously. The CLA+ was first launched in 2000 by the Council for Aid to Education.

“For too long, colleges and universities have said to the American public, to students and their parents, ‘Trust us, we’re professional. If we say that you’re learning and we give you a diploma it means you’re prepared,'” Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, told The Journal. “But that’s not true.”

And with grade point averages on the rise, the test could separate prepared graduates from students who simply knew how to master the requirements of a college course. As The Economist reported at the end of last year, the average GPA increased from 2.52 in the 1950s to 3.11 in 2006. And the numbers of A grades awarded at four-year colleges has increased too, jumping from 15 percent in 1960 to 43 percent. It could be a sign that students are getting smarter, or it could indicate that colleges aren’t rigorous enough.

“I think at some point everybody has been fooled by good grades or a good resume,” Michael Sweeney, a senior vice president at architecture firm HNTB Corp., told The Journal.

The CLA+, and other tests like it, could pose a risk for colleges, however. If exit tests gains widespread usage and a school’s students consistently perform poorly on the tests, colleges once thought as excellent education institutions might lose some of their credibility.

But graduates who are willing to take another test could get an edge on their peers by taking the exit exam.

“It kind of sucks that an employer can’t trust your GPA, but that’s the way it is right now, so this also an opportunity,” Cory LaDuke, a 21-year-old senior at St. John Fisher, told The Journal. “It’s another way to prove yourself.”

And with youth unemployment at 11.6 percent in July, many graduates are desperate for any means of securing a job — even if it means taking one more test.

Comments

Polititainment

Billy Joel: Obama smoking story 'untrue'

After a report emerged from a source for The Hill newspaper that Joel on a trip to Washington, D.C., claimed that he recently smoked a cigarette with President Obama, the musician is now denying the story.

Pharrell: Brown's actions 'bully-ish'

Musician Pharrell Williams said in a recent Ebony magazine interview that President Obama "should have gone down" to Ferguson to address the situation.

Billy Joel smoked with Obama

According to one of The Hill's sources, Obama invited Billy Joel to have a cigarette with him when the musician made a recent trip to the White House.

Beckham's catch = Obama's executive act

You know it is.

'SNL' remakes Schoolhouse Rock
“Saturday Night Live” hit today’s political process right on the nose during the show’s cold open. Spoofing Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill,” Kenan Thompson as the bill tried to explain how he becomes a law. But before he can make his way  to President Obama’s desk to be officially signed into law, Obama beats him […]

White House

White House claims Obama is ‘not a media critic’

The White House doesn’t really seem to have a problem contradicting itself, so maybe this latest whopper shouldn’t surprise us.

Obama uses turkey pardoning to joke about his executive action on immigration
This is one executive action President Obama is sure won’t ruffle Republicans’ feathers. In fact, he’s so sure of that fact that he decided to make a joke during the annual turkey pardoning referencing his unprecedented use of executive action to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. “I’m here to announce what I’m sure will […]
Poll: Americans split on Obama’s immigration order
Americans are sharply split on their reaction to President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration that will essentially give amnesty to about five million undocumented immigrants,according to a new poll. The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday found that 45 percent of voters support the president’s move, while 48 percent opposes it. Support for […]
Eric Holder stresses that federal investigations in Ferguson are not over

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Monday night assuring rioters that the Justice Department still has two investigations to complete in Ferguson.

Obama appeals for calm after Ferguson decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed for calm and understanding in Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict in the death of Michael Brown, pleading with both residents and police officers to show restraint.

Congress

Pelosi and Obama versus Schumer and America

This is like one of those times a member of a professional wrestling posse turns heel on national television and sets off the drama.

Rand blames 'politicians,' drug war in Ferguson

Sen. Rand Paul’s Time op-ed on Ferguson Tuesday blamed politicians for creating “a culture of violence” through the War on Drugs, and urged Ferguson protesters to “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change.”

Why are House Members exempt from ethics training?
Two U.S. representatives are questioning a curious practice on the Hill that exempts House Members from ethics training. But it doesn’t look like they are getting much support from their colleagues that enjoy this perk. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Scott Rigell (R-Va.), are urging congressional leaders to end the House exemption on the annual ethics […]
Paul calls for formal declaration of war on ISIS

Sen. Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against ISIS.

The fallout from Boehner not owning a dog

President Obama's offer to smooth over an immigration reform compromise with Speaker John Boehner has turned out to be a case of barking up the nonexistent tree.