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CLA+ for Higher Education

Assessment Design and Sample

Assessment Design and Sample

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) is a performance assessment that measures critical-thinking and written-communication skills by asking students to write a response to a CLA+ Performance Task and answer a set of Selected-Response Questions. 

Assessment Design
We provide a total CLA+ score as well as a set of three subscores each for the Performance Task and the Selected-Response Questions section that measure specific skills.

Performance Task (60 minutes)

  • Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Writing Effectiveness
  • Writing Mechanics

Selected-Response Questions (30 minutes)

  • Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Critical Reading and Evaluation
  • Critique an Argument


​The Performance Task presents a real-world scenario that identifies an issue, problem, or conflict. Students are asked to assume a relevant role to address the issue, suggest a solution, or recommend a course of action based on the information provided in the Document Library. The Document Library contains six to eight reference sources, such as technical reports, data tables, newspaper articles, office memoranda, and/or emails. To complete a Performance Task, students are asked to:

  • assert a logical decision or conclusion
  • support the decision with appropriate information from the Document Library
  • construct organized and logically cohesive arguments
  • strengthen their position by elaborating on facts or ideas
  • demonstrate facility with the conventions of standard written English

Our trained scorers use a rubric to grade the assessment. The rubric shows in detail what skills are measured with CLA+. 

In the Selected-Response Questions section, students respond to 25 questions: 10 assess scientific and quantitative reasoning; 10 assess critical reading and evaluation; and five assess the ability to critique an argument. Students must complete this section within 30 minutes. Much like the Performance Task, each set of questions requires that students draw information from accompanying documents.

Review a sample of the assessment here. To view a sample in the online interface used in an actual testing situation, please contact us by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling (212) 217-0850.