U.S. institutions administering CLA+,  CWRA+, or SSA+ will be able to begin testing on Monday, January 25th.
International institutions will be able to begin testing in early March.
The testing window will close on Sunday, May 30th.

Are Your Students Ready for Their Next Step?

60% of entering higher education students are not proficient in essential college skills – yet these skills are predictive of positive college outcomes.
44% of exiting higher education students are not proficient in essential career skills – yet these skills are predictive of positive post-college outcomes.

Assessing Essential College and Career Skills Since 2002

Content knowledge is no longer sufficient for college and career success.

CAE’s performance-based assessments, CLA+, CCRA+, and SSA+,  authentically measure the college and career readiness skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and effective written communication, providing students and educators with valid and reliable insights into students’ readiness for their next step.  These are the skills most in demand by higher education institutions and employers.

Our assessments provide a more complete picture of students’ readiness for their next step and serve as an effective instrument for diagnosing students’ strengths and opportunities for improvement to increase future success. 

A mission-driven, non-profit organization, CAE also partners with national, state, and district clients to design innovative custom assessments that measure the constructs most important to students, educators, and institutions.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Written Communications

CAE’s data show that 60% of students entering college are not proficient in these skills and that these skills are predictive of positive outcomes in college and career.


Authentic Assessments through Performance Tasks

CAE’s assessments leverage a performance-task model to uniquely measure students’ ability to think critically, solve problems, and effectively communicate.

  • Students are placed in real-world scenarios with engaging tasks;
  • With authentic documents from more- and less-credible sources that contain related and conflicting information;
  • Are presented with open-ended problems with no single correct solution;
  • Requiring students to apply knowledge and produce a response.
CAE Tasks Examples

Are Your Students Ready for Their Next Step?

CAE’s assessments and services help students, educators, and institutions answer critical questions including:

CheckHow ready are our students for their next step?

CheckWhere do our students need developmental support?

CheckHow much are our students growing from year to year?

CheckHow well is our institution developing essential skills in our students?

CheckHow much has our new curriculum improved our students’ essential skills?

CheckHow can I incorporate custom performance-based assessment in my institution?

Valid and Reliable Assessments and Insights to Answer Your Questions

CAE’s assessments are delivered online through CAE’s integrated Next Step platform. The assessments can be used in class, with remote proctoring, or any combination. Results can be analyzed at multiple levels to answer your critical questions.


Measure students’ readiness for their next step and identify approaches to improve readiness


Measure value-added and/or effect size by comparing the performance of two student cohorts


Measure the most important constructs through innovative performance-based assessments

Insights for Students & Institutions


Student reports provide actionable insights to support student growth and improvement.

Micro-credentials provide assessment-based evidence of proficiency.

Student Diagnostic Report

Detailed Subscore Report



Institution Report

Mastery Level Distribution

Sub-score Analysis

Subscore Distribution


Institution reports help identify gaps in curricula and/or developmental support, measure value-added, and assess program effectiveness.


Details on rubrics and mastery levels are provided to identify next steps for improvement.

CAE, a non-profit provider of performance-based assessments, authentically measures students’ essential college and career skills.

Critical Thinking


Measure critical thinking, problem solving, and effective written communication skills to create a more complete picture of students’ readiness for college and career.



Leverage reliable and valid assessments aligned to current assessment models, education research, and best practices and backed by 20+ years of research and use.

Problem Solving

Detailed Insights

Identify how to best support students during their academic journey and increase success in their next step through institution and student reports.



Access a full range of assessment services including custom performance-based assessment solutions, psychometrics, and more.

Used by 800,000+ students at over 1,300 institutions worldwide & supported by leading foundations

Customers who trust CAE
Foundations who trust CAE

Ensure Your Students Are Ready for Their Next Step!