Assessment Overview

Authentic Assessments That Put Students’ Abilities to Work

Use the accurate, reliable data into students’ mastery of critical thinking, problem solving, and effective written communication that our performance-based assessments deliver to guide instruction and inform programming to strengthen these skills.

How Our Performance-Based Assessments Work

CAE’s performance-based assessments provide a more complete picture of students’ readiness for the rigors of today’s academics and their next steps following graduation by measuring the skills that help them apply their content knowledge effectively.

The resulting data can be used for formative and summative purposes, including evaluating how well students have developed essential skills at the beginning and/or end of a particular class or academic year, or to measure
growth over multiple years.


Students are situated in real-world scenarios that require the application of critical thinking, problem-solving, and written communication skills.

a Solution

Using supplied reference materials, students must organize information, define the problem, address issues, consider and evaluate solutions, and recommend and defend a course of action.

No Single
“Right” Answer

Student scores reflect a range of plausible and effective response strategies — a process that, by design, mimics real-world, decision environments.

Sample Performance Tasks

Commuter Rail Repair Plan

You are the business manager for Bayville, a sprawling city on the west bank of the Eagle River. Recently, a severe storm hit Bayville and flooded the Blue Line commuter rail tunnel, which connects Bayville to the neighboring city of Carston. The flooding caused severe damage to the tracks and electrical systems, resulting in greatly reduced operations.

Your task is to analyze the information in the supporting documents, answer a set of questions, and write a memo recommending a repair plan. You need to use evidence from the documents to support your decision.

Social Media Company Business Plan

You are starting a social media company with a partner. The company, called “PenPals,” would be an online forum for aspiring writers and journalists to network with employers, share their writing, and connect with other writers. Your business partner has drafted a business plan but cannot decide the best way to make a profit from the online business. Your partner suggests several possibilities: selling advertising space and member information to advertisers, charging members to use the service, charging employers to search for potential employees using the service, or some combination of these three options.

Read the business plan and other supporting documents to analyze the strengths and limitations of each funding option. Your task is to write a recommendation to your business partner evaluating the possible funding options and suggesting the best option for the needs and limitations of your business.

Community Service

You are a student member of the Abington Public Schools Board of Education, which has been asked to consider the following proposal:

Abington Public Schools should enact the requirement that school students perform unpaid community service as a high school graduation requirement.

The Board agreed to study and vote on the proposal, with the understanding that if it is approved, Abington Public School leaders will develop a program that specifies how students will meet the community service graduation requirement. To help with your decision, you have been provided with a set of research documents to help you better understand the pros and cons of the proposal. Review these documents and decide whether you would argue in favor of or against the proposal.

Your task is to decide whether to vote for or against this proposal and write a memo with an explanation for your decision. You will need to use the evidence from the documents to support and refute your decision.

Our Suite of Performance-Based Assessments

Use CAE assessment reports to:

  • Identify individual student and institution-wide mastery of essential skills.
  • Evaluate how your students compare to peers in your institution and across CAE’s extensive data set.
  • Measure the effectiveness of specific curriculum, interventions, and programs.
  • Provide evidence-based microcredentials.

Learn How to Use Performance-Based Assessment Data to Improve Outcomes for Students

Grades 6–12

Higher Education

Custom Assessments