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Higher Ed in the News

Determining students' skills in critical thinking and writing

November 4, 2009

The Voluntary System of Accountability is used by more than 300 public colleges to provide the public with information about life and learning on their campuses.

The three tests used by universities participating in the Voluntary System of Accountability are compatible in determining students' skills in critical thinking and writing, according to the results of a study released Nov. 3.

As part of that accountability system, each participating college or university chooses one of three tests to administer to students in order to measure their learning from freshman to senior year. The three tests are the:

  • Collegiate Learning Assessment, sponsored by the Council for Aid to Education
  • Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency, from ACT Inc.
  • Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress, offered by the Educational Testing Service

The study was conducted at 13 universities that participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability. More than 1,100 students were given 13 different tests in critical thinking, reading, mathematics, writing, and science.

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Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.