The Ancient New Alternative to the SAT and ACT

The Gospel Coalition | 4/24/2019 | Staff
MysticHeart (Posted by) Level 3
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Last month, 50 people were charged with scheming to get students into elite universities. While some of the charges involved falsifying student athletic abilities, most revolved around the standardized achievement tests nearly every college student takes: the ACT and SAT.

Some parents paid for false learning-disability diagnoses, which gained their children extra time to take the exams. Others paid “a really smart guy” to take the tests for their children or to doctor wrong answers. Still others provided copies of their child’s handwriting along with their bribe, so a proctor could write a better fake essay on the student’s behalf.

Admissions - Celebrities - Lori - Loughlin - Felicity

The admissions scandal—which snared celebrities such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman—was the largest ever prosecuted in the United States. And it raised a lot of questions about those tests.

“Is the College Cheating Scandal the ‘Final Straw’ for Standardized Tests?” The New York Times asked. The Washington Post wondered the same thing: “Is it finally time to get rid of the SAT and ACT college admissions tests?”

Jeremy - Tate - Co-creator - Classic - Learning

Probably, says Jeremy Tate, co-creator of the four-year-old Classic Learning Test (CLT). But not because of the cheaters.

Tate has been working in the college admissions arena for years. He’s watched the test—and the public schools it was built for—move farther away from education’s historical aim of cultivating truth, goodness, and beauty.

SAT - Tate - Test - CLT - Pulls

When the SAT was revamped in 2016, Tate was frustrated enough to co-create a new test. The CLT pulls from authors like Augustine, John Calvin, G. K. Chesterton, and Flannery O’Connor, among dozens of other classic thinkers. (Though the test isn’t specifically Reformed, or even Christian, the author of the initial pilot test is Presbyterian.) It also asks students to solve math problems not by memorizing formulas but by applying logic—testing aptitude instead of accomplishment.

This spring, more than 10,000 students took the CLT. More than 150...
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