A New Option in College Prep Testing: The Classic Learning Test

Sep 05, 2017 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


For many years there have been two primary diagnostic exams for students preparing to attend college, the SAT® and the ACT®. Now, though, there is a new exam available that is an even better indicator of academic strength and preparation: the Classic Learning Test (CLT). If you haven’t yet heard of this exam, read on to learn more about the CLT and how it is structured. You may find it to be an even better option for your student than the other tests.

Created by Classic Learning Initiatives, a company co-founded by Jeremy Tate and David Wagner in 2015, the CLT differs from the competition in that it eschews the trend of testing only on factual information. Instead it is a challenging exam that requires a student to read, comprehend, and analyze provided sources that reflect the vast experience of Western thought and tradition, both religious and secular. The exam is structured in three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Grammar/Writing, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Completed online, it is a timed multiple choice exam. In the Verbal Reasoning section, the student reads and analyzes provided resources pulled from a wide spectrum of scholarship, including but not limited to philosophy and religion, natural science, literature, and historical and founding documents. During the grammar and writing section, the student again reads passages from a wide variety of document types in order to analyze grammar and written structure. The final section, quantitative reasoning, is the math portion of the exam. Requiring no calculator, the test provides any equations the student might require as a bulleted list at the top of the test page. Questions require careful reasoning and understanding of mathematical concepts drawn from algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

Although it is still a new exam, the number of colleges that accept it as a part of their application process is growing. The next test date of September 16 is quickly approaching, and the registration deadline is September 12. The cost for the exam is similar in pricing to the ACT and SAT. A further inducement to take the test is that the company is offering a four-year scholarship for the first student who obtains a perfect score of 120.

If you have a classically-minded student, consider checking out this test. Practice materials are available, and practice tests may be found online. Flex those “classical brain” muscles and try it out!

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