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CLA Performance Task

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What is the CLA+ and what does it measure?

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) is a performance-based assessment that provides a measure of an institution's contribution to the development of critical thinking and writing skills of its students.

The CLA+ uses a Performance Task and a series of Selected Response Questions to measure higher-order skills. And while the CLA+ allows schools to benchmark how much progress their students have made relative to the progress of similar students at other colleges, it also provides useful feedback to individual test takers. The principal goal of the CLA+ is to assist faculty, administrators and students in improving teaching and learning.

The CLA+ benchmarks progress in the following areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Effective writing

Click here for the CLA+ Student Guide.

Click here for sample CLA+ questions and the CLA+ scoring rubric.

*Please Note: The CLA+ must be taken at one of our four M State campus locations. We do not have an online proctoring service available at this time for online students that are not able to take the test at a campus.


Why does it matter how I do on the CLA+?

Scholarships awarded by Up2U partner universities are based on cumulative GPA and the CLA+ mastery level. CLA+ mastery levels are determined by the competencies demonstrated on the CLA+ performance tasks.


How many times do I have to take the CLA+?

up2U students take the CLA+ performance task assessment upon entry to M State (at 0 credits) and during their last semester.


Will M State help me prepare for the CLA+?

To reinforce students' coursework learning, M State offers performance task workshops which provide additional practice and instruction in mastering the core skills assessed by the CLA+. Visit the up2U Student Information Page for workshop dates and times.


Why do schools use the CLA+?

Schools participate in the CLA+ to estimate how, and by how much, they contribute to your development of higher-order skills. Collecting this information is one step in the process of improving teaching and learning.


Why do students take the CLA+?

Those of you who participate in the CLA+ will learn about your strengths and areas to improve upon. You will receive a score report, and information on how well you performed relative to other students in your class level, both within your institution and across the CLA+.


Assessment overview

There are two sections of the CLA+: the Performance Task and the Selected Response Questions.

  • All CLA+ tasks are administered online. The Performance Task contains an open-ended prompt that requires a written response. The Selected Response Questions ask you to chose the best response based on the document library provided.
  • The CLA+ tasks are designed to assess students' general higher-order thinking and writing skills regardless of their academic concentrations. These skills are not only necessary for success in college; they are important for success in the workplace and other aspects of life outside the classroom. No prior knowledge of any particular field is necessary in order to perform well.

Last modified: February 9th, 2016 at 09:58am