For Invited Students

  • The CLA is being administered to 100 freshmen in the fall and 100 seniors in the spring in an effort to gauge the effectiveness of colleges to improve the critical thinking, problem solving, and written communications skills of their students.
  • Only first-time full-time freshmen with less than 15 credits and full-time seniors with more than 105 credits (45 credits in associates programs) are eligible to participate. In addition, seniors must have started at the same school as freshmen.
  • Participation in the CLA is by invitation only. Colleges have lists of eligible students that have been randomly selected to represent their school.
  • For more information about the structure of CLA tasks, please see the CLA+ Student Guide <pdf>.

Invited students

  • You have been randomly chosen to participate in the CLA.
  • The CLA requires 2 hours of your time for which you will be compensated with a gift card $50 in value.
  • In the CLA you will be asked to respond to two types of performance assessments: a performance task and a series of selected response questions, both of which require you to go through a thought process in order to arrive at a solution to a problem.  To understand what is expected of you, review the CLA+ Student Guide <pdf> and take a look at a practice performance task with an example of a high quality response <pdf>.
  • Your performance on the CLA will not affect your student status or class standing.
  • Your participation is important in helping to demonstrate your school’s contribution to your learning. The more students who participate, the more confident your college can be about its results.
  • Please respond to the invitation you have received and sign up for a CLA session that is convenient for your class schedule.

Participating students

  • If you received an invitation to participate in the CLA, but have not yet scheduled an exam appointment, please contact your college’s Testing Office. Campus contacts.
  • In the CLA exam session, you will have 60 minutes to respond to a Performance Task and 30 minutes to respond to 25 selected response questions.
  • If you do not have an SAT or ACT score on file, you will be asked to take a short multiple-choice Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) after the CLA to estimate your Entering Academic Ability when you entered CUNY. All community college students will take the SLE as part of the CLA.
  • Familiarize yourself with the format of the CLA: CLA+ Student Guide <pdf> and CLA+ Practice Performance Task <pdf> .
  • Scoring of the CLA+ Performance Task
    • Your responses to the CLA Performance Task will be scored along 4 dimensions:
      • Analytic Reasoning & Evaluation

        • Has a clearly developed and explained thesis
        • Evaluates whether evidence is credible or unreliable
        • Provides analysis and synthesis of the evidence
      • Writing Effectiveness

        • Is well-organized and logically developed, with each idea building upon the last
      • Writing Mechanics

        • Shows strong command of writing mechanics and vocabulary
      • Problem Solving

        • Draws conclusions that follow from the provided evidence
    • A complete description of the CLA scoring criteria is provided by the CLA Scoring Rubric – Description of Performance Dimensions by Performance Levels <pdf>
  • Score results for the Selected Response Questions
    • The Selected Response Questions focus on three areas:
      • Scientific and quantitative reasoning - 10 questions
      • Critical reading and evaluation skills - 10 questions
      • Critique-an-Argument - 5 questions
  • Your CLA results will be available in late February if you test in the fall; and in August if you test in the spring. If you entered a valid email address when completing the online CLA profile, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to retrieve your results.