CFAA - Office of Assessment

For Students

Every year, seniors graduating in specified majors are required to take tests related to their major coursework. Tests are administered on a walk-in basis on scheduled dates and times.  The California Critical Thinking Skills Test is administered to all students who have completed 96 credit hours or more and is required for graduation.

All Major Field Tests and the CCTST are administered in the Testing room in the Center for Academic Achievement.  Please contact Testing to verify hours of operation and test availability. 

Questions about SAIs

FAQs about Major Field Tests and the CCTST

 

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  1. What is the purpose of the Major Field Test (MFT)? Answer
  2. Am I required to take a Major Field Test? Answer
  3. When do I take the Major Field Test?  Answer
  4. What is the CCTST? Answer
  5. Who has to take the CCTST?    Answer
  6. Is the CCTST the same as the Major Field Test?  Answer
  7. Where do I take the CCTST?    Answer
  8. What test information is available about the CCTST? Answer
  9. How can students prepare to take the CCTST? Answer
  10. What should I do if I have completed the test but a CCTST hold is still on my record?  Answer
  11. Why should I do my best on the CCTST? Answer

 

What is the purpose of the Major Field Test (MFT)?

A Major Field Test (MFT) evaluates students’ knowledge in their discipline of study. MFT results help the department and the university to evaluate the curriculum and make improvements where indicated. Programs typically participate in major field testing for Performance Funding once every 5 years.

Some programs require Major Field Tests for purposes other than Performance Funding; the Office of Assessment is not involved in non-Performance Funding MFTs. 


 

Am I required to take a Major Field Test?

MFTs for Performance Funding are required of students graduating in fall 2014 or spring 2015 in the following undergraduate majors:

  • Mass Communications
  • Chemistry
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Public Health

Please be advised that failure to take the MFT will result in having your diploma held until this condition is met.


 

When do I take the Major Field Test? 

If you are required to take the MFT for Performance Funding, you will be contacted by your department with test dates and locations.  If your major appears above and you do not know when you are to take the test, contact your major department.  


 

What is the CCTST?

The CCTST is the California Critical Thinking Skills Test formerly known as the Senior Exit Exam.


 

Who has to take the CCTST?   

The state of Tennessee requires students attending state-supported colleges and universities to complete a general education assessment as a graduation requirement.  ETSU administers the CCTST, California Critical Thinking Skills Test, to meet this requirement.

If you have completed at least 96 credit hours of coursework, you can take the CCTST.  Please be advised that failure to take the exam will result in having your diploma held until this condition is met.

Some students qualify for an exemption from the CCTST.  Contact the Office of Assessment at  or (423) 439-4236 if:

  • You have already taken the CCTST;
  • You are a second degree candidate;
  • You are registered with Disability Services; or
  • English is not your primary language.  


 

Is the CCTST the same as the Major Field Test? 

No.  The CCTST is different from the Major Field Test.     With few exceptions,  all    seniors must take the CCTST; only selected majors take the Major Field Test.  If you are graduating from a program that requires a Major Field Test, you must complete   both   the CCTST  and  the Major Field Test  .


 

Where do I take the CCTST?   

Most students take the CCTST in the Center for Academic Achievement – Testing Services, located on the first floor of Sherrod Library.  Contact Testing Services at  or (423) 439-6708 if you have questions about testing policies, procedures, or hours.  You must have your ETSU Student ID card to verify your identity and E-number.

Online and distance students may take the CCTST at an approved offsite location, subject to a small fee.  See http://www.etsu.edu/uged/cfaa/testing/test/cctst.aspx for more information.


 

What test information is available about the CCTST?

The CCTST is designed to permit test-takers to demonstrate the critical thinking skills required to succeed in educational or workplace settings where solving problems and making decisions by forming reasoned judgments are important. The CCTST consists of 34 questions and is designed to be completed in 45-50 minutes. To do your best, you should plan to spend the full 45-50 minutes on the test.

The CCTST measures critical thinking in five areas:

  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Inference
  • Evaluation and Explanation
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning

The 2014 national mean for the CCTST was 17.1 for 4-year college and university level test takers.  CCTST Total scores in the range 0 to 7 do not manifest evidence of critical thinking. Scores in range 8-12 are ‘Weak,’ 13-18 are ‘Moderate’ scores, 19 to 24 are ‘Strong’ and 25 or higher are ‘Superior.’  


 

How can students prepare to take the CCTST?

The CCTST engages you with questions that require you to apply your critical thinking skills.  Test items might present information or a scenario and ask questions about it.  Test items might require you to analyze or interpret information presented, or to draw a reasonable conclusion based on information.  You may also be asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements.

You can access information and sample questions at: http://www.insightassessment.com.


 

What should I do if I have completed the test but a CCTST hold is still on my record? 

There is a time lag between when the Office of Assessment inputs names of those who have taken the test and when the Graduation Office removes CCTST holds.  The process can take up to two weeks from when a student takes the test, but it is always completed before the final deadline for graduation.  Should you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Assessment at    or (423) 439-4236.


 

Why should I do my best on the CCTST?

Employers and graduate programs value the ability to think clearly, solve problems, and evaluate arguments.  You’ll receive your CCTST score as soon as you finish the test, along with standards showing how well you did.  You can use this information to show prospective employers and graduate schools you have the abilities they desire.

Your college degree is worth as much as the university that grants it.  By doing your best on the CCTST, you help raise ETSU’s institutional score.   The better ETSU looks, the better you look.

ETSU benefits from your success.  The Tennessee Higher Education Commission awards funding based in part on CCTST institutional scores.  As much as $600,000 could be awarded to ETSU from the state government based on our students’ performance on the CCTST in 2014-15.

ETSU analyzes CCTST results to find ways to improve our programs and services.  


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