skip to main content columnskip to left navigation

Testing Center

Center for Academic Achievement


Congratulations!  You have completed at least 96 credit hours of coursework and can now take the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST).  The state of Tennessee requires students attending state-supported universities to complete this general education assessment as a graduation requirement.  Failure to take the CCTST will result in having your diploma held until this condition is met.

Beginning fall 2020, students will complete the CCTST remotely, rather than in a testing center. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is currently in the process of implementing the remote version, which should be available within the first few weeks of the fall semester. More information will be provided to students as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.

What is 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 measures critical thinking in five areas:

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

Why is it important for me to do my best on the CCTST?

  • Employers and graduate programs value the ability to think clearly, solve problems, and evaluate arguments.  You will 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 any academic year.
  • ETSU analyzes CCTST results to find ways to improve our programs and services.

What is the test like? 

The CCTST is a computer-based test consisting of 34 questions and designed to be completed in 45-50 minutes. To do your best, you should spend the full 45-50 minutes on the test. You can access test prep information and sample questions at

Is the CCTST the same thing as a "Major Field Test"?

No. The CCTST is different from a Major Field Test (e.g. the "Senior Business Exam").  All graduating seniors must take the CCTST; only those in certain majors take a Major Field Test.  You will be contacted by your department with the dates and locations of tests if you are required to take a 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 in order to graduate. 

Is the CCTST the same thing as an "Exit Exam"? 

Yes. The CCTST is ETSU's "Exit Exam"  -- a test that a Senior has to take before they are permitted to graduate -- but we prefer to use the actual name of the test when referring to it, in order to avoid confusion with Major Field Tests, which some university programs also refer to as "exit exams." 

Who doesn't have to take the CCTST?

Some students are exempt from the CCTST requirement. To find out if you qualify for an exemption, contact the Office of Assessment at or (423) 439-4236 if ...

  • you have already taken the CCTST;
  • you are registered with disability services as having a documented disability that the test and/or testing center is not designed to accomodate;
  • you are not a native English speaker;
  • you are completing your second degree.

Where do I take the CCTST?

You can take the CCTST at Testing Services in the Center for Academic Achievement, located in Sherrod Library, or if you are not in the Tri-Cities, at a local college or university testing center (see For Distance and Online Students below).

  • To Make an Appointment to take the CCTST on campus at ETSU, please follow this Link;  for hours or directions, please follow the "Testing" link at
  • To take the CCTST at another testing center, see below.

 For Distance and Online Students

Students who currently live outside of the Tri-Cities can take the CCTST at any college of university testing center that offers test proctoring for distance education. If you want to arrange to take the test at another testing center, you should do the following:

  1. Locate an institution near you to administer the CCTST; a list of available testing centers can be found at
  2. Contact the tesitng center nearest you and make a testing appointment. The CCTST is designed to be a 45-50 minute test, so make your testing appointment accordingly. Please note that all  costs associated with the administration of the test at a testing center other than ETSU's must be borne by you, the student. Testing centers charge between $15-$30/hr to proctor tests for distance education students. 
  3. Once you've received confirmation of your appointment with the testing center of your choice, email all of the relevant information about your testing appointment to with "Distance CCTST" in the Subject line.
  4. Be sure to take your ETSU ID with you to the testing appointment -- you will need to present it in order to verify your identity and E-number before taking the test. 
  5. Note: the CCTST, whether given at ETSU or at an alternative testing center, can only be administered as a computer-based test. 


  • You must have your ETSU Student ID with you when you arrive to take the test in order to verify your identity and E-number. 
  • The CCTST consists of 34 questions and is designed to be completed in 45-50 minutes.  To do your best, you should spend the full 45-50 minutes on the test.    

Contact Testing Services at or (423) 439-6708 if ...

  • you have questions about testing and/or Testing Services;  or
  • you need help arranging to take the CCTST at a testing center near you.
icon for left menu icon for right menu