Rising Junior Ellie Rodgers Scores in the Top 1% Nationwide on Pre-College CLT Entrance Exam; 6 St. Cecilia Academy Students Score in the Top 5% of the Region.
St. Cecilia Academy
The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is a rigorous new standardized test that has been gaining traction since its creation in 2015 (https://www.cltexam.com/home). As an online alternative college preparatory exam, the CLT is now recognized by a variety of schools, including Princeton and Harvard. Featuring passages selected from great works across a variety of disciplines, the CLT exam provides a highly accurate and rigorous measure of reasoning, aptitude, and academic formation for students from diverse educational backgrounds.
When the College Board announced it would close standardized testing options due to Covid-19 restrictions, St. Cecilia Academy was eager to offer its inaugural CLT online testing experience to students this past April. St. Cecilia Academy chose to offer the CLT10 to a group of rising 10th and 11th graders who accepted the invitation to pilot the new test. The CLT10 is both a pre-college exam and a comprehensive academic diagnostic exam. On average, the selected group of students at St. Cecilia Academy scored 30 percentage points higher on a 100-point scale than the national CLT10 average. Six of SCA’s participants scored in the top 5% of the region and earned recognition as Regional Scholars: Susanna Donnelly ’22, Ella Hill Crouch ’22, Anna Huber ’22, Augusta Miller ’22, Ellie Rodgers ‘22, and Olivia Scherrer ’22. In addition, SCA’s Distinguished Scholar Ellie Rodgers scored in the top 1% nationwide and is a National Award Recipient, receiving a $2,500 scholarship.
When asked about this new testing experience, Gabrielle Brault ’23 said that the CLT10 was similar to the PSAT, but she found “the passages and problems were much more interesting.” Engaging content was not the only change from the traditional PSAT. The online standardized testing experience completed in an at-home testing environment was new to each of the students. For Susanna Donnelly ’22, the home testing experience was successful: “I thought it was nice to be in a more comfortable environment and to be by myself with less distractions.” Students agreed that this experience was helpful in preparing for the ACT and SAT and said that the test analytics provided good insights into areas of improvement for future college testing experiences. However, the testing opportunity should not focus solely on numbers. As a Dominican school with a rich intellectual tradition, St. Cecilia has an opportunity to ask how the goals of standardized testing intersect with the bigger question of what it means to be a well-educated person. According to Sister Amelia, Academic Dean at St. Cecilia Academy, “We want students who, having confidence in the mind’s ability to know the truth, are then free to grapple with big questions from multiple perspectives as they seek answers to the challenges of our time. We want them to experience how the pursuit of truth and wisdom truly fulfills us as human persons.” This insight captures the vision of the online CLT opportunity, and St. Cecilia Academy is excited to partner with CLT at the service of excellence both in academics and in life.