About CAAP Test

Evaluation is inherent to educational programs. A good evaluation system serves multiple purposes. It is used for assessing students for their capabilities and achievements. It helps to highlight their strengths and weaknesses for helping students with remedial studies. However, for an evaluation system to be complete it should also evaluate the quality of education being imparted amongst students and point out the underlying weaknesses and shortcomings that provide scope for improvement. The results of such a system can therefore help to bring up the level of education by working upon the shortcomings. CAAP or Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency is such a test that is used for a complete evaluation of education being imparted in colleges.
CAAP is a standardized assessment test conducted by the ACT. Unlike the usual common entrance tests, this one is not used to enroll candidates, but is conducted to assess the potential of candidates studying in an institution. Besides this, it has other uses as well which are mentioned below.
Usefulness of CAAP
  The evaluation system is helpful in the following ways.

  1. CAAP helps to evaluate students and measure their capabilities at various levels. It helps to judge them individually, in a group, or nationally.

  2. With the scores it is possible to trace the developmental graph of students. It is possible to note the change in the level of achievement over a period of time.

  3. This test helps to identify the subject areas in which the students are lacking. Hence, it is possible to recognize their weaknesses through the test and guide them to improve their skills.

  4. The result of CAAP maybe used for determining the readiness of students for courses of higher levels.

  5. CAAP helps to determine the success or failure of an educational program along with giving insights into the areas that need improvement. Hence, it evaluates the quality of education being imparted amongst the students of an institution.  

Details of CAAP Test
Format – CAAP is a paper and pencil test. Students are provided with a question booklet and separate answer sheet to fill in the answers. The answer sheets of the multiple choice tests are OMR sheets that are scored by the computer.

Number of CAAP Tests – There are six test modules. The colleges have a choice of administering those modules which suit their goals and educational programs. Hence, they may or may not conduct all the six of them.

Testing Time – Each test module is conducted in 40 minutes. If all the six tests are conducted, the total testing time comes up to 4 hours. However, since colleges conduct only those modules that they require, the testing time can vary accordingly.

Testing Dates – The testing dates are decided by the institutions that administer the test on their campuses. There are no national dates released by ACT. Therefore, you must contact the concerned colleges for information regarding testing dates.

Types of Questions – Five out of six modules consist of multiple choice questions, while one contains essay writing questions.

Description of CAAP Test Modules

  1. Reading – This is a reading comprehension test with 36 multiple choice questions based on four prose passages. The content of the passages is taken from prose fiction, humanities, social studies and natural sciences. The questions are either direct or indirect and must be answered according to the information given in the passages. Direct questions measure the referring skills of students whereas indirect questions measure their reasoning skills.

  2. Writing Skills – There are 72 multiple choice questions in this module. The questions are based on usage and mechanics and rhetorical skills. The questions test the knowledge of students in punctuation, grammar structure, sentence structure, strategy, organization and style.

  3. Writing Essay – This module consists of two essay writing questions. The question is in the form of a prompt that describes an issue. The student is supposed to write an essay presenting his point of view regarding the issue by providing suitable examples. The student must exhibit effective usage of language and intelligent handling of the issue, along with representing good essay writing skills like formation of a logically connected piece of writing.

  4. Mathematics – This Math test consists of 35 multiple choice questions in all. The questions are based on prealgebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, college algebra and trigonometry. It tests the skills of students in solving mathematical problems. Only permitted calculators can be used by students.

  5. Science – The Science module contains 45 multiple choice questions. These questions are taken from the content areas of biology, chemistry, physics and physical science. Students are presented with information in the form of passages which may be in the form of data representation, research summaries or conflicting viewpoints. Students must possess the skills to understand, analyze and generalize this information.

  6. Critical Thinking – There are 32 multiple choice questions in this module. The questions are in the form of a passage that contains sub-arguments and a general conclusion. The questions pertain to analysis, evaluation and extension of the argument.

CAAP Scoring Information
The scores of this test can be used to derive useful conclusions about the students as well as educational programs of the colleges. The purpose behind conducting the CAAP is solved by the scores of modules. Therefore, understanding the scoring system helps to understand the test in a better way.
The multiple choice sections are scored on a scale ranging from 40 to 80, where 40 is the minimum score possible and 80 is the maximum score that can be received in the test. A score of 60 is considered as the mean score. A total score is given for overall performance is also provided in the score report. Moreover, there are two subscores each received in Reading Test, Writing Skills Test and Mathematics Test. These subscores help in determining the strengths and weaknesses more accurately since they pinpoint the performance in different skill areas.
The writing test is scored on a scale that ranges from 1 to 6 with half point increments. It is scored by two raters independently.

How Important is it to Prepare for CAAP?
In order to have an accurate assessment through CAAP it is essential to take it with sincerity. Since the result helps to evaluate the success of educational programs rather than allowing students the eligibility to join new courses, it is possible that students take it casually. They fail to realize that they are the ones to benefit by taking the CAAP with sincere preparation. This is because their performance helps the colleges to improve the quality of educational programs that are run by them. Hence, in order to receive better quality of education, students should prepare for this assessment according to the requirements so that they can truly reflect the present level of education being imparted in the colleges.
Moreover, this examination helps to make an estimate of a student’s potential. However, without good preparation, the true potential of a student is not brought out. Hence, it is impossible to recognize the worth of the candidate unless he puts all his efforts in preparation. Students who are not aware of their shortcomings are the ones who need to prepare in the best possible way. The scores help to mark the areas in which students need more preparation. However, if the student does not prepare well, the results could be misleading and it will not help in guiding students for improving their skills. This means that preparation is very essential for attempting this test.

Not many times do we come across a test that is complete. CAAP offers complete evaluation by focusing on the students as well as the educational programs. It strives to provide inputs for the improvement of students as well as colleges. It can considered as a system of assessment  helps in diagnosing weaknesses and strengths, as well as identifying the true caliber of students.