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What is the Classic Learning Test?

Sarah Carrig Written by Sarah Carrig
What is the Classic Learning Test?

Do you cringe at the thought of your student having to spend hours studying to complete a Common Core-based exam to get into college when you’ve been striving to give them a better education?

Like Veritas, the Classic Learning Test was born out of a desire to challenge the status quo. CLT provides standardized tests that not only measure proficiency in essential subjects but also reflect the deep education that classically educated students receive.

We’re excited to announce that the CLT is extending a special 25% discount on their exams to any family who uses code Veritas25 at registration!

Want to learn more about the Classic Learning Test? Our friends at CLT have provided a handy Q&A for you below.

Why Another Exam?

Classic Learning Test was formed in 2015 when our founder, Jeremy Tate, began to question why students needed to spend so much time preparing for a college entrance exam (SAT/ACT) that did not reflect the deep, holistic education they were receiving in homeschool or private schools.

SAT and ACT are both aligned with Common Core and reflect a public school education. The passages used on the exams are from sources primarily written within the last 10 years, removing any vestiges of the Christian intellectual tradition. They do not allow students who have read widely and pursued truth and reason to showcase their real strengths. CLT was birthed out of a desire to provide a test aligned to an education that emphasizes the connection between knowledge and virtue and can highlight the strengths of these students.

What started as a college entrance exam has grown into a suite of assessments for 7th - 12th graders, with more assessments for younger students currently in development. The CLT suite of assessments assesses foundational educational concepts in language arts and mathematics with an emphasis on critical thinking and logic throughout the exams. The exams feature Great Books content that is primarily drawn from our Author Bank.

All CLT assessments can be taken online at home. The CLT8 (7th-8th grade) and the CLT10 (9th-10th grade) are proctored by parents. The CLT (college entrance exam) is remotely proctored to uphold the standards required by our college partners. Each exam takes approximately 2 hours.

Why should my family use CLT?

The CLT suite of assessments provides Student Analytics on each exam that can help families strengthen the quality of their education. It’s not about simply improving on a test. The goal is to maximize your student’s education.

Additionally, the CLT suite of assessments provides students with experience taking standardized exams in a familiar environment. The content of the exams is well aligned with your style of education; therefore, the time spent testing is meaningful due to the Great Books content and challenging mathematical reasoning questions. Plus, the feedback provided is well-aligned to the education you are providing your students.

How does CLT offer greater flexibility with testing?

  • Registration deadlines are about a week before the test date.

  • Students may change their test registration dates without additional fees.

  • CLT8 and CLT10 are offered four times each year.

  • The CLT is offered 10-12 times per year.

  • Students test at their preferred time of day (not all students perform best early in the morning!)

  • Score shares (CLT10 and CLT) are free and unlimited, and students do not opt into sharing scores until they view them.

When should students test with CLT?

CLT currently has exams for 7th-12th grade students. This timeline page has helpful information about choosing the right exam for your student and how to plan testing.

Should students prep for the CLT?

An education that emphasizes reading, discussion, mathematics, and critical thinking is the best preparation for the CLT. The CLT is designed to reflect a robust education; however, most homeschooled students are not accustomed to multiple choice or timed tests. Students may feel more confident if they have some experience prior to taking an official exam. For this reason, CLT provides free online practice exams with full answer explanations for CLT10 and CLT on the student dashboard. A CLT Student Guide is available for purchase for those seeking additional practice.

For our CLT8 (7th-8th grade), preparation is not recommended as it is intended to be a benchmark exam that provides feedback to parents about their students’ strengths and areas for improvement. Families are welcome to explore the functionality of the exam by viewing the practice CLT10 exam on the student dashboard, though students should understand that the content is more difficult than what they will encounter on the CLT8.

Will CLT fulfill end of year testing requirements for homeschooled students?

CLT8 and CLT10 are nationally normed standardized exams that meet many state requirements. For specific states, please check this article which identifies the states where we satisfy requirements.

Is the CLT accepted by all colleges?

Though the CLT is not accepted by all colleges, over two hundred colleges partner with CLT, accepting the exam as a complete replacement of the ACT or SAT. Additionally, with many colleges going test-optional, even colleges who do not partner with CLT will accept CLT scores. Sharing your scores is a great way to strengthen your application even if they are not required.

CLT Partner Colleges tend to be private, liberal arts, or faith-based colleges which share our mission to reconnect knowledge and virtue in the classroom.

Can I earn scholarships with CLT?

There are two different ways to earn scholarships with the CLT suite of assessments. For the CLT, our college entrance exam, many colleges offer scholarships tied to your scores. You may view a list of scholarship opportunities with our Partner Colleges here. Sophomores who take the CLT10 are also eligible for a scholarship. Top scorers on the CLT10 each academic year are recognized as National Award Winners and receive a $2,500 scholarship to any CLT Partner College. Students may test every time the CLT10 is offered; their best score is used for scholarship consideration.

Should I take the CLT if I have already taken/plan to take the ACT/SAT?

If you are planning on attending a CLT Partner College, sending CLT scores to those colleges demonstrates that you are a student who is well-prepared for their academics. Our Partner Colleges have noted that CLT students do very well in their classes, so these colleges often respond with excited interest and generous scholarships to CLT scores. Many homeschooled students perform better on the CLT than the ACT/SAT. Taking the CLT gives you an opportunity to possibly earn a better score.

Even if you are not planning to attend a CLT Partner College, the Student Analytics that accompany each test give invaluable insight into your education, highlighting your strengths and areas for improvement.

What if the college I want to attend does not accept the CLT?

If you're interested in applying to a college that isn't currently a CLT Partner, don't be discouraged. You can still use CLT to your advantage and ask colleges to consider your test scores! Call the college or university of interest and ask to speak with an admissions representative. Explain what CLT is, why you want to use CLT in the admissions process, and why they should consider your scores. You can share that the CLT best reflects your education and demonstrates your academic excellence. This is a great way to connect with a college and to help CLT gain wider recognition. There have been many cases where these kinds of conversations have led to a new CLT college partnership.