Homeschooled teens looking to apply to college have a new test option to consider. Introduced in 2015, the Classic Learning Test (CLT) is gaining popularity as another way for colleges and universities to assess the student’s academic ability and potential.
A Third Choice in Testing
With the addition of the CLT, high schoolers now have three college exams to think about. These tests aren’t only for college admission, but used to determine merit-based financial aid, too:
- The SAT examination, redesigned in 2016, and given by the College Board (here)
- The ACT examination, available thru ACT Student (here)
- The CLT, now available thru Classic Learning Initiatives (here)
Which Colleges Accept Which?
While ALL colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT (essentially interchangeable), there are currently just a few colleges that take the CLT. While the list of CLT colleges is growing, students are encouraged to check with individual colleges to find out if the CLT is accepted.
Differences Between Tests
The major difference between the SAT and ACT is the science portion. While both SAT and ACT include English, math and reading sections (plus an optional writing section), the ACT has a science section, too. Beyond the science, though there are slight differences in the number of questions and average amount of time given to respond, the 2 tests (SAT and ACT) are remarkably similar. (More similar than ever before even, as the new SAT was designed by the folks who wrote the ACT.)
The CLT, on the other hand, is quite different. A striking difference is that the CLT is given entirely online and results are available the same day (the others require a lengthy waiting period).
The mission of CLT is different, too, found on their web site:
CLI is structured and supported by principles and values which come from the rich heritage of the Western academic and theological tradition, what Mortimer Adler called the Great Conversation. To succeed at the Classic Learning Test does not require any specific religious affiliation; the CLT is open to students of all faiths who are serious about their academic work, the pursuit of virtue, and the beauty, truth, and goodness found in our Western heritage.
Aren’t Some Colleges SAT/ACT Optional Anyway?
While it is true that many colleges and universities have gone test-optional, as of this writing, the majority still require an entrance examination of some sort. Students applying to college within the next several years are encouraged to visit the web sites of the colleges of their choice, to learn the specific requirements so they can be ready.
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschool pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, is industry-acclaimed for illustrating how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA, H.E.R.I., Home Education Council of America, The Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and many other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT,Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.