CLAST Guide

CLAST Summary
What: An exam to assess college-level communication and mathematic skills in students wishing to earn an associate's degree or to progress to higher level courses.
Who: Tests are given to students who have completed two years of college level work.
Where: The CLAST is administered in community colleges and state universities in Florida.
When: Tests are offered three times a year.
How: The test requires students to answer questions in English/Reading, Mathematics, and Essay sections.
Type: Tests are given in pencil and paper format.
Why: Students must demonstrate they have achieved required proficiency at the college level before receiving a degree or moving up.
Time: Five hours, including a break.
Language: The test is offered in English.
Preparation: Florida colleges and universities are required to provide students with the skills needed to pass the test. Some institutions also offer additional review of basic skills.
Cost: Free.

By Jessica McNally, Tests.com

The College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) is part of the state of Florida's system of educational accountability. The CLAST is an achievement test that is used to test students who have completed two years of collegiate level work on their communication and mathematic skills. Students must pass the test in order to earn an associate’s degree or be eligible to promote to upper-level classes in a four year program. Although the CLAST itself is not explicitly required, students must in some way demonstrate that they have attained the required proficiency before receiving their degree or progressing to higher courses, and the CLAST is the most common way of doing this. The test is administered three times over the course of a year at colleges throughout the state. Students will register through the college they are currently attending.

Test Format
The CLAST is a timed test that lasts for five hours. It consists of three main sections:
  • The first section of the test consists of two parts: English Language Skills and Reading. The English Language portion tests students on such topics as grammar and construction, vocabulary, subject verb/agreement and spelling.The Reading section tests students on their ability to recognize main and supporting arguments, to distinguish opinion from fact, and to make inferences and draw conclusions, in addition to other things.
Time allotted: 80 minutes
Number of questions: 41+40= 81 total
  • The Mathematics section assesses students on skills involving basic math, logical reasoning, decimals and fractions, geometry, algebra, measurements and statistics.
Time allotted: 90 minutes
Number of questions: 55
  • The Essay portion of the test requires that students demonstrate their ability to write collegiate level prose in which they should avoid slang terms, support topics with evidence, present ideas in a comprehensive manner, and pay close attention to spelling and grammar.
Time allotted: 60 minutes
Number of questions: 1
On the essay portion of the CLAST, students must score a 6 to pass. Students must achieve a combined minimum score of 295 in order to pass the remaining sections. Scores will be sent out approximately five weeks after students have taken the CLAST.

Test Preparation
The CLAST is a very significant factor in a student’s college career, and it is imperative for a student to pass it. Students will want to study hard and be both relaxed and prepared on test day. On test day, students will need the following:
  • An admission ticket from the institution
  • Two forms of identification (at least one must include a picture)
  • Multiple soft-leaded pencils with erasers, ballpoint pens with either blue or black ink.
State universities and community colleges in Florida are required to provide students with the opportunity to acquire the skills measured by the CLAST as a part of their freshman and sophomore curriculum. Some colleges and universities also offer classes for review of basic skills, for additional preparation for the test.
Want additional help preparing for the CLAST? Check out our CLAST Directory to find helpful study aids.
Sources: Studyguidezone.com, Fldoe.org, At.ufl.edu

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