Career Programs Assessment Test (CPAT) is a standardized Ability-to-benefit (ABT) test administered by ACT international in collaboration with career colleges. The test aims to identify academic skills of the students and their ability to succeed in a college. It is useful especially for those who do not hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent and seeking admission as a regular student. Its scores are also beneficial in getting financial aid and scholarships. The test results are utilized by colleges and research institutions for collecting demographic data about students and framing educational policies. Many institutions also use CPAT for gaining accreditation.
It is an undergraduate assessment test. The students who are interested to enroll as a regular student or want to avail federal financial aid can take this test. The students can recognize essential skills required for school level education that they may be lacking and further improve over that.
The test consists of three sections- reading skills, language usage and numerical skills. The reading section tests the reading comprehension, generalization and interpretation skills. The language usage section examines the grasp on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling and capitalization, organization and logic reasoning. The mathematical section is based on problems related to arithmetic operations and logical progressions.
The reading section consists of five short passages followed by related multiple choice questions. The questions can be related to extraction of an information or idea from given passage, relating concepts with facts, analysis of given passage or application of information given in the test in a different situation. The number of items in this section totals to 30 and time allotted is 25 minutes. In the language usage section, 18 to 20 sentences with underlined portions are given in each question. The examinee has to identify grammatical errors and correct sentences. There are 60 multiple choice questions given in this section, which are to be answered in 15 minutes. The numerical skills section consists of 25 questions that are to be solved in 20 minutes. The whole test takes 1 hour to complete. There can be additional 7 demographic items and 10 local interest questions. These additional questions may be given to the examinee before actual test or after the completion of actual test.
CAPT is a paper and pencil test. It is scored by a qualified assessment center or independent test administrator. The test scores are released shortly after taking the test. The passing scores set by ACT for reading, language usage and numerical skills sections are 43, 42 and 41 respectively. A retest can be taken provided there is a genuine reason behind low scoring or not taking the test, which should be other than lack of ability.
Schedule and Exam fees-
The official information about available testing dates, centers and fees can be obtained by contacting American College Testing International at its official site. The contact form for inquiring about CPAT is available at http://www.act.org/cpat/contact.html. The information about CPAT can also be obtained by phone on 319/337-1893.