Put a CAAP on it!

Carissa Doolittle, Contributing Writer

What is the CAAP? Who has to take it? Why do we have to take it?

The abbreviation CAAP stands for Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency, which is a set of standardized tests developed to measure student’s achievement levels in six different areas. These areas include: reading, writing skills, writing essay, critical thinking, mathematics, and science.

Schools that choose to assess student skills in a specific area use the CAAP exams. The exams are designed to help the school you are attending evaluate the effectiveness of the education you and the rest of the students have received and identify areas that may need to be enhanced. The CAAP exams can also be beneficial to students and their advisor to help evaluate individual skill levels and determine how to best help the student achieve academic success.

According to the CAAP student guide, “the fundamental skills being measured are important for functioning in today’s society and for completing upper level college work.”

All scores are kept confidential, but CAAP will provide information on achievement in selected academic skills. Students will be able to compare their ability levels with other students from their school.

To be eligible for graduation from any South Dakota institution, students have to pass the CAAP exam. The test will be timed and must be taken during a designated time offered each fall and spring semester. If a student fails to complete or pass the CAAP exam the college may suspend the student from classes and/or delay graduation.

In the state of South Dakota students who meet the following criteria will sit for the CAAP. Students seeking their Baccalaureate degree, who have completed 48 or more credit hours at/or above the 100-credit level sentence needs completing. Also students seeking an Associate degree who have completed 32 credit hours at/or above the 100-credit level have to take the CAAP. The college prior to the test date will notify all students who meet the requirements to take the CAAP exam.

“Students will receive the results and explanation of how to interpret their achievement as soon as possible,” said Vice President Cathy Johnson.

BHSU faculty, along with the South Dakota Board of Regents, has determined the minimum required score of each exam needed to pass. Students who do not meet the required score will have the opportunity to retake the exams not met.

Although some students feel that these tests are overrated and unnecessary, some believe they can be quite beneficial to colleges. With CAAP exams colleges can assess how professors and students are performing. With that in mind if you are a student selected to take the exam please put the appropriate amount effort into taking the exam, that way BHSU can have a fairly accurate evaluation of the college’s performance.