CFAA - Assessment and Teaching

For Students…

All Major Field and Senior Exit exams are administered in Testing in the Center for Academic Achievement.

Major Field Test FAQs

Senior Exit Exam FAQs

Major Field Test

Every year, seniors graduating in specified majors are required to take tests related to their major coursework. Tests are administered on a walk-in basis on scheduled dates and times.

What is the purpose of the major field test? The tests evaluate students’ knowledge in their major. Test results help the university and the department to evaluate the curriculum within the major. Each program participates in major field testing at least once every 5 years. Some majors establish the test as part of their graduation requirements.

When do I take the Major Field Test?  Students required to take the Major Field Test will be contacted by their departments with dates and locations of tests.  If your major appears and you do not know when you  are to take the test, contact your major department.

What tests are happening in 2013-14?

  • Biology
  • Digital Media
  • Geography
  • Mathematics

Senior Exit Exam/CCTST

Who has to take the Senior Exit Exam/CCTST?  If you have completed at least 96 credit hours of coursework you are a senior.  Having reached this important milestone, you can now take the Senior Exit Exam.  The state of Tennessee requires students attending state-supported universities to take a Senior Exit Exam as a graduation requirement.  ETSU administers the CCTST, California Critical Thinking Skills Test to meet this requirement. Please be advised that failure to take the exam will result in having the student's diploma held until this condition is met.

Is the CCTST the same as the Major Field Test?  Please note that the CCTST is different from the Major Field Test.  All seniors must take the CCTST; only selected majors take the Major Field Test.  You will be contaacted by your department with dates and locations of tests if you are required to take the Major Field Test. If you are graduating from a program that requires a Major Field Test, you must complete both the CCTST and the Major Field Test .

Where do students take the CCTST?  Students take the CCTST in the Center for Academic Achievement – Testing Services, located in Sherrod Library.  For hours or directions, please visit Testing Services.

What is required for students to take the CCTST at Testing Services?  You must have your ETSU Student ID card to verify your identity and E-number. The CCTST consists of 34 questions and is designed to be completed in 45-50 minutes. To do your best, you should spend the 45-50 minutes on the test.

When do students contact Testing Services?  Contact Testing Services  or (423) 439-6708 if . . .

  • you have questions about testing and/or Testing Services;
  • you are completing your degree online or at an off-campus site and want to take the CCTST at a testing center near you; an administrative fee may be required for off-campus proctoring

When do students contact Office of Assessment and Teaching?  Contact Office of Assessment and Teaching at ; (423) 439-7484 if. . .

  • You have already taken the CCTST;
  • You are a second degree candidate;
  • You are registered with Disability Services; or
  • English is not your primary language.  

What test information should students consider reviewing before taking the CCTST?

Test Information

The California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) measures critical thinking in five areas:

  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Inference
  • Evaluation and Explanation
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning

The CCTST Total Score is the most valid measure of overall strength in critical thinking (purposeful reflective judgment). To score well overall, the test-taker must excel in the sustained, focused and integrated application of analysis, interpretation, inference, evaluation, explanation, deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. This score predicts the capacity for success in educational or workplace contexts demanding reasoned decision making and problem solving.

The 2012-2013 national mean for the CCTST was 16.71 for 4 year college and university level test takers.  CCTST Total scores in the range 0 to 7 do not manifest evidence of critical thinking. Scores in range 8-12 are 'Weak,' 13-18 are 'Moderate' scores, 19 to 24 are 'Strong' and 25 or higher are 'Superior.'

How can students prepare to take the CCTST?

How to Prepare for Test

The makers of the CCTST offer the following advice on how students can get ready to take a critical thinking test:  "A critical thinking skills test engages you with questions that require you to apply your skills.  Typically a critical thinking test will present some information or a scenario of some kind and then ask questions about it, but the questions will invite you to analyze or interpret the information presented, or to draw a reasonable conclusion based on that information.  A critical thinking dispositions measure typically invites the person to agree or disagree with a series of statements."

You can access information and sample questions at:

What should a student do if the test is complete and a Senior Exit Exam/CCTST hold is still on record?  There is a time lag between when the Office of Assessment and Teaching inputs names of those who have taken the test and when the graduation office removes the holds.  The process can take up to two weeks from when a student takes the test, but it is always completed before the final deadlines for graduation.  Should students have questions and or concerns then they should contact Office of Assessment and Teaching; ; (423) 439-7484 if. . .

Should students do their best on the CCTST?

Please do your best on the CCTST. Employers and graduate programs value the ability to problem solve.  Also, by students doing their best this raises ETSU's institutional score; the better ETSU looks the better students look. And finally the analysis of test results will help improve future ETSU programs and services.