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Other titles in the REA Test Preps series:
Clast (Rea) - The Best Test Prep for the College Level Academic Skills Test (REA Test Preps)by Paul Linnehan
How to Pass the CLAST
About this Book
This book provides you with an accurate and complete representation of Florida's College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST). Inside you will find brisk topical reviews designed to provide you with the information and strategies needed to pass the exam*, and two full-length practice tests based on the current format of the CLAST.
REA's tests were developed by experts in the Florida higher-education community to adhere to the same timed conditions and content coverage as the actual test. In fact, our practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the CLAST. Following each test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you master the test material.
About the Test
Who takes the test and what is it used for?
The College-Level Academic Skills Test is administered by the Florida State Department of Education to measure academic skills at the undergraduate level. Tens of thousands of students take the test each year, usually after completing 60 credits on the undergraduate level. The CLAST is the leading means by which Florida's undergraduates demonstrate attainment of basic college-level communication and computational skills. Such proficiency is required of three specific groups of people:
1) Students enrolled in a public community college pursuing an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree must pass the test before graduating.
2) Students enrolled in a baccalaureate program in many public four-year colleges must pass the CLAST upon reaching the 60-credit mark.
* This book will prepare you effectively for either the paper-based CLAST or the computer-adaptive CLAST, which is better known as the CAT-CLAST.
3) Students enrolled in private institutions must take the CLAST if they are receiving state-funded financial aid. If they fail any section and wish to continue receiving aid, they must enroll in a course that will give them the skills needed to pass.
Students enrolled in public institutions who have failed each section of the CLAST may be required to pass at least three sections before being permitted to earn above 60 college credits. They may also be required to pass all four sections before earning more than 96 credits.
Under provisions of a Florida statute adopted on January 1, 1996, your institution may offer an exemption to the CLAST or to parts of it; for the latest information on how the law is being carried out, you should contact the person or office responsible for administering the CLAST at your college or university.
Who administers the test?
The CLAST is developed and administered by the Florida Department of Education. The Technical Support Contractor (TSC) works in conjunction with the Commissioner of Education to ensure the security of each test center and to maintain test conditions for each test administration.
When should the CLAST be taken?
Most students take the CLAST by the time they complete 60 undergraduate credits. Students in baccalaureate programs usually take the test by the end of their sophomore year, and students in Associate of Arts programs take the test before graduation.
When and where is the test given?
The CLAST is administered at Florida colleges and universities that are designated as test centers by the Florida Department of Education. The test is usually given on the first Saturday in October and June, and the third Saturday in February. Alternate test dates fall on the Tuesday after the regular administration for students who miss the regular administration for medical or religious reasons.
How do I register for the CLAST?
All students who are required to take the CLAST are notified by mail. Registration and test date information will be provided at that time. If you believe you are required to take the test, but have not received notification, contact your college registrar.
Should you need further information, or if you wish to request a registration application, contact:
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines St., Turlington Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Phone: (850) 487-1785
Is there a registration fee?
To take the CLAST, you will be required to pay a registration fee. You will be notified of the fee when you receive your registration material. If you feel you are eligible for a fee waiver, contact your institution's financial aid office.
How to Use this Book
What do I study first?
Take the diagnostic tests located in the reviews to determine which sections of the CLAST will give you the most difficulty. Carefully reviewing the detailed explanations of the answers will help you to understand what you are doing wrong, while cross-referencing charts will help you to determine which parts of the reviews require most of your time and concentration. These reviews include the information you need to know when taking the exam.
Complete the drills in each section to practice what you have learned. The drills will be very useful in helping you brush up on your skills. If you perform poorly on any drill, study that section of the review again.
After you have studied each review thoroughly, take the first practice test. Try to simulate actual testing conditions as closely as possible. This sample test will help you to gauge your possible performance on the actual exam. As you check your answers, note which areas still need more work. Review those areas again before taking the second practice test.
To get the most out of your studying time, we recommend that you follow the Study Schedule appearing before this introduction. It suggests a plan to help budget your study time to your best advantage.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the CLAST. The earlier you begin, the more time you have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Last-minute cramming is not helpful for this test. By studying a little bit each day, you can familiarize yourself with the test format and time limits, which will allow you to be confident and calm so that you can pass the CLAST.
Format of the CLAST
Section Time Limit Number of Questions
Essay 60 minutes 1 free-response
English Language Skills 80 minutes 40 multiple-choice
and Reading Skills 41 multiple-choice
Mathematics 90 minutes 55 multiple-choice
Total Testing Time: 3 hours and 50 minutes (for first-time test-takers)
All of the questions on the CLAST, with the exception of the Essay section, will be in multiple-choice format. The number of answer choices varies from section to section. First-time test-takers will be required to adhere to the schedule above; students who are re-taking any sections of the test will be granted twice as much time for the section they are re-taking. Although the actual time allotted for the test is just under four hours, the whole test including breaks and paperwork usually takes approximately five hours.
Sections of the CLAST
The first part of the CLAST consists of a free-response essay question. You will be presented with two topics and be asked to choose one. This section is intended to draw on your writing skills: your ability to develop a thesis relevant to the topic, to support or refute that thesis with sophisticated ideas, and to organize those ideas in a logical fashion. You will also be responsible for using standard written English; readers will look for proper punctuation, diction, sentence flow, and use of the active voice.
English Language Skills and Reading Skills Section
These two sections are administered during the same time period. The English Language section measures your familiarity with the mechanics of the English language by testing punctuation, grammar, spelling, and word choice. Questions on sentence structure test your ability to construct well-written, grammatically correct sentences.
The Reading section involves critical reading skills. You are required to identify the main idea of given passages, as well as recognize the author's tone, writing method, and approach. Moreover, you are required to understand how the mechanics of writing in the passage function to convey the idea, thesis, or imagery, and how to evaluate their validity.
The Mathematics section tests a basic understanding of the most fundamental mathematical disciplines. In this subtest, you will find questions covering Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and Logic. Multiple-choice questions will involve skills such as solving word problems, interpreting data, and applying mathematical formulas and properties. The Logic section will require you to recognize the relationship between statements in an argument and to change the statements while maintaining their meaning.
About the Review Sections
Format of the Reviews
Our reviews are written to help you understand the concepts behind CLAST test questions. The four reviews in this book correspond to the four subtests of the actual CLAST. Each review chapter is complete with drills to help reinforce the concepts as you learn them. Diagnostic tests help you to pinpoint any weak areas that may need extra attention. By using the reviews in conjunction with the practice tests, you will be able to sharpen your skills and pass the CLAST.
Essay writing skills Review
Included in this review are tips to keep in mind while developing a well-written essay. Structural suggestions and transitional clues will help you to learn the components of good writing. This review also includes a diagnostic test which gives you practice recognizing the elements of a well-structured passage, and asks you to write or rewrite sections of preexisting writings. This review will help you to focus and polish your skills so that you may pass this section of the CLAST.
English Language Skills Review
The rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation are outlined in this review. Also covered are diction and sentence structure skills, common grammatical mistakes and how to correct them. As with other reviews, this material is reinforced by drills.
Reading skills Review
This review covers the format of the reading questions as well as critical reading skills. By reviewing the concepts and the question stems simultaneously, you can develop the ability to answer the Reading section questions quickly and accurately. Studying this information and completing the drills will improve your performance on the Reading section, and will help you to reinforce your progress with the Essay Writing section as well.
Mathematics skills Review
Covered in this review are the basics of mathematics as they are addressed on the exam. You will find each topic explained in detail in simple and direct language. Sample problems and detailed solutions will help to illustrate the concepts and guide you through the best methods to determine the answer, so that you may learn how to approach similar questions on the actual test.
The book continues with Scoring the CLAST, Test-taking tips, and more.
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