Link to frequently asked questions about the ACAT Link to a list of ACAT disciplines, forms, and content options Link to information about the ACAT Online Link to page about the ACAT-N Link to a table comparing paper and online versions
Link to page of printable forms Link to a list of fees and services Link to secure online order site Link to page containing national average scores for the ACAT Link to page about PACAT Incorporated
What ACAT disciplines are available?

Art (1)
Criminal Justice (2)
Literature in English (1)
Political Science
Psychology (2)
Social Work (2)

  1. Single version only.
  2. Pre-post gain baccalaureate reference groups available.

How do we choose ACAT content areas?

  • Departments select the length of test and combination of content areas best representing their requirements for the major. Customization is accomplished by including specific content area components. We do not customize ACAT at the level of individual questions.

  • ACAT Agriculture, Political Science, and Social Work are available in different fixed content configurations.

  • ACAT Art and Literature in English are available in a single configuration only.

  • To see the areas available for a discipline, click on the link to the discipline above or click here for the disciplines and their options.

  • ACATs assume approximately 70% of the students taking ACAT have been expected to learn 70% of the material assessed by a content area while studying for the major. The average graduating senior is expected to correctly answer half the questions, allowing students from different programs at different institutions to score comparably while not mastering identical content.

Can we use different ACATs for different groups of students?

  • Departments needing to assess content mastery in multiple concentrations or on multiple campuses can do so using different institution codes. The same or different versions of ACAT can be used. The department should notify us in advance if they intend to use this option and provide a 2 or 3 word description of each subgroup.

Can we change the areas we assess?

  • Departments changing their ACAT configuration should clearly indicate this on their order and provide a complete list of areas to appear on their new ACAT. A department wishing to change its ACAT configuration after administering it at least once during the same year (June 1 to May 31) will be charged an administrative fee for managing the change. Please refer to the list of special fees for the current amount. If you are changing the content areas on your ACAT, contact us to ask if the fee will apply.

When do we administer ACAT?

  • ACAT used as a senior exit test should be administered as close as possible to completion of the course of study.

  • Pretests are typically administered at declaration of the major. ACAT requires at least 1 year between pre- and post-test to provide gain scores against our national sample of pre-post examinees. We do not recommend shorter intervals. ACAT is calibrated to measure the overall impact of the major and should not be used to evaluate a single course or a single term of study.

  • ACAT can be administered to a group, individually, or through an assessment center. We do not have assigned administration dates or windows for ACAT.

  • Because ACAT and ACAT Online are available for administration interchangeably, departments and assessment offices can administer them under the broadest possible circumstances to ensure the best student response.

Can we see a sample of the questions before we make our decision?

  • Samples must be requested using a Sample Request form which includes an agreement to provide appropriate security for the test. PACAT does not charge for this service and the sample copy remains the property of PACAT Inc. If you are unable to print the form, call us to have one sent to you.

  • A sample may be retained for up to 90 days after which it must be returned to PACAT.

  • Samples are provided for the sole purpose of departmental review and may not be used or distributed for use as study guides. Copies must not be made for any reason. We reserve the right to fully verify requests before processing them.

How is ACAT revised?

  • ACAT is revised using items submitted by faculty from participating departments. This ensures the best fit between content assessed and the learning goals of the departments using the instrument.


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