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Assessment Resources

Character Skills Assessment (CSA)

Because Character Matters

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A student’s character deserves the same attention as his or her cognitive ability in the assessment process. The CSA is a groundbreaking initiative that offers a transformative opportunity for the way you manage the admission process, communicate the value of your school, and shape your student communities. A supplement to cognitive measures, the CSA reports on the character qualities, or “non-cognitive” attributes, of individual student applicants. Formally launching in Fall 2017, the CSA was developed in conjunction with experts in the field of non-cognitive research and admission professionals. 

The word “character” is used to describe the same general set of human qualities and attributes The Enrollment Management Association seeks to measure in the admission selection process. Following a series of deliberations and votes conducted among the educational leaders represented in the pilot group member schools (G32), the following attributes were identified as critical to success in independent schools: resilience, grit, curiosity, growth mindset, empathy, integrity, motivation, self-efficacy, and self-control.

The CSA relies heavily on the Situation Judgement Test model. Situation Judgment Tests (SJTs) are an increasingly common psychometric technique for measuring interpersonal and intrapersonal attributes. Respondents are presented with a scenario, and various answer options are provided. Test takers rank answers, select the best fit, or choose the best and the worst among them, and in doing so reveal their preferences and habits about self control, empathy, collaboration, and much more.  These innovative item types will be a significant part of the CSA.

We are pleased to offer students in grades 5-10 who create an account on SSAT.org this year, as well as students enrolled in our G32Plus schools, the ability to participate in the field trial of this innovative new assessment.  We look forward to a future in which assessing the ability of a child to succeed in our schools is transformed!

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