College BASE, or CBASE, offers an effective, affordable option for assessing general education knowledge to enable higher education institutions to better identify academic strengths and weaknesses at the individual level or institutional level.

CBASE may also be used as a requirement for students seeking admission to teacher education programs or to meet regional accreditation requirements.


What is CBASE?

College BASE is focused on four subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, with an optional essay. The exam may be taken in its entirety, in single subjects, or in a combination of subjects as selected by an institution.

As a broad-based achievement test, College BASE assesses basic and enduring knowledge in each of the four subject areas and provides performance rankings in higher order thinking skills (interpretive, strategic, and adaptive reasoning abilities).

How Institutions Use CBASE

For decades, College BASE has been utilized nationally for assessment at both an individual level and an institutional level.

For individual students, College BASE can:

  • Assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each student
  • Evaluate the preparedness of students for upper-level coursework
  • Measure individual performance pre- and post-completion of general education requirements

For institutional research or institutional effectiveness, College BASE can:

  • Inform institutional general education goals
  • Assess campus-wide performance for institutional improvement
  • Aid the review and/or revision of general education curricula
  • Aid completion of longitudinal studies of institution-wide performance
  • Compare with national normative data or with a specific cohort group

CBASE Advantages

College BASE offers several advantages over other exams that assess general education knowledge skills:

It’s convenient.

College BASE is scheduled by institutional administrators at a time and place convenient for its students and academic calendar. The test is administered on-site, eliminating the need for students to travel to another institution or testing facility.

It’s affordable.

There are many purchasing options available.

Visit our online store for pricing information. Contact us with questions.

It’s flexible.

The modular format of College BASE allows institutions great flexibility in selecting the components that best meet their goals and educational objectives. Institutions can choose one to four subjects, with or without an essay writing assignment.


College BASE Online or Paper Comparison

College BASE can be administered either online or on paper.

(The online exam is a shorter version of the paper exam and is scored on a different scale.)

Number of Questions
(Questions from the online exam are pulled from the original paper exam and are selected after an in-depth review to remove statistically inferior items and eliminate bias.)
Reported in Raw Format
(i.e. 60 of 73 correct)
Reported in weighted format
(600 is highest score; 235 is commonly used cut score)
Time Limit
30 Minutes per Subject Area; 40 Minutes for Essay 45 Minutes per Subject Area; 40 Minutes for Essay
73 Multiple-Choice Questions with Optional Essay180 Multiple-Choice Questions; Essay Built in to English Section
Subjects Included
English, Math, Science, Social Studies, EssayEnglish (Essay Integrated), Math, Science, Social Studies
Testing Options
The online exam is flexible and modular. Institutions may select to assess students in one subject or all subjects and any combination in between depending on their particular assessment needs. Standard Subjects Option: Students may be tested in one to four subjects, with all students assigned to the same area(s). The essay may also be included.

College BASE 1:1 Option: Provides institutional summary data for all four subjects of the exam, but each student is assigned only one or two subjects. Using sampling guidelines provided by the Assessment Resource Center, the institution receives data as valid as if the entire population had been tested on all four subjects. The College BASE 1:1 option reduces administration time for each student and saves time and costs for the institution.

Basic Skills Option: Assesses certain populations of students for English and Mathematics only. The essay assignment may be included to assess student achievement of general education objectives for writing.
Build your test to pay for the section(s) administered:
$14 per student for combined English and Math sections
$14 per student for combined Science and Social Studies sections
$14 per student for Essay section
($9 per student for English, Math, Science, or Social Studies if sections are purchased individually)

Scoring, individual student reports, and one institutional report are all included in the price per student.
$91.02 for 50-pack of test booklets
$57.72 for 50-pack of answer sheets
Additional scoring fees paid per section(s) administered. 
See the Standard Scoring Order Form and the Customized Service and Report Order Form for more details.
College BASE Online FAQContact Us
CBASE Online StoreCBASE Paper Online Store


College BASE test content provides detailed descriptions of the subject areas and the reasoning competencies assessed by College BASE, as well as selected sample questions.

College BASE Test Content Standard Scoring Order Form Customized Service and Report Order Form

Additional Score Reports

If using paper administration of the exam, please send the appropriate form along with a $10 check or money order to the Assessment Resource Center (ARC), 2800 Maguire Blvd., Columbia, Missouri 65201.

Confidentiality Statement

In order to protect the confidentiality of student records, the Assessment Resource Center does not accept telephone requests for additional score reports, nor are scores and passing status released by ARC over the phone, by fax, or by email.