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Home > About NOVA > Directories & Offices > Administrative Offices > Academic Assessment > For Students > FAQ for Information Literacy for PSY 201 Students

FAQ for Information Literacy Test

Q: What are Core Competencies?
A: Core Competencies are general education areas in which graduates of Virginia higher education institutions should attain some level of proficiency.  The Core Competencies are: Written Communication, Technology/Information Literacy, Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Reasoning, Critical Thinking, and Oral Communication.

Q: Why is NOVA assessing Information Literacy skills? And why this way?
A: NOVA assesses general education core competencies for many reasons – to learn more about their students’ abilities; to support NOVA’s reaffirmation by SACS; and sometimes to meet VCCS requirements. VCCS uses the Information Literacy Test (ILT) to measure general student abilities to locate and use information; NOVA has therefore adopted this test for its own independent assessments. The ILT is a multiple-choice test.

Q: Why have I been contacted to take this test?
A: NOVA is collecting information from students in various courses across the College for all core competencies.  For this semester, PSY 201 has been chosen for your campus for information literacy skills.

Q: Is this assessment mandatory?
A: Participation by NOVA students is extremely important and we hope that students will want to take part, because these kinds of assessments help us improve teaching and learning. Your instructor may include this activity in your course or suggest it as extra-credit; you should check with your instructor about this.

Q: How can my taking the test help NOVA improve teaching and learning?
A: The more evidence we have about our students' abilities, the better we can accurately evaluate the types of courses and programs that have an impact on student learning.

Q: Will this assessment affect my grades?
A: Your instructor may decide to include this activity in your coursework. However, your score on the assessment activity does not affect your grade.

Q: Will my instructor see the results?
A: If your instructor decides to include this activity as an assignment, you will need to give him/her information that you took the exam. Please check with your instructor on this. Most likely you will print out the last screen before you shut the IE window or copy and paste the info on the last screen into an email to your instructor. However, the score itself is not important and if it makes you more comfortable, you can cross it out/remove it from your submission to your instructor.

Q: What happens with my score?
A: Student scores will be aggregated so that they are combined with those of all the NOVA students so that we can have a “snapshot” of the overall abilities of NOVA students.

Q: Should I study for this test?
A: No, you do not need to study for this test. The purpose of this assessment is to learn about the general abilities our students have in information literacy skills, not to test the content of any one course or book.

Q: How long will the test take?
A: You should set aside about 60-75 minutes to take the test.

Q: How do I access the test?
A: You should access the test online at http://carstest.jmu.edu/library. This site is for several assessment exams; please make sure you choose “Information Literacy Test”. Instructions for accessing and logging in to the test are also available on the academic assessment website.

Q: How will you know if I've taken the test?
A: Once you have completed the exam, the results are submitted to the ILT database. NOVA will receive a list of students who have taken the test after the semester ends. Since NOVA does not receive the list after the semester ends, it is therefore important for you to print out the last screen or email the results if your instructor needs to see that you took the exam; we will not have that information to give to the instructor.