The test, called the Collegiate Learning Assessment, was developed with employers in mind, specifically those who distrust the grade point average that is supposed to indicate if a college graduate is ready for work, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
A recent study of grade point averages has shown they have risen for the past seven decades with the percentage of As given out in 2008 triple the percentage given out in 1940.
But many employers say that college graduates, despite higher grades, are not necessarily prepared to join the workforce, the Journal said.
"For too long, colleges and universities have said to the American public, to students and their parents, 'Trust us, we're professional. If we say that you're learning and we give you a diploma it means you're prepared,' But that's not true," said Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
The new test, which students can take after they graduate, will be available at more than 200 school in the spring, the Journal said. It can then go on a resume as confirmation that the student has the knowledge needed to go to work.
"It kind of sucks that an employer can't trust your GPA, but that's the way it is right now, so this also an opportunity. It's another way to prove yourself," said Cory LaDuke, a 21-year-old senior at St. John Fisher College, near Rochester, N.Y.
John Fisher's Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences David Pate said the new test, "provides an objective, bench-marked report card for critical thinking skills."
"The students will be able to use it to go out and market themselves," he said.