What do GPAs, majors and extracurricular activities have in common? They’re all inconsistent measures of students’ knowledge and abilities across different schools and campuses. The current higher education system doesn’t allow for cross campus comparisons: a finance major from Drexel with a 3.4 and an accounting from Temple with a 3.5 are hard to distinguish in the eyes of an employer.
A local Philadelphia firm has come up with a novel solution: the Certified Business Laureate Exam, a standardized business skills exam aimed at undergraduate students searching for entry-level jobs in the corporate world.
GF Education Group, the company that created the CBL Exam, was founded with the purpose of giving employers a standardized measure for evaluating entry-level job candidates, while providing students with an outlet for demonstrating their knowledge beyond their GPA.
In a recent interview, Guy Friedman, the founder of the CBL Exam, said, “The CBL Exam allows the brightest students to quickly and effectively demonstrate their academic and workplace skills, while giving employers a consistent measure of those skills across all candidates from around the country. The gains from this efficient screening measure will allow employers to focus their efforts on the most qualified candidates, in addition to the screening criteria they already use.”
The core competencies tested by the CBL Exam are finance, marketing, accounting, Microsoft Office and writing. Top Masters of Business Administration professors from the Wharton School, the University of Chicago and others were involved in the exam’s creation.
Free study materials and a business skills assessment are available on the CBL Exam website at cblexam.com. GF Education Group has made the exam more attractive to risk-averse undergraduates by only collecting payments from students who were able to obtain a job within six months of taking the exam.
While many students tend to run from the word “exam,” as an expense of both time and money, it should be considered that landing an entry-level job would more than pay for the exam fee, which is currently priced at $250.
With 25 percent of college-age students facing the prospect of being unemployed upon graduation, finding ways to stand out amongst a pool of applicants has become more important (and more difficult) than ever before. By scoring well on the CBL Exam, students can do just that by obtaining the CBL Credential and gaining access to their vast network of employers, which includes a distribution list of over 80,000 recruiters, including all firms in the Fortune 100.
Aside from benefiting students, employers are able to spend less on recruiting by having the ability to use the CBL Exam scores to better ascertain the business knowledge job candidates bring to the table. As Eddie Earnest, director of University Sales & Marketing for GF Education Group, pointed out, this should add some much needed efficiency to the transition from college to the working world.
“The CBL Exam was created to be more than merely an opportunity for ambitious students; we really strive to add value to businesses as well. It’s a basic idea with a potentially profound impact on the entire collegiate recruiting process,” Earnest said.
Testing for the CBL Exam is now open at more than 230 locations nationwide. Students may register for the exam at cblexam.com.