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The Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) test is designed to compare adult learners’ academic skills to those of high school seniors. TASC consists of five different tests: reading, writing, social studies, science and math, and takes around nine hours to complete.
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Format and scoring of TASC tests
The TASC can be taken on a computer or paper (it’s usually up to you to decide how you’d prefer to take the test).
It’s worth checking with your local test center as some will be computers only, while others will be paper only. If you have a strong preference either way then consider finding a test center a little further afield to ensure you’re comfortable with the method you’ll use.
The test normally takes up to nine hours to complete, but this will be split over two days.
This is the breakdown for how long you’ll have to complete each section of the TASC:
- Reading: 75 minutes
- Writing: 105 minutes
- Math: 105 minutes
- Social studies: 75 minutes
- Sciences: 75 minutes
Before taking the test you’ll need to register to create a profile. This varies by State, but you should be able to find specific information on your State’s policy online.
You’ll then be required to go to your nearest test center to take the TASC (these tend to be community colleges or adult education centers).
To reach the end goal of getting your high school equivalency diploma, you’ll need to pass each individual section of the test.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to score at least 500 in each of the five sections, as well as two out of eight for the written essay.
If you do fail the test, don’t panic. You can retake up to three times a calendar year.
Tips for taking TASC tests
Here are our top five tips for taking the TASC successfully:
1) Practice is everything
It’s no surprise that people who prepare for the TASC consistently perform better than those who don’t. There are plenty of resources online that can help you to practice and ensure you familiarize yourself with the question style and format, as well as the wide variety of principles you’ll be covering across the five different sections.
2) Make a study plan
This is a great way to start your preparation and ensure you don’t end up leaving it until the last minute. Ensure you dedicate more time (and time when you’re likely to be at your most alert) to the areas you struggle more with, and start reading and learning the information likely to come up on the test before you move onto past papers.
3) Set up the right environment
Practicing is a lot easier and more successful if you’re able to find a quiet, well-lit space in which to work. Make sure you time any practice tests you take so you can ensure you’re keeping up with the clock.
4) Think outside the box
It can get repetitive learning concepts and then checking you understand them by practicing a paper. So make time to practice in new ways. You could reread a favourite Shakespeare play, find a mathematical game to play or create flashcards that help you to remember key scientific principles.
5) Take regular breaks
As tempting as it can be to do nothing but TASC preparation, you need to look after your physical and mental wellbeing too. Take regular breaks, ensure you get plenty of water and fresh air, and don’t be tempted to forgo sleep for practice time.
How do I register for a TASC test?
Registering depends on your State. Most will require you to register online to create a profile. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to select a test center at a location, time and date convenient to you.
How long is a TASC test?
Typically the test takes around nine hours to complete, but this will be split over a two-day period so as to give you sufficient time to rest. Each section varies in length from 75 to 105 minutes.
How many times can you take the TASC test?
You can retake the TASC three times every calendar year. Your first two retakes are free, but after that you’ll be charged. How soon you can retake the TASC after a failed test is up to each individual State.
If you’ve passed some sections but failed others, you’ll only need to retake the sections you’ve failed, not the whole test. And if you’ve previously taken the GED, your pass marks can be carried over and included within your TASC score.
Is the TASC test the same as the GED?
The TASC has replaced the GED in many States. It’s generally thought to be more cost-effective and provides better accessibility options for candidates.
Whether you take the TASC or GED, if you pass you’ll be awarded with a high school equivalency diploma. So in that respect the end result of the test is the same.
How much is the TASC test?
The fee to take the TASC test differs State by State. Although you’ll need to pay to take the test initially, you do get two free retakes if you fail. But after that you’ll be charged $10.40 for each retake.
What is a good TASC test score?
The good thing about the TASC is you either pass or fail. To pass, you’ll need to score 500 on each section of the test, as well as two out of eight on the written essay.