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What Is the TASC Test?

The TASC exam is a recognized high school equivalency (HSE) test designed by the Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) and the CTB. It is recognized as a valid HSE test across a large portion of the United States.

People who never received a high school diploma, but who wish to enter the workforce, can use TASC tests to advance their employment opportunities. Because of iteffect on your future employment, proper preparation is highly recommended.

Why Should I Take the TASC Test?

A high school equivalency certification opens more doors than you may think. Whether you want to get a promotion, apply for a better job, or earn your college degree, a high school equivalency diploma can help you achieve it. TASC tests are readily available in 12 states, including New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas, and are considered to be a superior within the realm of HSE tests.

Though the test has been known to be on the challenging, the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the TASC testing process properly prepare you for your future career endeavors. The TASC test is likewise treated as a significant indicator of college and career readiness by countless of employers and colleges across the U.S. For more information about the TASC testing process and for further TASC prep, visit our TASC FAQ page.

TASC Subjects and Sections

The TASC test is made up of five subtests, and it is administered in either English or Spanish. In order to gain a TASC High School Equivalency certification, all five subtests must be taken and passed. Each subtest is designed in alignment with the United States Common Core Curriculum. The five subtests making up the TASC test include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies

The following table specifies test items and testing times by subtest:

TASC Test Items and Testing Time

Subtest Test Items Testing Time
Reading 50 multiple-choice items
7–8 passages
75 minutes
Writing Part 1: 50 multiple-choice items
Part 2: 1 prompt (text based)
Part 1: 55 minutes
Part 2: 50 minutes
Total: 105 minutes
Mathematics Part 1: 40 multiple-choice items
Part 2: 12 gridded-response items
Part 1: 55 minutes
Part 2: 50 minutes
Total: 105 minutes
Science 47 multiple-choice items
8 stimuli
75 minutes
Social Studies 47 multiple-choice items
8 stimuli
75 minutes

TASC tests are administered in their respective states three times a year, and they can be taken on paper or as a computerized test. For a more extensive understanding of test items and subject areas on the TASC test, and for even more free TASC test practice visit our Free TASC Practice page.

TASC Reading

The TASC Reading test assesses reading readiness in alignment with the Common Core's high school standard of college and career readiness. 70% of the exam is comprised of informational texts and the remaining 30% is allocated to literary texts. Both of these areas require students to demonstrate knowledge of key ideas and details, as well as craft and structure skills. Students must also be able to integrate key ideas and knowledge into their answers.

Upon reading the various texts provided on the test, students will be asked to answer questions assessing these four concepts:

  • Comprehension – Test takers must demonstrate a basic understanding of the texts.
  • Analysis – Test takers must be able to evaluate how specific details are used within the text and provide an explanation of them.
  • Application – Test takers must be able to use ideas and themes from one text in different contexts and scenarios.
  • Synthesis – Test takers must demonstrate the understanding that major ideas and themes within the text can come together to create a larger message.

You should expect to receive texts in the form of stories, drama, poems, myths, and nonfiction. Acquainting yourself with these text types will help you build proper comprehension, analysis, application, and synthesis skills to guide you through the test items. The more TASC prep you expose yourself to, the better prepared you will be for the TASC Reading test. For even more TASC practice tests, visit our Free TASC Practice page.

TASC Writing

The TASC Writing test evaluates student language and writing abilities in alignment with the Common Core standards for grades 7–12. Students must display proper demonstration of four elements throughout both sections of the Writing test:

  • Organization- Test takers must be able to properly express ideas, sentences, and paragraphs.
  • Sentence structure – Test takers must be able to identify run-ons, fragments, and parallel structures.
  • Usage – Test takers must be able to apply correct grammar, parts of speech, and tense.
  • Mechanics – This includes basic writing technicalities such as capitalization, punctuation, and possessives.

In addition to the writing technicalities that must be displayed in your writing responses, the writing prompt section will require you to write a convincing argument with supportable evidence that demonstrates thoughtful organization. Proper grammar usage will also be rewarded in the scoring process. Be sure to carefully plan and organize your writing throughout your TASC prep and practice. In addition, proofread your work to ensure there are no grammatical or technical errors.To further enhance your TASC preperation, and to receive even more TASC practice tests, visit our Free TASC Practice page.

TASC Mathematics

The TASC Math test focuses on mathematical abilities that contribute to college and career readiness. Calculator usage is permitted for only the second half of the test. The main focus of this subtest is on mathematical reasoning skills. These reasoning skills are assessed through basic math questions, word problems, algebra, and geometry. For more information on the TASC Math test and what the test entails, and for even more TASC test practice visit our TASC Math Practice page.

TASC Science

The TASC Science test assesses students according to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The test centers around the follow subjects:

  • Life sciences – molecules and organisms, ecosystems, hereditary sciences, and biological evolution
  • Earth sciences – various systems utilized on earth, earth's placement in the universe, and human activity
  • Space sciences – matter, motion and stability (force), and various wave types

33% of test items focus on physical sciences, 34% on life sciences, and the remaining 33% on earth and space sciences. In order to receive proper perperation, be sure to dedicate the right amount of time to each of these subject areas and continue to expose yourself to TASC practice tests. The more time you dedicate to practice, the better acquainted you will become with the material, and the more likely you will be to pass your TASC exam. 

TASC Social Studies

The TASC Social Studies subtest is made up of a number of content areas that are considered "high emphasis areas." The TASC Social Studies test is comprised of the following subject areas:

  • US History – This subject area focuses on four different history eras: colonial times, Civil War times, WWI-WWII—with a strong emphasis on the Great Depression, and the Post War era. In addition to the historical events addressed in test items, test takers are also asked a number of questions focusing on monumental figures who contributed to U.S. history.
  • World History – This subject area mainly focuses on the two World Wars, but it also dedicates some items to the Revolution era (1750-1914) throughout the globe.
  • Civics and Government – Test takers should familiarize themselves with U.S. government structure as well as U.S. citizen rights. Specific emphasis will focus on the U.S.'s checks and balances system.
  • Geography – Test items in this area cover U.S. places and regions, environment, and human systems and societies.  
  • Economics – This includes microeconomics, as well as macroeconomics, inflation, and unemployment. Test takers should also familiarize themselves with the Federal Reserve System.

In order to succeed in your TASC prep, it is important that you familiarize yourself with these high emphasis areas. The bulk of the test is dedicated to U.S. History (25%) and Civics and Government (25%). Economics comprises 20% of test questions, while World History and Geography each cover 15% of test items. Focusing on the larger subject areas will ensure a higher chance of success on test day.

For a deeper understanding of the various tests on the TASC test and to familiarize yourself with more TASC question types, visit our Free TASC Practice page.

What Scores Do I Need?

To pass the TASC test and receive a valid HSE certification, you must pass all five subtests and demonstrate a skill set that meets or surpasses approximately 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. Thus, if you do pass the TASC test, it means you have demonstrated the same knowledge ability as 40 percent of high school graduates across the United States. Each TASC subtest requires a passing grade of 500 or higher. The writing prompt in part 2 of the Writing subtest requires a score of 2 out of 8 or higher.

Should a candidate fail a particular subtest, he or she may take that subtest again. However, there is no need to retake the entire exam. For a more extensive explanation of how to interepret your TASC scores, visit our TASC Results page.

How to Prepare for the TASC Test

Passing five different subject areas on the TASC test is no easy feat, especially since TASC test takers are required to learn the material outside of a classroom setting. Thus, properly preparing with study time and practice tests can be the key to your success on the test. Test Prep-Online has the resources to help you do just that. With our authentic TASC study guides and practice tests, you will arrive at test day feeling confident and prepared to embark on the opportunities that will arise with your newly acquired HSE certification. Begin your TASC preparation today. 

Related Links

TASC Math Practice      Free TASC Practice and Samples

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