Test Assessing Secondary Completion
In a bid to offer an opportunity to adults interested in completing a high school diploma, McGraw-Hill and CTB have together launched a service called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). Developed in lines with the requirements of the high school knowledge bank, the TASC program is an affordable option for adult learners seeking to complete a high school certification that opens the gates to college degrees.
Candidates passing the TASC tests are awarded a diploma by their respective state.
Advantages of TASC
TASC was launched in January 2014 as an affordable national high school equivalent assessment program. The assessment, including the admission fee, costs $52. Besides:
- TASC has aligned its course with the latest information in adherence to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which ensures high quality education;
- it offers two free retests;
- applicants are provided study material and supplements;
- examinations are conducted in the pencil-paper format (PPT) as well as computer-based testing (CBT) format;
- students can choose an examination centre of their convenience; and,
- states have the option to decide if students of their respective provinces applying for the TASC can take advantage of previous GED credits.
McGraw-Hill and CTB have designed the syllabus to ensure a modest transition year-on-year for candidates to easily understand and assimilate the subject matter thoroughly.
Subjects to study
TASC tests a candidate's knowledge and readiness for college and work through five subjects:
- Social Studies
In the launch year, TASC will assess its candidates through PPT and CBT formats using the following methods:
- Multiple-choice questions
- Writing assessment
- Gridded-response in mathematics
- Stimulus-based testing in science and social studies through multiple-choice questions
Candidates are provided three forms in English and Spanish, which can be accessed in large print, audio format, Braille and as online assessment.
In 2015, TASC is expected to introduce additional examination formats, including constructed response. It is also expected to introduce Artificial Scoring in 2016.
PPT vs. CBT
The pencil-paper testing method is the best option for candidates who:
- do not have access to internet labs and/or quick internet connection;
- are not comfortable with online assessment formats; and,
- are unable to find an accommodation for online testing.
The computer-based testing format is most suitable for candidates as:
- it offers a simple interface that helps students navigate through the test using a mouse, and ample time to type out essays;
- it is secured with latest technology that protects students answers and personal information; and,
- it provides instant scores at the end of the test. Only those portions of the test that require hand-scoring are out of this ambit.
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When do I know my grades?
TASC's assessment format offers Career and College Readiness (CCR) scores.
Candidates appearing for the CBT examination can check their grades as soon as they complete the assessment. Those opting for the PBT format will be informed of their scores within 10 days of appearing for the examination.
Those intending to take up the TASC examinations need to ensure they are:
- not enrolled in high school
- not high school graduates
- minimum 16 years old
- abide by the respective state requirements of age, domicile, duration since leaving school, etc.
Benefits for examinees with disabilities
In line with the ADA Amendments Act, 2008, TASC has made its examination format convenient for people with disabilities. These accommodations allow:
- examinees to carry with them earplugs, seat cushions and magnifying glasses with no formal approval.
- examinees to request the testing centre in advance for certain support systems by submitting the request form.
- examinees to request the testing centre for special alternate examination formats, such as large print and Braille. They are required to complete the request form and submit it in advance.
examinees to request for extra time to complete the examination. To avail this facility, candidates need to provide supporting documents with the request form in advance.
Candidates are provided with scratch paper at the centre. For more details on allowable resources, check here
Recognition of TASC scores
The TASC certificate stands equal to a high school diploma. Hence, most states recognize these scores. However, some states expect candidates applying to colleges to also submit SAT scores or appear for a placement test.
McGraw-Hill has compiled a few sample test papers that examinees may practice with taking the actual test. These are available at http://www.tasctest.com/resources.html