Several states, such as New York, Indiana, and West Virginia, use the TASC™ (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) exam for their high school equivalency (HSE) testing programs.
The HSE test provides individuals who haven’t completed their regular high school curriculum with the chance to acquire a credential that’s equivalent to a conventional high school diploma.
It is quite difficult to say which of the two options, the GED® or the TASC, is better, but we can take a look at some of the major differences.
Students living in states that use the TASC exclusively cannot take the GED test if they are pursuing a high-school equivalency diploma. They are required to take the TASC exam instead.
GED or TASC
TASC is, just like the GED exam, a test that assesses your academic knowledge level and critical reasoning skills. Passing the exam shows you have skills and knowledge comparable to persons that graduated from high school.
Most states continued using the GED, some states only use the TASC, and others switched to the HiSET exam for the purpose of HSE testing. An increasing number of states offer students a choice between the GED, HiSET, and TASC exams.
It’s good to realize that these three available high-school equivalency tests are not identical. The GED includes four independent modules or subtests that must be taken entirely in a computer-based format. GED testing covers the academic subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.
The TASC exam is offered both in a computer-based format and in a paper-based form (except for New Jersey where only computer-based testing is offered) and contains five independent tests covering English Reading, English Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.
This website mainly covers what’s on the GED tests, so in this post, let’s take a closer look at what TASC testing entails. The GED exam is now offered in an online proctored format as well which includes several online tools such as a whiteboard and a scratchpad. Online TASC testing is not available.
As with the GED, the TASC subtests measure what students need to know relative to graduating high school students. The states that only use the TASC exam are New York, Indiana, and West Virginia but a growing number of states offer multiple options to students looking to secure a high school equivalency diploma.
States that offer the TASC exam
Today, the TASC exam is available in California, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, Mississipi, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The TASC exam test is developed by Data Recognition Corp. Check here for an overview by state.
In 2014, some important changes to the GED test were unveiled. The test was offered exclusively on a computer, it was aligned to the American Common Core Standards, and the cost of testing increased considerably.
As a result, two alternative tests, the TASC and HiSET exams, were introduced and a selection of states opted for using one or more of these options for their high school equivalency testing programs.
As to what you need to know to be successful on the TASC or GED exam, the academic requirements are quite the same. The two most noticeable differences between the GED and TASC exams are the format flexibility and the cost.
The TASC is more affordable than the GED and is available both as a paper-and-pencil and a computerized test. Students additionally have the option to take the TASC in Spanish but that also counts for the GED. The TASC exam is also available in Braille, large-print, or in an audio version for students that have special needs.
One more advantage that the TASC exam has over the GED is that it will gradually be aligned to the U.S. Common Core State Standards. This helps students to stay competitive both for educational and professional purposes as they will be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge are up to par with contemporary standards.
Students report that the TASC Math portion is more challenging than the GED mat section. The TASC exam requires a better and deeper understanding of all academic fields, but especially the subject areas of science and math, they say.
The TASC exam assesses everything, from chemistry to trigonometry, and students must be prepared to put in a lot of studying to become successful in the five TASC modules.
So the TASC exam is currently offered in 15 states and three states use the TASC exam exclusively (New York, Indiana, and West-Virginia). Though, in general, the TASC is more affordable than the GED, the cost varies by state. Please check here to see the price in your state.
The five TASC subtests will take you 445 minutes in total to complete but, as said earlier, you have the option to take the subtests individually as you can with the four GED modules. Let’s take a closer look at the five TASC subtests (English writing, English reading, science, social studies, and math).
What is on the TASC exam?
- Writing – The TASC Writing section lasts 105 minutes and includes multiple-choice questions that measure your English language knowledge. It includes writing an essay based on a prompt that includes one or two texts. You must proficiency in constructing an argument defending your point of view demonstrating correct spelling and following the rules of grammar. For TASC Writing practice tests, click here.
- Reading – The TASC Reading portion is 75 minutes long and here, your ability to identify the main idea of a given text is assessed as well as finding supporting details. You may be asked to compare different texts and determine style and arguments. The texts you will be given may be nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. For TASC Reading practice tests, click here.
- Science – The TASC Science subtest takes 85 minutes to complete and it covers life science, physical science, and Earth and space science. These questions cover the fields of energy, matter, cellular life, waves, ecosystems, geology, evolution, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. For TASC Science practice tests, click here.
- Social studies – The TASC Social Studies subtest lasts 75 minutes and covers U.S. and world history, civics and government, geography, and economics. The most-covered subject fields are civics and government, U.S. history, and economics. For TASC Social Studies practice test, click here.
- Math – The TASC Math portion is 105 minutes in length and it covers algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics. You are allowed to use a scientific calculator for just a part of this subtest and you will also receive a formula sheet so memorizing all sorts of math formulas is not needed, just as on the GED exam. Most math questions on the TASC math portion are in the multiple-choice format. For TASC Math practice tests, click here.
TASC passing score
On each of the five TASC subtests, the passing is 500 meaning your overall score must be at least 2500 points. Additionally, your essay, which is scored on a scale from 1 to 8, must be at least have a 2-score.
If you didn’t pass a section on the first try, you may retake that part for free. In total, you are given two retakes for free.
As stated above, if you took the test on a computer, your scores will be available right away (actually three hours after you took the test except for the essay part). If you took the paper-based version, you’ll receive your some 10 days after you took the test. Keep in mind, that in New Jersey, the TASC exam is only offered computer-based.
The scores students will receive at taking the TASC exam are College and Career Readiness (CCR) scores. Students attaining satisfactory CCR scores have demonstrated to be well-prepared at a level comparable to American high school graduates.
As said before, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (or TASC) is offered both on paper and on a computer, and test-takers can theoretically take the TASC exam anywhere but this on their state’s regulations.
The cost of TASC testing includes two retakes at no charge and score reports will be available instantaneously if students use the computerized format (except for the essay section) while scores will be available in around 10 working days if the take the paper-based version. To learn all about the price of TASC testing in your state, check out the linked page and select your state
Students that have earned their high school equivalency diplomas qualify for a college education and the credential will open up the doors to better-paying jobs, new or better careers, and brighter futures in general.
Without a high school or equivalent diploma, millions of American adults will not be able to take the next steps to improve their lives. Individuals without a secondary education degree will earn some $9,600 less annually on average than those who hold a high school or GED diploma.
And if you would go on to college and attain am associate’s, bachelor’s, or some other advanced degree or training, that difference will only get bigger and bigger.
In conclusion, the diploma that you’ll receive upon completing the TASC exam, just like the GED, shows that you command the same knowledge and skills as persons who completed their regular high school curriculum. Passing the TASC exam will definitely help you become more successful.
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