What is on the TASC test?

What is on the TASC test? The best way to prepare for your test is to know what is on the TASC test. Find answers to your questions about what to expect in the test. Learn how to study and practice for the test.

TASC test sample question
Image courtesy of TASC

What should I expect?

What is on the TASC test? This is what you can expect:

  • You will go to a test-approved site to take the TASC test
  • You cannot take the TASC test online
  • You can take the test on a computer or on paper
  • You can take the test in English or Spanish
  •  The test has 5 parts, called subtests – one for each content area (subject)

The whole test takes 7 hours 30 minutes. But you can take the 5 parts on different days. This is good for busy workers and parents. It means you can choose to study for each part of the test separately. Or you can take the parts you already know, and then use your time to study for the harder parts.

How do I know if I am ready to take the test?

You can take our free online practice tests to see if you are ready.

Should I take the test on paper or computer?

Some test sites offer the test on computer, others offer the test on paper, and some offer both choices.

If you are taking the test on a computer, you must get comfortable using the tools you will find in the test. You can try the tools on the TASC online tools training. If you are not used to computers, you may decide to practice at your test site with the actual computer, mouse and keyboard you will use in the test.

Or, you may decide you prefer the paper test. Use the official practice questions to try out answering TASC questions on paper.

You can read more about taking the TASC test on paper and about taking the TASC test online.

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What are the questions like?

What is on the TASC test? The TASC test has several different types of questions. Some are for the computer test, while others are for the paper test.

Multiple-choice questions

Multiple-choice questions are for both the computer and paper tests. A multiple-choice question gives you a choice of answers. The question might be about text, or it could be about a picture or map. It might be a diagram, including a chart, table, or graph. Below the text or image will be a question and then a list of answers, like this example to the right. You choose the right one by clicking a circle on the computer, or making a mark on paper.

example of multiple choice question

Multiple-select questions look like multiple-choice questions. But they ask you to select two or three correct answers instead of just one.

The good thing about multiple-choice questions and multiple-select questions is that the answers are always there in front of you. You just have to figure out the right one(s). To do this, you need to look carefully at the information you are given. Read the question very carefully, too. It might trick you a little bit – for example, it might say, Which answer is not true?

Gridded response

Gridded responses (answers) are used for math questions on both the paper and the computer tests. You will need to get used to this way of entering your answers before you take your math test.

With gridded responses, you will be entering your answer twice. You write each number or symbol in a square at the top. Then you fill it in again by shading the circle with the same number or symbol in the column below. Below is an example from a TASC math paper test for the answer 43.8. The grid looks like this on the computer test too.

TASC gridded response

Drag-and-drop and other computer-only questions

Drag-and-drop questions are only on the computer test. The computer test uses what TASC calls “technology-enhanced” questions. The computer technology allows you to change things on the screen. Using the mouse, you will move text boxes from a question area to an answer area. Or you might draw a line between boxes. There will be instructions included in the question. If you know how to use a mouse, the technology is very basic and easy.

Writing questions

Your TASC test will include questions that require you to write an answer. It could be a short response or it could be an essay.

  • Constructed response: these are short written or typed answers to questions.
  • Writing prompt (essay): this is a longer written or typed answer to an item in your writing test. You will have write a few paragraphs about a topic you are given.

Try them out!

You can take the TASC test on paper or on a computer. Try the different formats – you will be able to complete all of the question types if you practice ahead of time!

What are the subjects?

What is on the TASC test? There are five subtests (subjects) on the TASC test: social studies, science, mathematics (math for short), reading and writing.

What is on the TASC test: Reading

The reading test takes 85 minutes. It has multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop or similar items for the computer test, and a question that needs a constructed answer.

You will answer materials about texts you read. You will read 75 % informational texts, such as newspaper articles or factual essays. You will read 24 % literary text, such as excerpts from novels, plays or poems.

The test will measure:

  • comprehension: understanding what the passage says
  • analysis: examining how and why details are used
  • application: transferring ideas from one context to another
  • synthesis: putting ideas together to understand a larger meaning

You can learn more about the TASC reading subtest.

What is on the TASC test: Writing

The writing test lasts 110 minutes.  Part 1 takes 65 minutes. It has multiple-choice questions and drag-and-drop or similar items for the computer test.  Part 2 takes 45 minutes and has one written essay question.

Part 1 will measure:

  • writing (15%)
  • grammar/usage (30%)
  • capitalization/punctuation/spelling (25%)
  • knowledge of language (30%)

Part 2 (the essay) will be scored on:

  • clarity of expression
  • clear and strategic organization
  • complete development of ideas
  • sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, word choice, and spelling

You can learn more about the TASC writing subtest.

What is on the TASC test: Social studies

The social studies test lasts 75  minutes. It has multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop or similar items for the computer test, and a question that needs a constructed answer.

During the test, you will answer questions on US and world history, economics, geography, civics, and government. The test will measure your  understanding of the basic principles in each of those areas. You will be looking at text passages, illustrations, graphs, and charts. You can learn more about the TASC Social studies subtest.

What is on the TASC test: Mathematics

The math test lasts 105 minutes. For part 1 (55 minutes) you use a calculator. For part 2 (50 minutes) calculators are not allowed. There are multiple choice questions, gridded response questions, and drag-and-drop or similar items for the computer test.

The math test will focus on your mathematical reasoning skills. It will also measure your understanding of:

  • basic math
  • word problems
  • algebra
  • geometry

The computer version of the math test has an on-screen calculator. You can practice with the online calculator in the math section of the TASC online tools training. If you prefer a handheld calculator to an on-screen calculator, ask at your testing site if you can bring your own from the list below.

If you’re taking the paper-delivered test, you will need to bring a handheld calculator. Texas Instrument Model TI-30XS is the preferred calculator for taking the TASC test, but there is a complete list of approved calculators.

You can learn more about the TASC Mathematics subtest.

What is on the TASC test: Science

The science test lasts 75 minutes. It has multiple-choice questions and drag-and-drop or similar items for the computer test.

The science test will focus on physical science, life science, and earth and space science. You will need to understand some basic scientific ideas and the scientific method. You may need to recall knowledge, apply knowledge and skills, or apply reasoning. You can learn more about the TASC Science subtest.

How are the tests scored?

The tests are scored on a scale of 300 to 800 for each subtest.  The minimum passing scores are:

• Reading 500
• Mathematics 500
• Science 500
• Social Studies 500
• Writing 500 plus at least 2 out of 8 possible points on the essay

When you have pass all five subtests, you have passed the TASC test.

I have questions about how to take the TASC test in my state.

You can find out how to take the TASC test in your state.

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