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About the TASC Exam

Not having your high school diploma can seriously affect your future earning potential. Last year, the average wage for a person with a high school diploma was $35,000 per year, compared to only $25,000 for someone without one. That amounts to over $500,000 less earnings during your entire career!

A high school diploma or its equivalent is also necessary for acceptance to college, so getting your diploma will help you earn more and get ahead. If you left high school without graduating and your high school class has graduated, you are probably eligible to take either the GED (if you live in New Jersey) or the TASC (if you live in New York).

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  1. About the TASC
  2. How is the TASC scored?
  3. Contact Dr. Donnelly about TASC lessons
  4. Read our TASC Reviews
  5. Buy Best-selling TASC Test Prep Book
  6. TASC Exams by Subject
    1. TASC Reading Exam
    2. TASC Writing Exam
    3. TASC Math Exam
    4. TASC Science Exam
    5. TASC Social Studies Exam
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Overview of the TASC Exams

Exam Format and Structure


The TASC Exam

The TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) consists of five subtests taken and scored individually. The highest possible score in each subtest is 800, plus a score of 8 for the Writing essay. The passing score for each subtest is 500, and 2 for the essay. The cumulative TASC passing score is 2500, but you must still earn a passing score in every subtest to pass the TASC.

If you earn an especially high score in Mathematics, Reading, or Writing, you will receive a Distinguished Achievement notation for that score. The Distinguished Achievement score is 580 for reading and 560 for Mathematics and Writing.

You can retake a TASC subtest as many times as needed until you pass, and you only need to retake those subtests that you failed rather than the entire TASC test. Similarly, if you do not pass in a particular subtest area, you must retake only that area.

The TASC tests are focused on five specific content areas:

  1. TASC Reading Literacy Test
  2. TASC Reasoning Through Language Writing Arts
  3. TASC Mathematical Reasoning
  4. TASC Science
  5. TASC Social Studies.

TASC Reading Literacy Test

TASC Test Reading Literacy

The TASC Reading Literacy Test lasts 85 minutes. It contains 48 questions assessing your reading readiness in alignment with the Common Core's high school college and career readiness standard. 70% of the exam comprises informational texts; the remaining 30% is allocated to literary texts. Both of these areas require students to demonstrate knowledge of key ideas and details and craft and structure skills. Students must also be able to integrate key ideas and knowledge into their answers.

You should expect to receive texts in 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.

TASC Test Writing

TASC Test Writing

The TASC Test Writing contains 50-51 questions and lasts 110 minutes (including 45 minutes for Essay Writing). This test assesses your language skills, in alignment with the Common Core's high school standard of college and career readiness, in two different ways.

Expect to spend around 65 minutes answering 50 questions that assess language skills. These questions will target skills such as: constructing sentences, using grammar correctly, using words correctly, organizing ideas into paragraphs, and connecting ideas.

Then you will have around 50 minutes to write one essay responding to a passage or pair of passages. Students will be given one of two essay prompts: Argumentative or Informational. Students won’t know in advance which prompt they will be given. You will read the passage or passages and then write an essay that either argues for one side of a debate and against the other side or explains something from the passage(s)ons that supports your answer to the first question.

TASC Test Mathematics

Mathematics Section of the TASC

The TASC Mathematics test evaluates your ability to solve mathematical problems and apply mathematics to a variety of contexts. On the Mathematics Test, you will have 105 minutes to answer approximately 42-43 questions. You will spend 50 minutes answering questions with a calculator and 55 minutes answering questions for which you may not use a calculator. You may take a 15-minute break between those two sections.

Most questions on the Mathematics Test will be multiple choice. Some questions will ask you to bubble a numerical answer into the grid. Questions on this test will target skills such as: performing number operations to solve problems, solving word problems, understanding proportions and percentages, interpreting graphic representations of data, finding averages, understanding and performing operations with algebraic expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, and solving problems using geometric formulas.

For the Math with Calculator section of the test, you can access the online calculator by clicking on the calculator icon. You can also take your hand-held TI-30XS MultiView™ calculator to use on test day. You will also receive a two-page formula sheet listing common mathematical formulas.

TASC Social Studies Test

Social Studies Section of the TASC

The TASC Social Studies Test evaluates your ability to understand, interpret, and apply information about U.S. and World history, geography, government, economics, and civics concepts. You will have 75 minutes to answer 47 items based on reading passages and interpreting graphics such as charts, graphs, diagrams, editorial cartoons, photographs, and maps. Most items on the TASC Social Studies Test will be multiple-choice, though you may also see multiple-answer, drag-and-drop, and constructed-response items.

Civics and Government topics account for 25% of the questions on the TASC Social Studies test. These topics include modern and historical governments, constitutional government, levels and branches of the U.S. government, the electoral system, and the role of the citizen.

U.S. History topics account for 25% of the questions on the TASC Social Studies test. These topics stretch from colonialism and the American Revolution through the Civil War and Reconstruction into the modern era of industrialization, immigration, two world wars, the Cold War, and the movements for equal rights.

Economics topics account for 20% of the questions on the TASC Social Studies test. These topics include basic economics concepts and systems, the government and the economy, and labor and consumer economics issues.

Geography and the World topics account for 15% of the questions on the TASC Social Studies test. These topics cover major stages in world history as well as the relationship among resources, the environment, and societies.

World History topics account for 15% of the questions on the TASC Social Studies test. These topics include the beginnings and development of human societies as well as political and economic revolutions and the causes and consequences of wars in the modern era.

TASC Science Test

Science Section of the TASC

The TASC Science test assesses your ability to understand, interpret, and apply scientific information. You will have 85 minutes to answer approximately 48-49 multiple-choice questions. Most questions on the TASC Science Test will be multiple-choice, but you may also see multiple-response, drag-and-drop, and constructed-response items.

Each question on the TASC Science Test will assess both your familiarity with a content area and your ability to perform a skill related to understanding and interpreting scientific information from three main scientific areas: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science.

Life Science topics account for 34% of the questions on the TASC Science test. These biology-related topics include cell structures and processes, human body systems, health and nutrition, heredity and reproduction, genetics and DNA, evolution and natural selection, and the organization of ecosystems.

Physical Science topics account for 33% of the questions on the TASC Science test. These physics and chemistry-based topics include atoms and molecules, properties and states of matter, chemical reactions, energy and work, motion and forces, waves, electricity, and magnetism.

Earth and Space Science topics account for 33% of the questions on the TASC Science test. These geology/astrophysics-based topics include the structure of Earth, plate tectonics, geological cycles and processes, renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, weather and climate, the solar system, and the universe.