Ready, Set, Test - The New High School Equivalency Exam is Here
New York State has chosen the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) for the high school equivalency (HSE) exam beginning January 2014. TASC™ is produced by CTB/McGraw‐ Hill for national use. Starting in January 2014, individuals in New York State who are seeking a High School Equivalency Diploma will no longer take the GED®, but will instead take the TASC™.
TASC™ includes five sections:
- Language Arts - Reading
- Language Arts - Writing (which includes an essay)
- Mathematics (which includes a calculator section and a section in which calculators are not allowed)
- Science (calculators are permitted)
- Social Studies
A New Exam Based on Learning Standards Designed to Help Examinees Succeed in their Careers and in College
English language arts and mathematics education in New York State is now based on the national Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). The CCLS are considered more rigorous than the previous learning standards used throughout the state, and better at preparing students to succeed in their careers and in college. To ease the transition from the GED® to the new TASC™ exam, the TASC™ will increasingly measure these new learning standards between 2014 and 2017. The TASC™ is also based on new science and social studies learning standards also considered more rigorous than those previously used in New York State. Because of these new, more rigorous learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, students may find the TASC™ exam more challenging than the GED® exam that was available in New York State prior to 2014.
Examinees should expect and be prepared for a more rigorous test based on these standards. Specifically, many exam questions are more demanding, complex and may require multiple steps to solve. Although examinees may find that the TASC™ questions are more difficult than the questions they may have experienced on the GED®, the score needed to pass the new TASC™ exam accounts for this increased difficulty. Specifically, the number of correct answers required to pass a TASC™ section is lower than the number of correct answers required to pass the corresponding GED® section. As such, examinees should not become discouraged by the difficulty of exam questions while taking the TASC™.
Preparing for the TASC™ Exam
The TASC™ takes about nine hours to complete and is usually administered in one or two days. If one or more of the five subject area subtests are not passed, those parts may be retaken after 60 days. First time TASC™ test takers must complete all five subtests.
- Examinees should be relaxed, positive and prepared to put forth their best effort.
- Statistics indicate that those who have participated in test preparation programs are more likely to pass an HSE exam.
- Examinees should know that in addition to determining HSE diploma status, one purpose of taking these exams is to find out which concepts have been mastered and which need further development.
- The difficulty level of the test questions varies.
- The essay will be scored based on a rubric.
- The Texas Instrument TI‐30XS™ scientific calculator will be provided during testing for one section of math and for the entire science section. A guidebook on the use of the calculator can be found on the Texas Instrument website. Familiarity with the calculator is strongly suggested.
- Examinees should attempt all questions. Read each question carefully and make the best attempt at answering each one.
More information about the TASC™ is available at the TASC™ website.