What You Need to Know About Your State’s TASC Test Centers

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Before you find the right test center location  to take your TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, you need to know some additional information about each state’s implementation of the TASC test.

At McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we want you to have all the information you need to make the right decision about earning your high school equivalency. We encourage you to read the following section for your state. Find out important information about how the TASC test is given and why your state chose to offer the TASC test.

Indiana

Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that “an expert panel of representatives from the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), the Indiana Department of Education (DOE), and DWD were involved in evaluating all proposals offered” for the replacement of the expired General Education Development® (GED) test. Additionally, the DWD notes that Ivy Tech and the Indiana Association of Adult and Continuing Education provided expert analysis regarding the available high school equivalency options. Together, these representatives and experts selected McGraw-Hill Education CTB’s TASC test.

The DWD made an official announcement about the selection of the TASC test on August 23, 2013. Since January 2014, the TASC test has been in effect. In conjunction with the TASC test, Indiana also offers students who earn their high school equivalency the opportunity to gain work-related experience through their WorkINdiana program.

Nevada

The state of Nevada offers three different options to their students for high school equivalency assessments. If you’ve compared your options on the TASC test blog, you’re probably already familiar with your options: the TASC test, the HiSET® test, and the GED test. Nevada notes that employers and colleges in the state are not as familiar with the new testing options as they are with the GED test. However, the State offers students a way to talk about the TASC test. If you choose the TASC test, you still earn the Nevada Certificate of High School Equivalency.

The Adult Education Office at the Nevada Department of Education offers information for students, including student success stories, newsletters, and statistics. Additionally, Nevada offers two programs for those interested in earning their high school equivalencies: a program for non-incarcerated adults, and a Corrections program. Both programs are operated through local school districts and funded by the State Legislature.

New Jersey

Similar to Nevada, New Jersey offers all three test options to students seeking their high school equivalencies. However, unlike other states, the New Jersey Adult Education department of the Department of Education has announced that “there is no longer a total score requirement needed to pass. If a student passes all individual sections of the test, they will receive the state-issued Diploma. Passing Scores from any test can be combined to award the State Diploma.”

Therefore, if you started taking the GED before the TASC test was introduced in New Jersey, and you want to complete your remaining subtests with TASC, you can. To apply for this option or to start the TASC test, begin by browsing the Test Resources. These resources include links to the TASC practice test and preparation classes, the necessary forms, and any additional requests for qualifications.

New York 

According to the New York State High School Equivalency (HSE) Office, New York State has selected the TASC test to replace the GED test. This means that the TASC test is now the primary pathway to a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma, as of January 2, 2014. New York made this decision because the TASC test is a secure, reliable, and valid instrument that verifies examinees have the knowledge in core content areas, and that this knowledge is equivalent to that of graduating high school seniors.

Test takers in New York State will need to select and work with an official test center in their community to complete the application. It is important for test takers to know that the TASC test is only administered at testing centers that have been approved by the New York State Education Department. It is administered jointly by McGraw-Hill Education CTB and the State Education Department.

New York State has provided resources about how the TASC test will be implemented. Many of the students interviewed on the TASC test blog, such as Chantal Reddon and Mike Puccio, are citizens of New York State.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Department of Education offers a site-full of information and training documents regarding the TASC test. Here, you can find a PDF answering the Frequently Asked Questions, created by West Virginia educators, for West Virginia students. There are additional resources for students who are specifically concerned with literacy, family literacy, and even distance learning.

Familiarizing yourself with this site can be beneficial, as the West Virginia Department of Education provides the state TASC policy.

More states are in the process of approving the TASC test. States such as Wyoming have recently announced TASC test approval. If you are interested in taking the TASC test and your state hasn’t announced approval yet, you may consider contacting your state department to see if the test is in the process of approval.

How to Analyze a Passage | TASC Reading

At least two different high emphasis skills on the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Reading subtest focus on analysis:

  • Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
  • Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

But what is analysis? And how do you analyze?

Defining Analysis

In reading, analysis is sometimes called critical reading. According to the librarians at Harvard Library, critical reading or analysis is an “active engagement and interaction with texts.” It is also considered essential to academic success at most universities.

If you are taking the TASC test because you are interested in enrolling post-secondary courses, then this is definitely a skill you want to start practicing today.

Doing Analysis

Instructors at the University of Texas, El Paso, recommends focusing on these three specific aspects of a passage when you analyze:

  1. The Text as a Material Object
    Whether the text is a paragraph long or a couple pages long, it is presenting an argument. The author might present it in a formal tone or in a creative tone. The text has a specific context because it is written at a specific moment in time from a specific perspective that represents the author’s or narrator’s mindset and beliefs. Consider these characteristics in an attempt to discover what the text is arguing for, or what it is trying to tell you.According to teachers at the Annenberg Learner Journey North project, the organization is important and should be considered thoroughly. Start by looking for titles, subtitles, headings, and keywords. This is called previewing. After you’ve scanned the passage, consider how you think the author organized the information:
  • How did the author organize it? Chronologically? Cause and effect relationship? Compare and contrast? Something else?
  • Why was the text organized this way? Was it easy to find the main ideas and supporting details?
  • Was the organization more persuasive? Did it make the argument stronger? If not, what could have made the text stronger?
  1. The Text as a Work of Art
    The instructors at UTEP suggest looking at the following aspects of the text to get a better sense of the passage as art. You might not have time to look at all of these aspects as you read, but you should consider at least two or three of them as you read and answer corresponding questions:
  • Clarity: How clear is the writing? Is it easy to understand?
  • Grandeur: What is the language like? Is it strong, educated, or mature? Why?
  • Beauty: Is the passage pleasurable to read? What kind of imagery is used?
  • Speed: Does the passage flow well? Or, does it seem to drag as you read?
  • Character: Are there characters or narrators? Are they believable?
  • Truth: Are the facts used to support the argument true? How are they used?
  • Gravity: Why does this text matter? Why should the reader care?
  1. The Text from the Reader’s View
    It is typical for you to explore your personal viewpoint as an individual reader when you are writing in response to a passage. However, there will probably not be any multiple-choice questions on your personal opinions regarding the text.It is still important to think about how you feel as a reader after engaging with the text. Think about how much you liked, enjoyed, or agreed with the text. Consider whether or not the argument clashed with your own viewpoints. If it did clash, in what ways did it clash with your viewpoints? Did the entire argument clash with your views, or just smaller aspects of the argument? Finally, think about what you learned from your reading.

Some Final Pointers

If you are using a paper-based test, feel free to write on the passage. Take notes in the margins, underline sentences that stick out to you, and circle words that are interesting to you. These notes can help you answer the questions. If you have to skip a question, and come back later, you can refer back to your notes instead re-reading the passage.

If you are using a computer-based test, you might be able to use a piece of paper to jot down some notes. It depends on the testing center, so make sure you ask the administrator when you schedule the test. Paper is often provided at the center, and you simply need to bring a pencil.

Real Talk: Sergio Garcia’s Success Story

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Sergio Garcia, age 19 from New York, recently passed the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™. Sergio’s motivation came from seeing his friends around him begin their careers. He too has big ambitions of earning a bachelor’s degree and becoming a detective. He decided to take the TASC test after seeing changes to high school equivalency exams due to College and Career Readiness standards.

If he could offer one piece of advice to future test takers it’s to “think and focus.” Today, Sergio is sharing his TASC test story with us, along with some invaluable advice.

1. Prior to taking the TASC test, what was the highest-grade level you completed (and when was that)?

The highest grade I completed was tenth grade about three years ago.

2. What kept you from earning your diploma in high school?

Surrounding myself with the wrong people, my low self-esteem, and ditching class were all obstacles in my way.

3. What made you decide to persevere in earning your diploma? What was your motivation and inspiration?

Realizing that I want a bright future for myself. My motivation and inspiration was seeing others around me graduate high school and college and begin their careers.

4. Why did you choose TASC test?

The TASC test is offered here in my home state of New York. I wanted to take the new 2014 high school equivalency exam since the test changed in the beginning of 2014 due to the Common Core.

5. Did you take the paper-and-pencil or online version of the TASC test?

I took the paper-and-pencil test at my local testing center, which is only a few minutes away from my house. I chose to take the test on paper and not on computer due to my comfort level.

6. How did you prepare for the TASC test? How did the study materials help?

To prepare for the test I took night classes at my local testing center for a month and studied about 2 hours each day on my own time using “Kaplan New TASC® Strategies, Practice, and Review 2014.”

7. Did you face any challenges during the process? How did you overcome them?

Every time I failed a practice test on my own time it brought me down, but I persevered. I continued taking practice tests until I was satisfied with my results.

8. What plans do you have for your future? What are your goals, dreams, and ambitions?

I plan to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, become a police officer, and over time become a detective

9. What is your number one piece of advice or tip for all TASC test takers?

My number one piece of advice is to study constantly and take practice tests. You may think you don’t know what some questions are asking, but you do. Reread the questions. Dissect the questions. Think and Focus.

Earth’s Place in the Universe

The TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Science subtest highly emphasizes Earth’s place in the universe. You might have a good overview of the hierarchy of the universe if you read the TASC test post on How to Become a Science Expert. Now focus on the universe and the Earth’s place in our solar system.

Addison Wesley of the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, emphasizes the basics:

  • The Earth is a planet located within the solar system.
  • Our solar system contains the Sun, which is a large star, eight planets, moons, and fragments such as ice, rock, and dust. It is pictured above.
  • The eight planets, in order, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • Pluto is also pictured; it was long-considered a planet, and you might have originally learned about it in school. However, in recent years, Pluto has been re-categorized as a dwarf planet.

Our solar system belongs to the Milky Way galaxy, which Wesley defines as “a great island of stars in space, all held together by gravity and orbiting a common center. It is approximately 120,000 light years across.

It is important to know that the Earth is the third planet from the sun. If Earth was closer to the sun, it would be significantly hotter — and humans could not live on the planet. According to Fraser Cain of Universe Today, the sun is about 150 million kilometers from the surface of the Earth. Cain also notes that the Earth “carves out an elliptical orbit which takes one full year to complete one whole trip around.” This is why we experience different seasons as the Earth moves around the sun.

Cain also notes that our solar system sits about halfway between the center of the Milky Way galaxy and its edge. It’s about 27,000 light years each way.

It is also important that you know that the Milky Way galaxy is not the only galaxy in the universe. Rather, it is one galaxy that is a part of a larger collection of galaxies. This collection is known as the Local Group. So far, scientists have identified 36 objects in the Local Group, including the Triangulum galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is not even the largest galaxy in this group — the Andromeda galaxy is twice the size, and four times the mass of our galaxy. It is about 2.5 million light years away.

The Local Group is part of a larger group known as the Virgo Supercluster. This group includes at least 100 galaxy groups and clusters. It is named after the constellation Virgo, which scientists estimate is the center of the Supercluster.

Lastly, the Virgo Supercluster is part of a larger structure known as the Pisces-Cetus Supercluster Complex. Cain defines this structure as “a vast filament of galactic superclusters measuring about 150 million light years across AND a billion light years long.”

These structures are part of the known universe. The universe is largely unexplored, and there is much that we do not know. The vastness of the universe is fascinating — and when it comes to test taking, it can also be a little overwhelming. When you think about the role the Earth plays in the universe, you must think about its relationship to these larger structures. It is a significantly small part of the Virgo Supercluster, and an almost microscopic part of the Pisces-Cetus Supercluster Complex. But, the Earth’s position within these structures — and our solar system specifically — allows us to understand patterns we witness in our daily life, including: the passing of a year, the seasons, the changes in climate, and even tidal patterns.

The Perks of Taking the TASC Test Online

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So, you’ve found the right location to take your TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, and you’ve registered for the test. The website was easy to navigate, and you enjoy working on the computer. Did you know you can also take the TASC test online?

At McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we know that we live in a digital age. For many of our test takers, it’s easier to work on a computer. Consequently, it’s easier for these students to test on a computer. If you wondering about the digital format of the test, consider these perks of online testing — and choose the right test format for you:

  1. The online version is user-friendly. Our online test designers created webpages that feature easy-to-understand screens, which allow students to easily navigate the test.
  2. For most subtests, you’ll receive instant reports. With the exception of subtests that need to be scored by hand, like the Writing subtest, you will know an immediate estimation of how you did on the TASC test.
  3. Because the format is more user-friendly and you receive your results quickly, the online format of the TASC test offers improved efficiency to test takers.
  4. You might be wondering if the online-based TASC test is less secure than the paper-based test. All test items and student data is secured, using the latest online security. The online platform has been tested and proven to be a secure platform for an important test such as this.

The TASC test is offered online at test centers that are set up and equipped for online testing. It is important for our test takers to know that the online-based test has the same questions as those on the paper-based test. Both tests cover the same content, at the same level of difficulty.

The only requirement for taking the online TASC test is that you must be able to use a computer. This includes the ability to type and use a mouse to navigate around the screen.

In addition to studying the materials for the subtests, we recommend practicing taking the TASC test with a computer while you prepare for your test. This way, you will be familiar with the webpages and won’t waste any test time adjusting to the online format. Check out our resources for our online-based TASC test takers, including free online typing tools, an online walk-through, and sample tests.

Wondering if your state offers an online-based TASC test at a location near you? Check the test locations and register today.

Geometric Measurement | TASC Math

Geometry is a type of math that focuses on the relation of points, lines, surfaces, and areas. More specifically, instructors at Cornell University define geometry as “the visual study of shapes, sizes, patterns, and positions.” It is used for a variety of activities, including building structures, creating machines, navigating, and measuring.

In terms of measuring, the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ considers geometric measurement with dimension a high emphasis skill. Test takers are expected to use volume formulas for cylinders, pyramids, cones, and spheres to solve problems. If you never took a geometry class — or haven’t taken one in many years — these formulas might seem confusing. At McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we want to be sure you know each of these formulas and how to apply them whenever you need them.

Cylinders

You’ve probably encountered cylinders in your day-to-day life. For example, canned goods are stored in aluminum cans, which are cylinders. In the diagram above, the cylinder is on the top row on the right-hand side.

To find the area of a cylinder, use this formula: Area = 2pr2 + h(2pr)

The variable r stands for radius, which is the distance from the center to the edge of a circle. The h stands for height. The symbol p is known as pi, and it is approximately 3.142. Pi represents the circumference of any circle divided by its diameter, so you must memorize this number to work with a variety of shapes — including circles, cylinders, cones and even theoretical shapes.

To find the volume of a cylinder, you should use this formula: Volume = pr2h

Pyramids

There are different types of pyramids that you must be aware of when you are trying to choose the right formula to complete a geometry problem:

  1. Triangular Pyramid: the base of the pyramid is a triangle, like the one shown in the picture above.
  2. Square Pyramid: the base of the pyramid is a square.
  3. Pentagonal Pyramid: the base of the pyramid is a pentagon.
  4. Right Pyramid: When the top, or apex, of a pyramid is directly above the center of the base.
  5. Oblique Pyramid: When the apex is not above the center of the base.
  6. Regular Pyramid: Occurs when the base of a pyramid is a regular polygon. A regular polygon is when all sides of the shape, in this case the base, are equal.
  7. Irregular Pyramid: when the base is not a regular polygon

Note that you can have a square pyramid that is also a right pyramid and a regular pyramid. These are not seven exclusive types of pyramids, and there is overlap between the types.

The base is important because you must find the area of the base to find the volume a pyramid. The formula for finding the volume is: • [Base Area] • Height

The formula for finding the surface area of a pyramid when all side faces are the same is: [Base Area] + ½ Perimeter [Slant Length]

When side faces are different, the formula is: [Base Area] + [Lateral Area]

Cones

To find the volume of a cone, use this formula: Volume = hB/3

In this formula, the variable B stands for the base area. Remember h stands for height. You must multiple these two numbers together, and divide by three. Cones often have a circle for a base, so you will have to find the area of the circle first. Use this formula: A = p(r2)

Remember that p stands for pi, and r stands for radius.

To find the lateral surface area, use this formula:  S = prs

The variable s stands for slant height. The slant is the outside line of the cone, which stretches from the base to the apex.

To find the total surface area, use this formula: T = pr(r+s)

 

Spheres

Spheres are perfectly symmetrical, and they have no edges or corners. You see them all the time: basketballs, exercise balls, even the globe.

To find the surface area, use this formula: 4p(r2)

To find the volume, use this formula: p(4/3)(r2)

REAL TALK: Crystal Tracy’s TASC Test Success Story

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Crystal Tracy, age 31 from Northwest Indiana, recently took and passed the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™. Crystal has a three-year-old daughter and wanted to be a good role model for her. “My daughter…knows that Momma goes to school and is very excited every time she goes with my husband to drop me off at my classes. I will instill in her the importance of finishing high school and never giving up on your dreams.” Today, Crystal is sharing her TASC test success story with us:

1. What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Crystal Tracy, and I am from Northwest Indiana.

2. Prior to taking the TASC test, what was the highest grade level you completed (and how long ago was it?)

Prior to taking the TASC test, my highest grade completed was the 10th grade, which I repeated three years in a row, starting in 2001.

3. What kept you from earning your diploma in high school?

My mom really didn’t believe in education and needed me to earn a living to help support the family, so she made me give up on school and get a job.

4. What made you decide to persevere in earning your diploma? What was your motivation and inspiration?

My motivation for going back and receiving my diploma is that I now have a daughter and wanted to be a good role model for her [and] better myself.

5. Why did you choose the TASC Test?

I chose the TASC Test because the state of Indiana switched over to the new test in 2014, and it was my New Year’s resolution to get my diploma.

6. Did you take the TASC Test online or at a testing center?

I was a part of the first group to take the TASC test at the testing center.

7. How did you prepare for TASC? How did the study materials help you prepare for the TASC test?

To prepare for the TASC test, I attended classes at the testing center and used the online study guides for math.

8. Did you face any challenges during the process? How did you overcome them?

I had not done school work since 2001, 13 years ago, so it was a major change from what I was used to. I overcame these challenges by not getting overwhelmed and just studying the material.

9. What plans do you have for your future? What are your goals, dreams, and ambitions?

I am currently attending Ivy Tech Community College working towards my associate degree in criminal justice, with a transfer goal in mind to get bachelor’s degree.

10. What is your number one piece of advice or tip for all TASC test takers?

We had people get up during the test and walk out without even trying to see if they could pass. They gave up on themselves. My advice is to just persevere, don’t give up, and stay strong. Make sure you study for the test, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Revising: Eliminating Wordiness | TASC Writing

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Revising: Eliminating Wordiness | TASC Writing

As a high school equivalency test taker, you need to have revision techniques in your test-taking toolbox. You might already know some important writing skills to use on the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, and you’ve probably been practicing these skills. But have you been practicing revision? Revising can not only improve your essay, but it can also refine your argument — especially if you focus on reducing wordiness. Saving enough time to complete this final step of the writing process can make or break your essay.

If you are studying for the TASC Writing subtest, be sure take time to reduce your wordiness. Being concise and precise is a high emphasis skill.

To revise for wordiness, you should:

  1. Look for unnecessary words. Writers often use unnecessary adjectives, adverbs, or infinitives. Writers often feel that adding adjectives, adverbs, and infinitives makes their sentences stronger or more persuasive. Unfortunately, these words make your sentences more complex than they need to be. Too many can take away from your argument. According to writing instructors at the College of Central Florida, you should cut out any words or phrases that are unnecessary, redundant, or roundabout.
  2. Be sure your sentences don’t sound the way you sound when you’re speaking. When you write in your day-to-day life, you often use words you would use when you speak to family, friends, or coworkers. This might include casual phrases, text message abbreviations, and even slang words. This type of language doesn’t work on a writing test. The TASC test requires more formal language. A lot of writers write like they’re speaking without even realizing it. Keep an eye out for wordy phrases or informal words that sound like something you’d say to a friend.
  3. Check your sentence structure and grammar. It is important for test takers to use different types of sentences in their essays. However, being overly complex or using too many compound-complex sentences can bog down your reader. Cut down some of these longer sentences by using more direct language and grammar.
  4. Budget your time. Your revision skills won’t be effective if you run out of time. At McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we know that writing can be stressful and time consuming. Keep an eye on the clock so that you leave enough time for revising. We recommend saving at least 15 minutes for each essay you’ve written. This should give you enough time to read through what you’ve written and fix anything that needs work.

Want to try your hand at these revision techniques? Try these writing exercises from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (more commonly known as the Purdue OWL). You can also start practicing revision on your TASC Writing practice tests.

How to Find the Right TASC Test Center Near You

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Self-registering for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ online can save you time, and it can allow you to skip some paperwork. However, you cannot register until you find a TASC test center location in your area.

Start on the TASC test site for test takers, where you can find links to each state’s page on the test center finder page. The TASC test does not need to be administered in any special venue. Therefore, the test locations approved in TASC test states include numerous community colleges and adult learning facilities.

After you’ve followed the link to your state’s TASC test page, you can enter your address, city, or zip code. This allows you to find locations near you and easily compare the features of each location.

Each location offers different options. You might decide that you want to take the TASC test online and you’ll want to find a location that offers the online-based TASC test. Some locations offer only the paper-based test, which some test takers prefer. Additionally, some locations offer classes specifically for students who are preparing to take the TASC test to earn their high school equivalencies.

On your state’s TASC test page, the test center locations are organized by distance. Each listed center includes details, such as the center’s address, phone number, and directions through Google Maps. The list also includes notes on the available test methods and class options. Some centers also include their hours of operation, making it easy for you to either walk in for a visit, or call ahead and make an appointment.

Know that each state offering the TASC test has different options, requirements, and registration procedures. Be sure you select your state, and follow the directions carefully. Self-registering is easy when you follow the steps outlined by your state, and when you know exactly what you need to do on the test day.

To find out information about each state’s TASC test requirements, read our post on “What You Need to Know About Your State’s TASC Test Centers.” Check out these sites, too:

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