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TABE 11 12- You need to know this one thing.

Each level of the test (E, M, D, and A) has different times and directions. 
There is a script for online as well as paper/pencil testing. 
Script is different for each TABE Level (L, E, M, D, A)  and for each TABE Form (11 or 12) .
It appears each Level must have a separate test administration, a possible 4 administrations plus Locator, instead of 1 administration with common directions for all levels as in the current case with TABE 9 10.


Rachel Baron's picture
One hundred

I was in a session at PAACE (the PA state adult ed conference), and there were audible gasps in the room when the times for the 11/12 were projected on the screen:

Locator: Math--30 min, Reading--45 min, Language--30 min

Test: Math--75 min, Reading--120 min (130 min for levels D and A), Language--85 min

Add to that the fact that the presenter couldn't even give a hint about pricing, and I'm sure my program isn't the only one exploring alternatives. The atmosphere in the room was, if anything, more agitated than I remember from the GED presentations in 2013 leading up to the new test.

I'm in favor of switching to a CCRS-based assessment, if only to make lesson planning easier for teachers who are currently required to teach CCRS but whose students are measured using other standards. However, the fact that an incoming student could be faced with five hours of testing is simply unacceptable. I liked school, and I wouldn't want to do that.  Getting folks to finish the locator itself is going to be a challenge. (The locator itself is longer than the survey version of the 9/10.)

I didn't know that the levels had different test directions--that just compounds the staff-time problem that the longer testing times create.

Unlike the GED in 2013, TABE does not have a monopoly. I recommend shopping around. I'm sure that in the next couple years, there will be other CCRS-aligned tests, and for now there are others that are allowed under NRS guidelines. Either TABE or another testing company will pay attention and create something that we can use.

Linda Taylor's picture

The new CASAS Reading GOALS test series is aligned to the CCRS and received 7-year NRS approval at all levels of Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education (ABE and ASE). For information about it, go to the CASAS website at  If you are going to COABE, stop by the CASAS booth and come to the CASAS Overview session. 


brettstaylor's picture

After a conversation just now with DRC, there are going to be changes to the test directions, scripts and timing.  Keep your fingers crossed that common sense will prevail and we will have a reliable test that CAN actually be used in adult ed without causing chaos to schedules and budgets.

Josh Anderson's picture

At the Illinois Adult at Continuing Educators Association Conference last week I talked with the TABE rep, and was very sad to learn there will be no shorter survey version for the 11/12.  In theory I can understand the concerns about test validity that would drive that decision.  On the 9/10, one more lucky guess can be almost a grade level change in your score sometimes.  However, extending testing times flies in the face of all the focus we're putting on engaging and retaining learners.