TASC Test Information For

Test Center Administrators

TASC Test Item Types

Field tested and normed in 2013, the TASC test delivers the newest high school equivalency content available. It is aligned to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), and National College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, Next Generation Science Standards, and Social Studies national frameworks.

TASC test will measure the foundational concepts in the College and Career Readiness standards and will include:

• Multiple-choice items in all content areas

• An extended writing prompt for the essay writing assessment (evidence-based writing)

See Writing Item Samples [1.1MB .PDF] »

• Gridded-response items in mathematics

See Mathematics Item Samples [1.2MB .PDF] »

• Stimulus-based science and social studies multiple-choice item sets

See Science Item Samples [1.4MB .PDF] »

See Social Studies Item Samples [1.7MB .PDF] »


2015 and Beyond

The 2015 TASC test online will contain technology enhanced field test items.

• Incorporation of technology enhanced item types to allow for more in-depth assessment of applicable standards.

  •  Example: Standard–Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between    quantities.

• A traditional selected-response item may present an examinee with a scenario and then direct him/her to select, from four equations, the one that correctly shows the relationship among the variables of the scenario.

  •  This addresses the standard, but does not fully assess the depth of the standard, as it does not allow the student to Create an equation.

• A technology enhanced item could present the same or a similar scenario but ask the examinee to use a drag-and-drop feature to Create an equation that correctly represents the relationship.


The Rigorous Technical Foundations of TASC Test Include:

• Field testing of all item types on nationally representative samples of graduating high school seniors and diverse samples of adult learners

•  Valid and reliable measurement of College and Career Readiness Standards

• Item response theory scaling and equating to support accuracy and form equivalence

• Appropriate and meaningful passing and College and Career Readiness scores


TASC Test Item Types

The different types of technology enhanced items that will be used in the TASC 2015 field test are:

• Drag and Drop with and without sequencing dependencies

• Evidence-Based Selected-Response

• Multiple Selected-Response


How are these New Standards-Aligned Items Different?

These new assessment items measure student achievement and progress on the College and Career Readiness Standards and require new thinking, new technologies, new approaches to content and new ways to analyze data and report assessment results. Educators will notice the shift from basic factual knowledge to an increased emphasis on performance. These next generation assessments, as envisioned by the two assessment consortia, address a new set of design considerations and criteria:

Challenging Cognitive Tasks: Career and College Readiness Standards include items that provide evidence of robust student thinking about important content.

Rigorous Validity and Reliability: Standards-aligned assessments are engineered and developed to support appropriate and instructionally meaningful uses of data.

Innovative Item Types: Career and College Readiness Standards include performance tasks, technology-enhanced items, and extended constructed response items in addition to the traditional multiple-choice items to measure the depth, rigor, and complexity of comprehension.

Performance tasks: Help uncover deeper levels of student understanding by measuring a student’s ability to think through a complex problem that may have more than one correct answer. They call for your adult students to apply their knowledge within an authentic learning experience, which may take anywhere from minutes to days to complete. These items will be scored using rubrics based on the cognitive skills being assessed.

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Technology-enhanced items and assessments: Provide instant feedback to students and teachers, making it possible to quickly fill learning gaps and support students in moving steadily towards achievement. They reduce the turnaround time for student reports, save instruction time, and ultimately preserve resources.

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Extended constructed-response items: Allow educators to measure skills that are difficult to assess with traditional multiple-choice items. This could include writing an essay or answering an open-ended question in English language arts or mathematics.

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Writing items: Require students to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence. Emphasis on writing skills helps students improve their essay-writing skills and prepare for state and national writing assessments.

Informative Reports: Provide teachers and administrators with useful, actionable interim/benchmark or summative information that links student performance to College and Career Readiness Standards.

New item types have multiple parts

Some new item types have multiple parts. For example, an ELA performance task item may include some or all of these parts:

• Discussion questions

• Anchor text

• 2-3 additional, related texts, which may include multimedia

• 5-6 additional items based on anchor and related texts, which may be technology-enhanced

• Culminating product, which may be an essay, presentation, or argument