Is the TABE Test Hard?

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It is always a good idea to understand where your limits and abilities lie. That’s where the TABE Test comes into play. This test will show you where exactly you land in the greater world of adult basic education, concerning various subjects such as mathematics and reading and writing in English.

But is the TABE Test hard? We are here to help you find out.

What is TABE Test Used For?What is TABE Test Used For?

The Test of Adult Basic Education, or the TABE Test, to put it mildly, exists as a universal standard to assess an individual’s adult basic education, allowing educators to understand where a given adult’s abilities lie. It is a placement test, which means that many schools and institutions may require that an applicant take it so that they may use it to gauge that applicant’s capabilities. The TABE Test is considered a significant stepping stone into earning your GED, equivalent to a high school diploma.

The TABE Test measures an adult’s reading, mathematics, and English abilities. Before you take a TABE Test, you will take a locator test—the purpose of a locator test is to give you the appropriate level of testing. There are five levels of locator testing:

  • TABE Level Literacy (L), which has the equivalent content level of kindergarten to first grade,
  • TABE Level Easy (E), which is the content level of second to third grade,
  • TABE Level Medium (M), which is the content level of fourth to sixth grade,
  • TABE Level Difficult (D), which is the content level of sixth to eighth grade,
  • And TABE Level Advanced (A) has the content level of secondary education (ninth to twelfth grade).

Each level will quiz you on the appropriate content, with Level A having over one hundred questions in high school level material. Once you place within your expected level, you can take the TABE Test. But hold your horses: there is not just one version of the TABE Test, but several, and for different kinds of skills.

According to educators, the TABE 11&12 is the primary test format, the “base test.” The TABE 11&12 is the test taken by students and strictly covers literacy, language, and mathematics. To get into detail about the three subjects:

  • The reading subject of the TABE Test measures your ability to read; specifically, there are three forms of literacy that is measured: foundational skills, literary texts (like the classic Of Mice & Men), and informational texts,
  • The language section of the TABE Test measures how you can communicate and speak both in daily life as well as at work or other professional settings,
  • And the mathematics subject of the TABE Test measures your ability to calculate and use applied mathematics in real-time, from estimating the volume of an object to being able to calculate time or distance.

The content of the TABE Test reflects what you are meant to experience in real-life and prepares you for the challenges of reality.

The TABE-PC is a version of the TABE 11&12 test that is performed on a computer. Not only is the software pre-prepared and readily available, but the results and score are calculated immediately and sent to your instructor or whoever operates the exam. The TABE Online test is taken over the internet, with options to display the test so you can read or pause the test to continue it later.

The TABE Advanced-Level Test is the version of the TABE Test for those who want to receive a GED and can be used to prepare for the future GED Test. As the name implies, the level of the test is necessarily at the same level as Level A, or even a little higher, as it consists of additional subjects based around science and social studies, on top of the subjects and material expected of the TABE 11&12. As a result, you have a more extensive exam that consists of over one hundred questions, including two essay-based questions and over ninety new questions in old and new subjects.

The last unique format of the TABE Test is the TABE CLAS-E. The TABE CLAS-E (TABE Complete Language Assessment System-English) is designed for non-native English speakers (people who do not speak English or people with English as a Second Language, also known as ESL). It focuses on reading and writing in English, with no questions on math or additional subjects. Specifically, it consists of four sections:

  • Reading, or how well you understand specific English words,
  • Writing, or how well you can write and form English sentences,
  • Speaking, or how well you can speak English and use the language to achieve a goal,
  • and Listening, or how well you can understand other English speakers’ speech and find meaning in their words.

We would like to notify you that the TABE CLAS-E is only available in pen and paper.

Whew! That is a basic overview of the TABE Test. We are sure that you are wondering what you need to pass any of these detailed exams—well, the answer may surprise you.

What Score Do You Need to Pass the TABE Test?

What Score Do You Need to Pass the TABE Test?

The interesting thing about the TABE Test is that the TABE Test does not have a concrete pass or fail state. In other words, you cannot fail the exam or pass it. Instead, the goal of the TABE Test is to achieve a high enough score as you can.

The number of correct answers is measured against the averages and the standard scores and used to see where exactly you place among the educator’s standards. For this purpose, the TABE Test have five distinct levels. For example, if you perform the Difficult test, and your final score is well above the average score of the Level D test, then this means that you are able to move onto the Advanced level test. If you test below the average score, then it means that Level D is around your exact placement level. If you perform well before the average score, then it might indicate that your placement level is lower, in which case, you would have to take the lower-level test.

As stated before, the TABE Test is a placement test—its purpose is to measure at what level the individual is at the given subjects. It is not a test that decides anything, but rather something you gauge how you would perform on a required test dealing with those subjects.

If the TABE Test cannot be passed or failed the way we understand that, then how does one actually go about taking the TABE Test?

How Long Does it Take to Take the TABE Test?

How Long Does it Take to Take the TABE Test?

The TABE Test collectively does take quite a while to complete. Completing the locator test will take you around an hour or so, while a TABE Test will take around three. In a few formats, including the TABE-PC and TABE Online tests, you can save your work and return to it later without penalty.

Don’t take too long, however: the longer you take, the less capable you are of answering questions at full capacity. On the other hand, do not rush through the exam and mark answers you know for sure are right incorrectly.

What is the Consequence for Failing the TABE Test?

What is the Consequence for Failing the TABE Test?

The TABE Test is a placement test—as stated before, many institutions use it to gauge an individual adult’s aptitude in reading, math, and English. As a placement test, it measures relatively basic abilities. One would be right in believing that it means that the TABE Test is not made up of tough questions and subjects. However, if you are proven unable to meet or exceed the standards of educators, that also means that you will have major difficulty in achieving more significant milestones, such as the GED test or college-grade exams.

There is no physical or mechanical penalty for “failing” a TABE Test—indeed, you can even retake it at your leisure. The price of failure is the acknowledgment that your education and various skills are not up to snuff to educators’ standards. If you are below educator standards, then you will struggle to pass the tests that actually gauge success and failure.

But of course, that is not a failure. Understanding your limits and where you fall behind is perhaps the greatest learning experience. We would say that excelling at the test despite not studying or understanding this would be a more significant detriment. The point of the TABE Test is to see where exactly you belong, and if you discover that your abilities are below or greater than average, that is a perfectly acceptable outcome.

All in all, “failing” the TABE Test is only a learning experience. Another crucial learning experience is the study discipline and methods to ensure that your skills are up to snuff for this test and every subsequent test you will take in life.

Even still, you would surely want to know where you place, and “passing” the TABE Test isn’t a bad idea either! So how do you study for the TABE Test?

How to Study for the TABE Test?

How to Study for the TABE Test?

Studying for the TABE Test is no different from studying for any other test. It is elementary! All it requires is a repetitive number of condensed study sessions over the specific material given to you, followed by an understanding of how the test will present its questions and how it expects to be answered. See? Simple!

Here are three ways to study for the TABE Test and get yourself placed as soon as possible.

Study Material Before the Test

Get a hold of some material such as textbooks or study guides. The TABE Test’s material is on general subjects, but there is also material for dealing with tackling the TABE Test itself. The best TABE study guides will give you far more knowledge and understanding of the test than even this article! Buckle down and study for an hour a day before the fateful testing day.

Practice Ahead of Time

Quiz yourself on particularly difficult or unknown subjects. If needed, you can ask another person for help, one who is quizzical-minded and adept a understanding and answering exam questions.

Take a Break Once in a While

Many versions of the TABE Test, especially the ones online, allow you to take a break. If you find yourself stuck on a difficult question, walk away, gather your thoughts, and then come back when you’re ready. When you return, you will gain a new perspective and finally cross that hurdle.

You have more than enough time to understand the material given to you and respond appropriately to the questions, so take your time. If you need to take a break, take it as soon as possible and return when your mind and body are completely refreshed.

Wrapping Things Up: Is the TABE Test Hard?

So, is the TABE test hard? To give a straightforward answer, the TABE test is not hard at all. But the TABE test is not about passing or failing; it is about understanding where you place in the world of adult education. If you study enough and approach the test with a clear head and mind, you can achieve any score you want!

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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