How Long is the TABE Test?

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

Before you take the TABE, you'll want to know how long the test is in order to fully prepare for a successful testing experience. Keep reading to learn about the TABE test length and get strategies for using your time effectively.

How Long Is the TABE Test?

The TABE generally comes in two formats, the full battery and the survey test. The full battery TABE consists of four sections of content delivered over the course of about 3 hours. The survey test is significantly shorter; the four sections of content only include 1.5 hours of testing time.

The chart below outlines the time allotted for each main test section alongside the number of questions included for both forms of the TABE.

Complete Battery Survey TABE
Reading 50 minutes (50 questions) 25 minutes (25 questions)
Language 55minutes (55 questions) 25 minutes (25 questions)
Math Computation 24 minutes (40 questions) 15 minutes (25 questions)
Applied Math 55 minutes (50 questions) 25 minutes (25 questions)

Optional Sections

There are also three sections on each version of the TABE that are completely optional to take. These are the vocabulary, spelling, and language mechanics sections. These sections only contain 20 questions each and have very short time limits, the longest being only 15 minutes.

Number of Questions Time Allotted
Vocabulary 20 15 minutes
Language Mechanics 20 14 minutes
Spelling 20 10 minutes

Keys to Managing Your Time on Test Day

Now that you're aware of how long you'll have to complete each section, you can implement some test-taking tips to help make the most of your allotted time.

Once you get started, be aware of the amount of time remaining in the section you're working on. Wear a watch or pay attention to the clock at the test site. Keeping track of your remaining time will allow you to gauge how much time you can dedicate to individual questions.

If you're unsure of any questions, skip them to ensure that you don't waste time on a single answer. This will allow you to continue working and accumulate more completed answers. Once you reach the end of a particular section, you'll have the option of going back to check your work and reassess difficult answers.

Scores on the TABE

The TABE does not issue a failing or passing score. Rather, your results will be matched to a grade level equivalent and used to place you in classes that match your abilities. Individual schools have their own score range requirements for placement in beginning or intermediate courses.

In some cases, schools also use TABE scores to verify your math, language, and reading proficiency before awarding a technical education certificate.

Available Test Prep Resources

If you'd like to refine your math, language, and reading skills to improve your test scores, consider using these video lessons and transcripts. Practice quizzes are also included to make sure you're on track for a great TABE experience. These courses are completely mobile, allowing you to study whenever and wherever you need:

For some general tips on how to make the most of your study time, look into our Improve Your Study Skills resource as well.

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