How to Pass the TABE Test

Instructor: Jessica Munk
The Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Tests are a series of assessment exams in topics such as math, reading and language. There is no passing score, per se, but your score ranges could be used to place you into various types of adult education classes. Use this article to learn learn about what topics are tested and how to study for those topics. Also, check out study resources, including online courses and practice exams.

Know What Topics are Tested

To perform well on the tests, you need to be familiar with the topics that will be tested. The basic TABE exam tests your knowledge of math (with and without a calculator), reading, language, spelling and vocabulary. More advanced tests include topics such as social studies, algebra, geometry, writing and science. For each major test topic on the basic TABE test, you should familiarize yourself with what will specifically be tested for that topic, as detailed below.


On the reading portion of the test, you will need to understand how to understand provided graphics, you will have to engage in the recall of information after reading a passage, and you will have analyze text and be able to explain its purpose.


For the math sections, you will have to know about the properties of decimals, integers and fractions, as well as know how to solve word problems and analyze data or statistics. You'll also have to solve problems dealing with measurement and estimations, and you will need to be familiar with pre-algebra concepts, as well as the order of operations.


Make sure you're comfortable with sentence structuring and grammar for the language component of the TABE. In addition to spelling and vocabulary, you'll also need to know about formatting both paragraphs and pieces of writing as a whole.

Study Specific Topics

Numerous free online resources are available to help you do well on TABE tests. You can find websites to teach you math rules and formulas, as well as websites on grammar rules and vocabulary. Free resources exist to help you study more specific topics, such as nouns and verbs, sentence flow, fractions, exponents and many more. You can also purchase study books online and from college bookstores. offers numerous courses to help you prepare for the TABE tests. course resources are a convenient choice for reviewing material, watching instructional videos and practicing quizzes on your computer or portable devices. You can take courses and lessons in many tested topics including the following:

Practice Answering Questions and Taking Exams

You can also find TABE practice tests online. Since the TABE tests are timed, it is important to practice the test under real conditions. Use practice tests in combination with self-assessments, also available online, to focus your study on topics you that you need to improve.

Check your answers and the answer rationale to better understand the types of questions you're missing and to get more comfortable with the format of the TABE.

Understand the Score Requirements

There are no passing scores on the TABE test. Rather, your score ranges will be used to place you into appropriate levels of courses and programs. For instance, colleges could use TABE tests as part of their adult education curriculum, placing students in classes like Adult Basic Education or GED Test Preparation depending on their TABE scores.

Technical colleges or trade schools may require you to take TABE tests to place into programs such as automotive and cosmetology. To place into specific programs, your college or program may require that your TABE scores be recent; for example, they must have been taken within 180 days or a year.

In some programs, you may be required to reassess your performance in the program with additional TABE tests, and you may be dropped from the program if your score ranges do not improve.

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