How to Read TABE Test Scores

Instructor: Eric Campos

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

As you prepare for the TABE, you should be familiar with how the exam is scored and what role the results play in determining your education and career path. Read on to learn more about reading TABE scores.

How TABE Tests Are Scored

While the TABE covers some of the same subject areas as other standardized tests, such as the GED, it relies on a completely different set of grading principles than you might be used to. Take, for example, the fact that there's no passing or failing score on the TABE. Your objective as the test-taker is to answer as many questions correctly as you can. You will not lose points for leaving questions blank.

The number of correct answers is accumulated and measured against the average performance of a select group of test takers based on the difficulty level of your particular TABE test. There are five levels of difficulty for the TABE: literacy, easy, medium, difficult, and advanced. Before taking the exam, you will be given a short locator test to determine which level is right for you.

Understanding Scores

TABE test results include several different types of scores for each section of the exam. Below are breakdowns of the scores most commonly used by college administrators and instructors.

Raw Score

The raw score reflects the number of correct answers you accumulated on the exam. The number correct, or NC, is then used to generate the scale score.

Scale Score

The scale score is what's used to compare your performance with the norm. In other words, your score will indicate how well you did compared to average test takers in the same level and content area. You'll note that the scale score is between 0 and 999. These scores can help you target your educational goals for the future as you can see skill areas that you are stronger or weaker in, respectively. Because they can be compared across all TABE subject areas and levels, scale scores are also useful for tracking your progress.

Grade Equivalent Score

The grade equivalent (GE) score is the score that is most often misinterpreted for the TABE. The score's format mirrors the typical structure seen in K-12 education, with the numbers 0-12.9 representing a particular school year and month. These scores can indicate the level at which you performed in a given subject area.

However, these scores cannot be used to compare performance against different levels of the test. For example, if you scored a 7.3 on the medium level test for mathematics, you might get a lower GE score on the difficult level test, since this test is geared toward learners in the 6.0-8.9 GE range, whereas the medium level test is for students in the 4.0-5.9 GE range.

What the Scores Are Used For

The resulting scale and grade equivalent scores are used to place you in adult basic education classes suited to your ability levels and/or determine your preparedness to enter a career training program. Some schools also require students to take the TABE a second time and earn acceptable scores in order to successfully complete a program.

Each school has its own minimum score requirements, so make sure that you are aware of your college's desired scores.

Study.com Resources

Remember, you can always improve your TABE scores through careful studying and focusing on areas you struggle with. This is where Study.com comes in. Take advantage of our multiple course offerings to further explore TABE test material through self-paced video lessons and transcripts. You'll continue to sharpen your skills through practice quizzes throughout the material. All courses are completely mobile, allowing you to study whenever and wherever you need. Below is a small sampling:

Earning College Credit

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