TASC vs. GED

tascMany people say the TASC test is the hardest of all the High School Equivalency exams. But is that true? In this article, we will compare the TASC with the GED, which is still offered by the majority of states.

As with the new GED and the HiSET, content for the TASC test is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Compared to the old GED, prior to 2014, the TASC is noticeably harder because the Common Core State Standards now require a higher level of academic achievement.

TASC’s passing standard is based on a national sample of recent high school graduates. Students who pass all areas of the test are around the 60th percentile (top 60%) of the recent high school students. In fact, all three High School Equivalency Exams are designed to yield similar passing rates.

So, does this mean the TASC and the GED are equal in terms of their difficulty level? Surprisingly, the answer is no. It all depends on your strengths and weaknesses.

The GED math section allows you to use a calculator for all questions except the first five. By comparison, half of the TASC math section contains non-calculator questions. However, the GED requires more writing than the TASC. Overall, the two tests are very similar but the TASC test has more questions that require specific content knowledge. In comparison, the GED requires content knowledge only at a definition level, but has more interdisciplinary questions. These differences will make a difference in scores for high level students.

Let’s compare the two tests with example. Here is a TASC science question:

Potassium chlorate (KCIO3) is a crystalline solid that can undergo thermal decomposition to form solid potassium chloride (KCI) and gaseous oxygen (O2) when heat is added. The chemical equation for this reaction is shown.

2KClO_3 + heat \rightarrow 2KCl_3 + 3O_2

The table lists the molar masses of the elements involved in this reaction:

Element Symbol Molar Mass (grams/mole)
Potassium K 39.10
Chlorine CI 35.45
Oxygen O 16.00

If 5.00 grams of KCIO3 (0.0408 moles) undergoes decomposition to produce 3.04 grams of KCI, which equation shows the predicted amount of oxygen that will be produced?

Answer D: 0.0408moles X 3moles/2moles X 32.00grams/mole =1.95 grams

Note that this question requires you to have in-depth knowledge of chemical compounds, units and chemical reactions. Compare this with a science question from the GED:

Researchers collected data to determine volumetric bone density for four samples. The data are recorded in the table below.

Bone Density Data

Sample Mass of Sample (g) Volume of Sample (cm3)
1 6.8 22.6
2 1.7 5.4
3 3.6 11.3
4 5.2 17.4

Density (g/cm3) = Mass (g) / Volume (cm3)

What is the average bone density for the data samples provided?

Answer C: 0.31g/cm3

Notice that this question doesn’t require you to have knowledge about bone density or even the density formula (as it is provided). On the other hand, it requires you to have knowledge of statistics and perform a math operation by calculating the average.

Both the examples were on the difficult side of the TASC and GED. To get a feel of the actual TASC test, try the official practice tests at http://www.tasctest.com/practice-items-for-test-takers.html

General Rules for the TASC Test

  • There are five subject areas:
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
  • The minimum passing score is 500 for each subject on a scale of 300 to 800.
  • The Writing test has 50 multiple choice questions and an essay.
  • The essay is scored separately from the rest of the Writing section. You need to score at least 500 in the multiple choice AND 2 out of 8 on the essay to pass the Writing test.
  • You can’t pass the test if you fail any one subject.
  • Starting sometime in 2015, you will also receive a second score called the Career and College Readiness score. A student who passes the CCR could expect to earn a C or better in freshmen level college courses.
  • The test is taken either on a computer or on paper.
  • A Mathematics Reference Sheet is provided for the Math test.
  • An on-screen or handheld calculator is provided for the Science and part of the Math tests.
  • There is no penalty for a wrong answer.

 

17 comments

  1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to
    say fantastic blog!

    • Jordan

      It’s way harder because it covers everything from the first year to high school until the last; the TASC test covers subjects from chemistry to physics, economics (macro & mirco), all subjects in math, etc. And the test does not stare clear of putting the difficult subjects, within their test. As long as you study accordingly, you’ll be okay, pay close attention to math and science–because 9 times out of 10, the question within it, you are not taught–and may have never learned. Hope this help as least. I had friends who took the GED and passed with flying colors and some who took the GED and the TASC, and with my knowledge, the ones who took the TASC to get their diploma said, “The TASC is harder than holding water in your hands.”

    • Happy

      You can buy a tsac prep book on Amazon for like $13-15 well worth it and it has practice test so you’ll know areas of strength and weakness academically. Good luck!

  2. Suzie

    So, I just passed the TASC test with my scored over 500 and I feel wonderful. I doubted myself. I was the first one in and first one out. Now let me oppose a question; is the TASC better than the GED and a High school diploma? Should I feel really smart right now?

  3. Crystal

    I took the tasc test in 2014 and it was extremely hard . l passed every subject except Math and Writing ( I passed the essay just not the editing and revising). I decided to give it another try ☺, and I go April 14th to retake those parts l didn’t pass. Hopefully I pass this time

  4. ambroise le voleur

    Ambroise Touvet le voleur, ce faux chef d’entreprise m’a volé de plusieurs milliers d’Euros et pense s’en tirer sans encombre. Sa famille (Blanche Touvet), ses parents, André et Chantal Touvet, tous le protège comme le petit enfant prodige alors qu’il passe son temps à mentir. J’espère qu’un de ses enfants, un jour, au détour d’internet, tombera sur ce post et demandera à son père comment il a fait fortune. J’espère qu’il comprendra quel ordure est son père et qu’il trouvera la force de le confronter a sa triste réalité. Directeur d’une agence de photographe ou personne ou presque n’est déclaré, ou tous les contrats sont en dessous de table et ou les fournisseurs, loin du cercle familial se retrouvent vite évincés lorsqu’ils demandent à être simplement paye. Chrétien de prétention, Ambroise Touvet n’a jamais compris ce que cela signifiait si ce n’est pour avoir des relations et accéder à de nouvelles fraudes.
    L’agence oblique ne paye pas d’impôts, n’existe que sur internet ou il peut prétendre à un statut de chef d’entreprise alors qu’il n’est qu’un raté minable volant pour réussir. Son profile facebook est un ramassi de mensonges tout autant que sur LinkedIn
    Menteur par nature, vous serez sur de vous faire voler en me contactant.
    Payant mon personnel au black et travaillant avec mon compte perso, j’évite les taxes !
    Pas d’instagram, pas de flickr pas de Pinterest: mon credo est l’arque chez Ambroise and Co
    Pas de contrat non plus pour disparaître avec la caisse quand je le veux.
    L’agence Oblique est le nom que j’ai donné a mon activité pour bien reprendre ma façon de travailler.
    Mensonges, vol, mauvaise foi, les parents d’Ambroise TOUVET doivent etre fiers de leur fils.
    Si vous croisez cette personne, profitez en pour lui cracher a la gueule.
    L’agence Oblique, un ramassis de pauvre mecs qui ne gagne de l’argent qu’en volant leurs fournisseurs.
    #malhonnete #AMBROISE TOUVET #escroc #malfaiteur #illegale #agence #oblique #honteux #malsains # AMBROIS # TOUVET #degoutant #repoussant #arnaque #fraude

  5. irv mel

    McGrawhil, wants to improve education, but this is certainly the wrong way of doing it in many ways. Most students don’t make it to college credit classes such as: Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy. Most students take the usual courses such as: Earth Science, Biology, and horticulture.

  6. Happy

    My son passed, we were both surprised and happy. I did buy him a tsac test prep and practice book, 3″ thick. He studied the subjects where he needed the most help based on his practice test from the book. I think the hardest part was for him was sitting in the test for 5 hours for 2 days, no breaks feeling hopeless. Paid off in the end, perseverance ppl and don’t cut yourself too short, you may be surprised by yourself.

  7. Stephanie

    Guys I just bought a huge GED book so I could study only to find out that the place where I’m going only does the TASC test! Now I’m stuck with this huge book! If I study it will it actually help me????

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