TASC vs GED-Which is Better?

In 2021, four states (New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, and New York) used the TASC exam for their high school equivalency testing programs.

The TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) was, however, discontinued.

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Indiana and West Virginia changed to the HiSET exam (in WV: only computer-based), New York switched to the GED®, and New Jersey simply discontinued the TASC so the two remaining options are the GED and HiSET exams, both to be taken on a computer in that state.

All tests test provide individuals who haven’t completed their regular high school curriculum with the chance to acquire a credential that’s equivalent to a conventional high school diploma.

It is quite difficult to say if the TASC was any better than the GED, but we can take a look at some of the major differences.

Students living in states that used the TASC™ exclusively could not take the GED test if they were pursuing a high school equivalency diploma. They were required to take the TASC exam instead.

However, Indiana transitioned from the TASC to the HiSET exam on July 1, 2021, West Virginia discontinued the TASC in 2021, and as of Jan 1, 2022, New York State uses the GED exam for HSE (high school equivalency) testing purposes.

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Earlier TASC results are counting now as well toward the HiSET or GED exams.

GED or TASC

The TASC was, just like the GED exam, a test that assessed your academic knowledge level and critical reasoning skills.

Passing the exam showed you had skills and knowledge comparable to persons that graduated from high school.

In 2014, most states continued using the GED, some states only used the TASC, and others switched to the HiSET exam for the purpose of HSE testing.

The GED includes four independent modules or subtests that must be taken entirely in a computer-based format. GED testing covers the academic subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

The TASC exam was offered both in a computer-based format and in a paper-based form (except for West Virginia and New Jersey, where only computer-based testing was offered) and contained five independent tests covering English Reading, English Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.

This website mainly covers what’s on the GED tests, so in this post, let’s take a closer look at what TASC testing entailed.

The GED exam is now offered in an online proctored format as well, which includes several online tools such as a GED whiteboard and a scratchpad. Online TASC testing was not available.

As with the GED, the TASC subtests measured what students need to know relative to graduating high school students.

The states that only used the TASC exam were New York (which changed to the GED) and West Virginia, which changed to the HiSET. New Jersey offers multiple options to students looking to secure a high school equivalency diploma but discontinued the TASC as it is no longer available.

States that offered the TASC exam

In 2021, the TASC exam was available in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, and New York. The TASC exam test was developed by Data Recognition Corp. Check here for an overview of high school equivalency testing by state. In this post, you can learn which exam your state uses now.

In 2014, some important changes to the GED test were unveiled. The test was offered exclusively on a computer, it was aligned to the American Common Core Standards, and the cost of testing increased considerably.

As a result, two alternative tests, the TASC and HiSET exams, were introduced and a selection of states opted for using one or more of these options for their high school equivalency testing programs.

As to what you needed to know to be successful on the TASC exam, the academic requirements were quite the same as for the GED. The two most noticeable differences between the GED and TASC exams were the format flexibility and the cost.

The TASC was more affordable than the GED and was available both as a paper-and-pencil and a computerized test except for New Jersey and West Virginia where only computerized TAC testing was available.

Students additionally had the option to take the TASC in Spanish, but that also counts for the GED. The TASC exam was also available in Braille, large-print, or in an audio version for students with special needs.

TASC advantages

One more advantage that the TASC exam had over the GED is that was gradually aligned to the U.S. Common Core State Standards.

This helped students to stay competitive both for educational and professional purposes as they would be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge are up to par with contemporary standards.

Students reported that the TASC Math portion was more challenging than the GED math section. The TASC exam required a better and deeper understanding of all academic fields, but especially the subject areas of science and math, they said.

The TASC exam assessed everything, from chemistry to trigonometry, and students had to be prepared to put in a lot of studying to become successful on the five TASC modules.

So the TASC exam is currently not offered anymore.

The five TASC subtests would take you 445 minutes in total to complete, but, as said earlier, you had the option to take the subtests individually, just as you can with the four GED modules.

In general, the TASC was more affordable than the GED, but the cost varied by state. Check here to see the -> GED or HiSET price in your state.

Let’s take a closer look at the five TASC subtests (English writing, English reading, science, social studies, and math).

What was on the TASC exam?

  • Writing – The TASC Writing section lasted 105 minutes and included multiple-choice questions that measured your English language knowledge. It included writing an essay based on a prompt that included one or two texts. You had to show proficiency in constructing an argument defending your point of view, demonstrating correct spelling, and following the rules of grammar. Check here for ->GED Writing practice tests.
  • Reading – The TASC Reading portion was 75 minutes long, and here, your ability to identify the main idea of a given text was assessed, as well as finding supporting details. You could be asked to compare different texts and determine style and arguments. The texts you were given might be nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. Check here for ->GED Reading practice tests.
  • Science – The TASC Science subtest took 85 minutes to complete, and it covered life science, physical science, and Earth and space science. These questions covered the fields of energy, matter, cellular life, waves, ecosystems, geology, evolution, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Check here for ->GED Science practice tests.
  • Social Studies – The TASC Social Studies subtest lasted 75 minutes and covered the U.S. and world history, civics and government, geography, and economics. The most-covered subject fields were civics and government, U.S. history, and economics. Check here for ->GED Social Studies practice tests.
  • Math – The TASC Math portion was 105 minutes in length, and it covered algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics. You were allowed to use a scientific calculator for just a part of this subtest, and you would also receive a formula sheet, so memorizing all sorts of math formulas was not needed, just as on the GED exam. Most math questions on the TASC math portion were in the multiple-choice format. Check here for ->GED Math practice tests.

TASC passing score

On each of the five TASC subtests, the passing was 500, meaning your overall score had to be at least 2500 points. Additionally, your essay, which was scored on a scale from 1 to 8, had to yield at least a 2-score.

If you didn’t pass a section on the first try, you could retake that part for free. In total, you were given two retakes for free. For more information about the former TASC scoring system, check here.

As stated above, if you took the test on a computer, your scores would be available right away (actually three hours after you took the test except for the essay part), though it also could take up to three days. If you took the paper-based version, you would receive your diploma some 10 days after you took the test.

The scores students would receive at taking the five TASC exams were College and Career Readiness (CCR) scores. Students attaining satisfactory CCR scores had demonstrated to be well-prepared at a level comparable to American high school graduates.

TASC cost

As said before, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (or TASC) was given both on paper and on a computer, though in New Jersey and West Virginia, only computerized TASC testing was available.

The cost of TASC testing included two retakes at no charge, and score reports would be available instantaneously if students used the computerized format (except for the essay section). Scores would be available in around 10 working days if they had taken the paper-based version. To learn all about the price of GED and HiSET testing in your state, check out the linked page and select your state.

Students that have earned their high school equivalency diplomas qualify for a college education, and the credential will open up the doors to better-paying jobs, new or better careers, and brighter futures in general.

Without a high school or equivalent diploma, millions of American adults will not be able to take the next steps to improve their lives. Individuals without a secondary education degree will earn some $9,600 less annually on average than those who hold a high school or GED diploma.

And if you would go on to college and attain an associate’s, bachelor’s, or some other advanced degree or training, that difference will only get bigger and bigger.

In conclusion, the diploma that you’ll receive upon completing the HiSET or GED diploma shows that you command the same knowledge and skills as persons who completed their regular high school curriculum. Passing your state’s high school equivalency exam will definitely help you become more successful.

Last Updated on June 14, 2022.