Tests of adult basic education
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Tests of Adult Basic Education. Workshop Objectives. Practical knowledge needed for implementation, including planning, scheduling tests, registration and the preparation of students Introduction to scoring and reporting TABE results Discussion of how to accommodate students with disabilities

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Tests of Adult Basic Education

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Tests of adult basic education

Tests of Adult Basic Education

Workshop objectives

Workshop Objectives

  • Practical knowledge needed for implementation, including planning, scheduling tests, registration and the preparation of students

  • Introduction to scoring and reporting TABE results

  • Discussion of how to accommodate students with disabilities

  • Discussion of basic test management

  • Discussion of other organization and implementation needs

Why tabe


  • It provides a complete picture of adult student performance

    • Provides both norm-referenced and competency-based/ criterion-referenced information

    • Helps educators and other users evaluate clients’ abilities in basic skills (reading, language, mathematics)

  • Provides data for initial placement in an Educational Functioning Level (EFL) and subsequent promotion to a higher EFL

  • Approved for NRS Reporting

Tests of adult basic education1

Tests of Adult Basic Education

  • Most widely used adult test in the United States (ABE)

  • Proven “Validity” and “Reliability”

  • Norms based on adult reference groups

  • Content reflects adult learning

  • Built on 45 years of experience

  • Grounded in Basic Skills/Higher Order Thinking Skills – Cognitive Complexity

    • Bloom, Rankin-Hughes, Norm Webb

History of ctb mcgraw hill s tests of adult basic education tabe

History of CTB/McGraw-Hill’sTests of Adult Basic Education (TABE)

  • TABE 1 & 21964

  • TABE 3 & 41974-1975

  • TABE 5 & 61983

  • TABE 7 & 81994

  • TABE 9 & 10 2003-2004

    • TABE Online 2006

  • TABE Adaptive2012

  • TASC2014

Tabe content validity

TABE Content Validity

  • Higher Order Thinking Skills

    • Cognitive Complexity

  • National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS)

  • Standards and Guidelines


  • Culturally Diverse Content

  • Maximum Bias Elimination

    • Ethnicity

    • Age

    • Gender

Content validity

Content Validity

Content measures three types of literacy needed for the High School Equivalency and today’s jobs:

  • Prose literacy —reading and understanding written text

  • Document literacy —understanding content of common documents (diagrams, maps, charts, tables, forms, and consumer labels )

  • Numeracy —merging knowledge of numerical and word content (the ability to understand complex documents such as tax forms or advertisements that require both text and math skills

    2003 NALS Comparative Report to the Nation on Adult Literacy Performance

Tests of adult basic education

Versions of TABE

  • Two Alternate Forms – 9 &10

  • Two versions for each form

    • Complete Battery (3 hours, 37 minutes)

      • Complete norm- and criterion-referenced information

      • Detailed diagnostic information

    • Survey (2 hours, 8 minutes)

      • Shorter testing time

      • Easy screening and placement

Tabe test booklets

TABE Test Booklets

  • Level L Form 9 or 10 (consumable)

  • Complete Battery Form 9 or 10 (reusable)

    • Levels E, M, D, or A

  • Survey Form 9 or 10 (reusable)

    • Levels E, M, D, or A

  • Large Print Test Books

  • Braille (9 only)

  • Audio (9 only)

Tabe 9 and 10 a flexible modular structure

*Core Tests:




Mathematics Computation

Applied Mathematics

Plus Tests (Optional):

Language Mechanics



Advanced Tests (Optional):

Social Studies and Science


Writing ( 2 prompts)

Instructional Support

Getting to Know TABE

Building Skills With TABE

Scoring Options


TABE-PC or TestMate TABE

TABE Online

TABE 9 and 10: A Flexible, Modular Structure

*approved for federal reporting

Literacy level

Literacy Level

Tabe administration and support materials

TABE Administration and Support Materials

  • Test Directions

  • Norms Book

  • Technical Report

  • Individual Diagnostic Profiles

  • Building Skills with TABE

  • Getting to Know TABE

Tabe 9 10 flexible options tabe online

TABE 9 & 10 Flexible Options: TABE Online

  • Web based version of TABE 9&10

  • Rapid Registration of student in the system

  • Test scored immediately and automatically

  • Auto Locator for placing students in test level

  • Completely secure test administration and data storage

  • Timer and book marking features

  • Reports allow for aggregation of data

  • Improved accommodation functionality – font color/size

Tabe 9 10 flexible options tabe pc

TABE 9 & 10 Flexible Options: TABE PC

  • Entire test or any part completed on computer

  • Test scored immediately and automatically

  • Auto Locator for placing students in test level

  • Option for randomizing distractors/ correct answer to improve test security

  • Timer and book marking features

  • Option for integrating data with TestMate TABE testing and upload

  • Same reporting formats as TestMate TABE

Understanding and using tabe appropriately

Understanding and Using TABE Appropriately

Frequency of tabe assessments

Time prior to post-testing

50- 60 hours of instruction (40 min) recommended for ABE students

30-59 hours of instruction recommended for ASE students

same level, different form

120 hours of instruction recommended

same level, same form

Frequency of TABE assessments?

Tabe levels by content difficulty

TABE Levels by Content Difficulty

L 0 - 1.9

E 2.0 - 3.9

M 4.0 - 5.9

D 6.0 - 8.9

A 9.0 - 12.9

  • Most questions on tests are written at the content difficulty indicated

  • Small amount of questions above and below content range for vertical scaling

Using best practices to administer tabe 9 and 10

Using Best Practices to Administer TABE 9 and 10

Pre test post test evaluation

Pre-test/Post-test Evaluation

Best practices in administering tabe

Best Practices in Administering TABE

  • Inform student about the test experience.

    • Purpose of testing and use of results

    • When and where the test will be given

    • What subject matter will be tested

    • Types of test questions

    • Timing and test length

    • Practice questions

  • Create and maintain appropriate testing environment.

    • Trained administrators and proctors

    • Appropriate spacing/seating of students

Variables that can affect test results



Motivation level

Physical discomfort

Test anxiety


Light levels


Noise level


Other distractions

Variables That Can Affect Test Results

Best practices in administering tabe1

Best Practices in Administering TABE

  • Use “Locator” to determine appropriate test level.

    • May not be used instead of test level

    • Is not an absolute prediction of ability

    • Has limited number of items

    • Avoid administering a level “too easy” or “too difficult”

  • Use determined test level in a “standardized” manner.

    • Use proper timing

    • Read script verbatim

    • Follow test directions explicitly

    • Ensure comparable testing situation for all examinees

How to help examinees

How to Help Examinees

Do explain:

  • Won’t know all the answers

  • Time frame

  • No preparation needed

  • Current skills

  • Breaks

  • No trick questions

    Do not say:

  • Easy test

  • Extra time is allowed

Tests of adult basic education

Hand Scoring

  • Must have the following to complete:

    • Scoreze Answer Sheet or CompuScan Answer Sheet

    • Stencil overlay or Answer Key to score

    • Norms Book

    • Diagnostic Profile Sheet

Using tabe with special needs students

Using TABE with Special Needs Students

Adult students with disabilities

Adult Students with Disabilities

  • Must self-identify

  • Must provide approved documentation

  • Must request accommodation

Modifications accommodations of testing procedures

Modifications / Accommodations of Testing Procedures

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Flexible setting

  • Flexible responding

  • Flexible presentation

  • Flexible timing

Tabe accommodations

TABE Accommodations

  • Making Test Accessible for Adult Students with Special Needs

    • TABE 9 & 10 -Large Print-(available in Complete and Survey editions)

    • TABE 9-Braille-(available in Complete and Survey Editions).

    • TABE 9-Audio Taped Edition-(available in Complete and Survey Editions).

    • Use of TABE Online or TABE PC.

Maintaining security and integrity of tabe 9 and 10

Maintaining Security and Integrity of TABE 9 and 10

Security issues

Security Issues

  • Handling Testing Materials

    • Tracking with TABE Administrators, Students

    • Keeping Materials in Locked Storage

  • No cell phones or electronic devices

  • Number tests and answer sheets

  • Plan for contingencies

  • Active monitoring

    • 1 proctor for every 15 students being tested

    • Direct observation for entire test period

Interpreting and using tabe results

Interpreting and Using TABE Results

Score range vs content range

Score Range vs. Content Range

Grade Equivalent

Content Range

How to interpret scores

How to interpret scores

  • The “raw score” (number correct) cannot be compared from Form to Form

    • Forms are “alternate”

    • but not 100% equal item by item

  • Number Correct (NC) is starting point for determining meaningful scores

    • For manual scoring, use norms book to interpret NC

    • TestMate TABE, TABE PC & TABE Online generate instant test reports

Interpretation of grade equivalent scores

Interpretation of Grade Equivalent Scores

  • A GE of 7.6 in mathematics does NOT mean the student is capable of doing 7th grade math

    • it depends on the level of the test being given

  • The GE score may not always keep pace with academic growth.

    • Is a 5.5 GE on M level the same as 5.5 on the D level?

    • Can a student’s GE stay the same, but still demonstrate academic growth?

Tabe 9 10 score types

TABE 9 & 10 Score Types

  • Norm-referenced Scores

    • National Percentile (NP)

    • Stanine (1-9)

    • Scale Score (0-999)

    • GE (0 – 12.9)

  • Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)

    • All tests have error, but how much?

  • Criterion-referenced Scores

    • Number correct

    • Percent mastery

Scale scores 0 to 999

Scale Scores…0 to 999

  • Scale scores are used as

    • a basis for deriving the other TABE 9&10 norm-referenced scores that can be used to describe test performance

  • The scale score takes into consideration

    • the difficulty of the form:

      • it takes more items correct in “M” than it does in “D” to get the same scale score

  • Scale score is the only way to assess educational gain

    • All items are on a “vertical” scale

    • Being on an equal-interval scale means that the distance between the two scale scores has the same meaning at different points on the scale

Standard error of measurement sem

Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)

  • Every test has error; important to use SEM for correct interpretation of test scores

    • Estimate of amount of error to be expected in a particular score from a particular test

  • SEM is:

    • Attached to each scale score and takes a student’s “true score” into account

    • Much larger near the floor or ceiling of the range of performance for a given test

  • Range of performance may be calculated by adding and subtracting the SEM to/from the scale score

Linking data to instruction

Linking Data to Instruction

Linking data to instruction1

Linking Data to Instruction

  • Building Skills with TABE

  • Achieving TABE Success

  • Contemporary

  • Steck-Vaughn

  • Number Power and Number Sense

Turning the focus to instruction

Turning the Focus to Instruction

  • Diagnostic Reports - Why Create Them?

    • Gives an instant view of TABE skills on which to focus prior to post-testing

    • Gives teachers the opportunity to look at their entire class or select individuals performance on TABE Pre-test

    • Helps teachers plan instruction

      • Small group and/or entire class activities based on common skill weaknesses

      • Target specific weak skills utilizing the Study Guides books and

      • Form daily lesson plans

  • Provides a reference for pulling extra materials for supplemental practice

  • Shapes daily, direct instruction between teacher and student

Tests of adult basic education

Turning the Focus to Instruction:

Item Analysis Data

  • Individual Diagnostic Profile

  • TestMate for TABE software or TABE PC

  • TABE Online Group Item Analysis Report

  • TABE Teachers Guides Instructional Binders

Tests of adult basic education

Turning the Focus to Instruction

Correlations from Publishers Content

  • Where to find them?

  • In the front of some of the Instructional materials

  • Links each question to targeted skill lessons in that publisher’s materials

  • Used for an Individual Students

Tests of adult basic education

Turning the Focus to Instruction

Creating & Using a TABE Study Plan (Prescriptive)

  • WHY Create Them?

    • Provides relevant information to the student about areas of skill strength & weakness

    • Ties relevance to TABE skills & skills needed for other academic areas (e.g., HSAP, HSE, etc.)

    • Gives an immediate assignment

    • Focuses on appropriate TABE – Skill practice along with the use of HSE materials

    • Gives instant success

    • Promotes student confidence

Assessment results

Assessment Results

  • Results of both pre- and post-tests are important to the:

    • Learner: They should know the reason they are placed at a certain level, in certain materials, etc. They can also see how much progress they make.

    • Teacher: Results should be used to guide instruction and curriculum development.

    • Program: Critical for program improvement and accountability for achieving targeted outcomes.

      Results should DRIVE the Instructional

      Program & TRANSLATE into

      POSITIVE Program Performance

New tabe instructional information lexiles

NewTABE Instructional Information: Lexiles

  • A Lexile is a measure related to reading level of text

  • TABE reading scale score is matched to a Lexile scale

  • Books & other texts have been assigned Lexile measures

  • You can:

    • Match your learner with materials that are right for his/her reading ability

    • Monitor growth in reading

    • Differentiate instruction for your learners

    • Classify and manage reading materials

Grade and lexile ranges by tabe level

Grade and Lexile Rangesby TABE Level

A portrait of adult reading demands

A Portrait of AdultReading Demands

  • Aetna Health Care Discount Form (1360L)

  • Medical Insurance Benefit Pkg (1280L)

  • Application for Student Loan (1270L)

  • Federal Tax Form W-4 (1260L)

  • Installing Your Child Safety Seat (1170L)

  • Microsoft Windows User Manual (1150L)

  • GM Protection Plan (1150L)

  • CD-DVD Player Instructions (1080L)

Using lexiles

Using Lexiles

Achieving Reading Proficiency for All, Willard R. Daggett, ED.D.

International Center for Leadership in Education, 2003

Free how to access lexile information for your learners

Free! How to Access Lexile Information for Your Learners

  • Call CTB Customer Services at


  • Ask for your TABE Lexile Web Access

  • Go to http://tabe.lexile.com and log in with your user name and password

2014 plans and beyond

TABE Adaptive released in 2012

No Locator – No E,M,D,A – No 9/10

Reading, Math (Applied & Computation) and Language tests only

Adaptive engine will select test questions base on the student response on the previous question

Testing time is shortened but diagnostics data similar to the Complete Battery

Next version of TABE - Development scope work to begin

New Forms (rolled out over time from a collection of unscored test items from TABE Adaptive and TABE Formative tests)

Higher level content above the current Level A

Aligned to TASC, OVAE/NRS standards and Common Core Standards


Computer based testing for Adult ESL students

Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking

2014 Plans and Beyond

Tabe paper and pencil

TABE Paper and Pencil

  • Currently TABE 9/10

    • NRS approved through 2017

  • New Version needs NRS and State approval

  • Content for TABE 11 & 12

    • Common Core

    • OVAE Adult Ed Standards

    • High School Equiv

  • Levels and Forms

    • TBD

Testmate tabe

TestMate TABE

  • Scans TABE 9/10 answer sheets

  • Updated reports

  • Updated to support new scanners

  • Updated to support new version of Windows

  • Researching an enterprise version that would scan to a web database (TABE Online) for easier aggregation and data sharing

Tabe pc


  • Currently TABE 9/10

    • NRS approved through 2017

  • New USB option replaces Floppy Disk

    • Support for Windows 7 (above)

  • Plans for 2014 and beyond

    • New interface

    • Adaptive

    • Linking to centralized database (TABE Off-Line)

Tabe online

TABE Online

  • Currently TABE 9/10

    • NRS approved through 2017

  • New Prescriptive Reports

  • New Interface

  • New Functionality

    • Selecting multiple students

  • New Content

    • Testlets - FREE

    • Common Core aligned

Sample cbt item

Sample CBT Item

Best practices for administering tabe

Follow test publisher’srecommended testing procedures

Be concerned about test security

Follow NRS and state guidelines regarding the timing and frequency of testing

Use the TABE to drive instruction

Best Practices for Administering TABE

Questions thank you

Questions? - Thank you !

Mike JohnsonNational Adult Assessment Manager(630) 789-4586

[email protected]

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