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TABE Frequently Asked Questions

Does a student have to take the TABE?

According to state law, "non-exempt students who are enrolled in certain vocational certificate programs shall complete a basic skills examination within the first six (6) weeks after admission into the program."

EFSC uses the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to meet this state requirement for programs over 450 clock hours, excluding Law Enforcement.

What is on the TABE?

The test consists of three subtests: Reading (parts 1 and 2), Math (parts 1 and 2), and Language. The maximum time allotments in each section. Each subject includes approximately 40 questions.
In addition to multiple choice, TABE subtests contain the following types of questions:

  • Gridded-response items (Math only)
  • Technology-enhanced items, such as drag & drop, select text, etc.
  • Multiple-select items
  • Evidence-based selected response items
  • Two-part items (selected-response or multiple-select items)
How long is the TABE?

The initial TABE taken in the Testing Office is taken on the computer and may last up to 4 hours. TABE retest times will vary according to which subjects are being retested.

Time allotments are:

  • Reading Part I: 50 Minutes
  • Reading Part II: 50 Minutes
  • Math Part I: 30 Minutes
  • Math Part II: 35 Minutes (scientific calculator provided)
  • Language: 55 Minutes
How can a student prepare and/or review for the TABE?

Check out our list of Resources or perform an internet search! EFSC strongly recommends students review the navigation tutorials for all subtests since the question types are different from the more familiar single selection, multiple choice items. Each tutorial can contain subject specific navigation tools not found in one of the other tutorials.

Watch the EFSC video tutorial on use of a scientific calculator to and prepare for the TABE Math Part II section.

Students are welcome to come to a campus Academic Success Center prior to testing to take a practice test and prepare for the TABE.

In addition, each campus Library should have a copy of review materials, including practice tests, available for students to borrow; campus bookstores may also have copies of the review materials for sale.

How does a student register for the initial TABE?
TABE testing is done by appointment only at the EFSC Assessment Centers. In order to make a TABE test appointment, students will need their EFSC ID number, Titans student email address, telephone number and the name of the academic program for which they need the TABE test. View more details about registering for TABE via the RegisterBlast system.
What should a student bring to the test?
All test administrations require photo identification (driver's license, passport, military ID, or state-issued photograph ID). A scientific calculator is embedded in the Math Part II section. Scratch paper and pencils are provided at each test center.
Can the test be retaken if the student does poorly?
Yes, TABE can be retaken and students who do not achieve the TABE cutoff scores for their program requirements will not be denied access to vocational classes. Before any retesting, these students should plan on 90 days of remediation effort focusing on one subject at a time. Students who need remediation will be directed to consult with their program advisor for consultation on how best to focus on academic skill development that may be needed in order to be successful in their chosen career. Various TABE remediation options are available to best meet the needs of the student and include utilizing the campus Academic Success Center tutoring services.
How often can a student take the TABE?

There must be a wait time of at least 3 months between test dates in which time the student should be actively focusing on skill development or the student must perform 30 hours of documented subject review; whichever comes first.

Students who still fail to meet the minimum basic skills levels after the first retest attempt should meet with an Academic Support staff member to reassess their personal remediation strategy. The test publisher requires specific time intervals between TABE test form administrations. It is critical that the student dedicate sufficient effort to improve academic skills, as the time constraints of Test form usage cannot be waived.

How many hours of review is needed before retesting?

In general, the amount of time necessary for review depends on the ability of the student, the time commitment and effort from the student. The test publisher requires a 90-day interval for subject review or 30 hours of focused study. It is important that the review effort be successful, as the time interval between the use of the same test form (11 - 12) administration is six months. 

Can a student be exempted from taking the TABE?

TABE testing may be waived under certain situations. Carefully review the TABE exemptions web page and work closely with your program advisor or other EFSC staff as needed to ensure all exemption requirements are met.

How can a student get TABE test results?

Students will be provided a personal copy of their TABE test results at the conclusion of TABE Online testing. If there is a delay in score report generation, a PDF copy will be emailed to the student’s Titan address. 

An additional copy of scores may be provided to students upon request with a valid photo ID to the Testing Office. The College will not release scores over the phone or via e-mail, except in that case of a delay in the initial score report. Score Report Profile sheets should be presented in the initial contact with academic support staff.

What is the minimum score needed?

Minimum basic skill levels in math, language and reading are defined in each vocational program description and listed in the chart on the TABE testing page.

NOTE: Students enrolled in programs of 450 hours or more that require a state, national, or industry licensure exam for employment must be initially tested (unless one of the approved exemptions is met). If upon program completion, the student documents passage of the licensure exam within six months of program completion, the basic skills exit requirement is waived.

What accommodations are available for students with disabilities?

If you have a documented Learning Disability or require a testing accommodation, you must be registered with the Student Access for Improved Learning (SAIL) office at EFSC in order to receive your accommodations. Please contact the SAIL office near you to confirm that you are registered, to determine your accommodations, if any, and to schedule your initial TABE. Students wishing to test with approved accommodations, need to inform the Assessment staff when the test appointment is scheduled.