Posted on June 11, 2015
When the GED test was introduced in 1942, it provided a pathway for people to find employment by proving proficiency in basic skills and knowledge. Military personnel who had entered service without completing high school found it especially helpful to establish credentials for joining a civilian workforce. The landmark testing series has undergone major changes over the last 73 years and remains a gold standard for alternative credentialing.
In the last few years, however, two strong competitive testing programs have sprung up: TASC and HiSET. For the first time, people aspiring to earn high school equivalency have a choice.
For libraries committed to supporting learning, the challenge is greater than ever to provide materials that support patrons studying for these exams. Many are turning to Gale’s TERC (Testing and Education Reference Center) to expand their resources for test preparation. TERC now include resources to help patrons prepare for the TASC and HiSET exams.
About the newbies
The new entries to high school equivalency testing offer different approaches:
The TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) test is described by its publisher as a “state-of-the-art, affordable national high school equivalency assessment.” The five subject area tests (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) measure levels of achievement relative to that of graduating high school seniors, and career and college readiness standards.
Passing TASC indicates that examinees possess a level of knowledge and skill that meets or surpasses approximately 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. It also measures readiness for college and the 21st-century workforce, in which new skills such as computer literacy, science, and mathematics are more important than ever.
For TASC, TERC offers two full length practice tests each of the five subject area tests:
• Social Studies
The HiSET exam is described as an “affordable alternative to the GED test,” offering greater flexibility (available in multiple formats and languages) and accessibility (with more test center options). Skills and knowledge are measured in five core area subtests (language arts—reading, language arts—writing, math, science, and social studies).
The exam tests for attainment of academic knowledge and proficiency equivalent to high school graduates. It is aligned to the Office of Vocational and Adult Education College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.
For HiSET, TERC will deliver two full-length practice tests covering the five subtest areas:
• Writing (broken down in essay and multiple choice sections)
• Social Studies
More about TERC
TERC offers resources to help plan for future academic and career success. Whether searching for undergraduate and graduate school programs, finding tuition assistance, or exploring careers, students, parents, and others can use this online resource to prepare for and find information about educational and career opportunities. (See a full listing of tests covered by TERC.)
Here’s what Library Journal says about TERC
“Testing & Education Reference Center (TERC) provides detailed information on colleges and universities, graduate and professional programs, distance learning, corporate training, available financial scholarships and awards, preparatory entrance exams, and numerous tools to help users identify occupational opportunities…(T)he database gives users 300-plus online practice tests—including certification and licensing tests, ebooks containing study material and practice tests, and information on more than 4,000 accredited schools…
TERC is now available with Career Module, which consists of career assessment, a résumé builder, and a virtual careers library.…The virtual careers library provides résumé, cover letter, and interviewing tips for all levels of job seekers.”
— Library Journal, March 1, 2014
In addition to supporting TASC and HiSET test prep, the new TERC update will also include updates to AP Calculus (AB & BC), Physics (I & II), AP U.S. History, and MCAT test preparation.