The GED, or general educational development degree, is a degree that people who didn't receive their high school diploma can earn to replace it. There are a variety of tests and courses you must complete before finishing your GED. One of the tests you can take is the TABE test. The TABE test and its various scores can help you figure out how well you'll do on your GED.


The TABE, or Test of Adult Basic Education, was developed as a way to test an adult's comprehension of various basic knowledge skills. It is not a pass or fail type of test. Instead, it is used to decide what courses a student will have to take to catch up. A student who struggles in a specific section can take remedial courses to boost his knowledge. Students who do well in a section may be able to skip certain courses altogether. The TABE is used not only for the GED but has also been used in vocational colleges or before starting civil service jobs such as a firefighter.


The TABE tests three different sections of knowledge: reading, math and language. Students start by taking what is called a locator test. The locator test is a 30-minute test designed to decide how difficult the GED test will be for each student. The four levels of difficulty include L, which stands for limited literacy; E, which stands for easy; M, which stands for medium; and D, which stands for difficult. Some TABE tests also include a fifth level, called A for advanced. The GED TABE test uses this level. The actual test consists of 50 questions per section timed at 50 minutes.

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Each test calculates a numeric score between 300 and 600. Anything below 392 indicates an understanding of the knowledge equivalent to a kindergartner to second grade student. A score of 392 to 490 indicates understanding similar to a second grader to a fourth grader. Earning a score of 491 to 523 indicates you know as much on the subject as a fourth to sixth grade student. Scoring 524 to 559 indicates you posses the abilities of a sixth to eighth grade student in that subject. A score of 560 to 585 indicates a knowledge level of a ninth to 11th grade student while anything above 585 indicates a junior or senior level ability.


There are many ways you can study for the TABE test. There are sample tests available that will give you a score. Websites such as Study Guide Zone also offer an assessment of your score, giving you tips on where you are weak and how to improve your knowledge of this information. However, the TABE tests the comprehension level in a way that it makes it hard to improve your score. For example, if you have a fifth grade understanding of a subject, it will take a lot of studying before you can advance to a 10th grade understanding.

About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.