Strategies for Maximizing Your Score on the TASC

By Stuart Donnelly

There are a variety of strategies that you can use to maximize your score on the different sections of the TASC, or Test Assessing Secondary Completion exam.

When it comes to doing the multiple-choice section, one of the most effective strategies you have at your disposal is to eliminate unlikely choices. Any choices that you can get rid of because you deem them implausible or unrealistic to the problem at hand will increase your odds of selecting the correct answer. For example, if you have four choices (A, B, C, and D) and you know the answer can’t be A or D, then you now have a 50 percent chance of selecting the correct answer instead of the 25 percent chance you had before you eliminated two of the options.

If the question stem provides you with additional information such as charts, pictures, or tables, make sure you look at these carefully before selecting your answer. This additional information has been provided to you for a reason, so don’t ignore it!

Another important strategy is to answer every question. Unlike some other standardized assessments, you don’t get points off for wrong answers on the TASC. If you guess on a multiple-choice question that you don’t know the answer to, there’s a chance you may guess correctly. But if you leave it blank, there’s a zero percent chance that you’ll get a point from that question.

Depending on the question you’re trying to answer, certain techniques can help you understand the problem. These strategies include drawing a picture, making a list, or constructing an outline. In the Math section, for example, if you’re trying to solve a problem on perimeters, it may be helpful to draw the shape the problem is describing. On the Science subtest, if a question involves an element or atom, it may be helpful to draw a diagram of the nucleus and rings. An example in the Social Studies section may be that you need to construct a timeline to help you visualize the sequence of events in a passage. And making an outline is useful for the essay question because it helps you organize your thought process and ensures that you don’t go off on a tangent or miss part of the prompt.

You must stay on topic when writing your essay. Essays that don’t answer the question will earn zero points, no matter how well written they are.