What is the WV High School Equivalency diploma?

The West Virginia Department of Education’s (or state department) approved high school equivalency (HSE) assessment offers adults a “second opportunity” to prove acquisition of the contemporary high school skills and life skills. For the thousands of West Virginians who have not completed high school, the issuance of the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate academic skills at a high school level of competency.

What is the TASC Test?

Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC test) is a national high school equivalency (HSE) assessment that allows adults to prove acquisition of contemporary high school skills. This assessment was developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill and is designed to provide equivalency for a high school diploma as well as higher-level college and career readiness. It is aligned with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education used in our state.

The TASC test assesses knowledge and skills in five subject areas including Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The TASC test has been nationally-normed and measures the examinee’s level of achievement relative to that of graduating high school seniors as well as readiness for college and the workforce as outlined by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The TASC test is available in English and Spanish as well as in large print, Braille, and audio versions. The five sections take a total of seven hours to complete and may be taken separately on different days (depending on the testing center’s schedule).

To pass the TASC test, examinees must demonstrate a level of achievement that meets or surpasses approximately 40 percent of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. See https://tasctest.com/demo-home/publishers/about-tasc-test/tasc-test-design/ for more information.

Besides a passing score for each test section, examinees receive a second score called the College and Career Readiness (CCR) score. A student who meets or exceeds the CCR passing score would be expected to earn a C or better in a credit-bearing college level course in the relevant subject.

As of January 1, 2014, TASC test became the state-approved HSE assessment for West Virginia. Examinees who successfully pass the TASC test receive the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma.

What are the tests in the current TASC test battery?

TASC test assesses five subject areas: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. In order to pass the TASC a score of 500 on each part is required.

TASC Test Reading Literacy

The Reading test includes multiple-choice, constructed response, and technology-enhanced questions that test an examinee’s ability to understand the information presented in excerpts from newspapers, magazines, novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and business or legal text passages. This subject area test includes both literary and informational texts.

  • There is a limit of 85 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.

TASC Test Writing

The Writing test is comprised of two parts (Language Usage and Conventions, and Writing Essay). The Writing test score is a combination of scores of the two parts.

The Language Usage and Convention part consists of multiple-choice, constructed-response, and technology-enhanced questions in which the examinee must identify errors and make corrections in sentence structure, usage, mechanics, and organization.

The Writing Essay part requires the examinee to compose an essay that either states and supports a claim (argumentative) or provides information about a topic of interest (informational). The essay is scored based on the clarity of expression, organization, and development of ideas, as well as on sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, word choice, and spelling.

  • There is a time limit of 110 minutes for the Writing section. This includes 65 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions in the Language Usage and Conventions part and 45 minutes to complete the Writing Essay part.


  • If a TASC test examinee completes the Language Usage and Conventions part of the Writing test in less than 65 minutes, he or she may go on to the Essay Writing portion. If the essay is completed in less than 45 minutes, the examinee may return to the first part. In addition, examinees may opt to complete the essay before they complete the multiple-choice questions to ensure they have enough time to complete the essay.
  • No score can be reported for the Writing test if the examinee’s essay is blank or “off-topic.” As a result, the examinee will have to take the entire Writing test again.
  • Even though the examinee may achieve a score of 500 or greater on the multiple choice section of the Writing test, if the examinee does not pass the essay section of the Writing test with a score of 2 or higher, then the Writing test score will indicate “Did Not Pass,” and the examinee must retake the entire Writing test.
  • The essay score is located on the Candidate Report at the bottom of the page under Mastery Indicators: Writing.
  • Those who are physically unable to write may be assigned a scribe or given the opportunity to produce a draft response, and edit it, in an acceptable manner. These special provisions must be made through the accommodations process.

TASC Test Mathematics

The Mathematics test includes test items in the following content areas: number and quantity, algebra, functions, geometry questions, statistics, and probability. Most of the items are word problems that involve real-life situations. Other items ask examinees to interpret information presented in diagrams, charts, graphs, and tables. Most of the test items are in multiple-choice format, but the test also includes gridded response items. A mathematics formula sheet is provided for both sections.

The Mathematics test consists of two sections. Part 1 allows examinees to use an approved calculator. The computer-based version of TASC has an online TI-30XS calculator built in. Handheld calculators are available upon request at the test sites for examinees to use with either the paper-based or computer-based versions of the TASC test.

  • There is a time limit of 55 minutes to complete Part 1 of the Mathematics test.

Part 2 is taken without the use of a calculator unless special testing accommodations have been granted due to a documented disability. All examinees have access to a page of Mathematic formulas to use during the test.

  • There is a time limit of 50 minutes to complete Part 2 of the Mathematics test.


Examinees may NOT go back and forth between sections of the Mathematics test. They must complete Part 1 before they can begin Part 2. If they complete Part 2 before the allotted time limit, they may not return to Part 1.

TASC Test Social Studies

The Social Studies test includes items that are designed to measure concepts and skills from the following content areas: history, economics, geography, civics, and government. This test is a gauge of examinees’ understanding of the basic principles in each of these content areas. The test items include reading passages, illustrations, graphs, and charts. This test consists of multiple-choice, constructed-response, and technology-enhanced questions.

  • There is a time limit of 75 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.

TASC Test Science

The Science test consists of multiple-choice, constructed-responses, and technology-enhanced questions that cover content in the areas of physical science, life science, and earth and space science. Each discipline is subdivided into several Core Ideas, which each contain multiple performance expectations. Each test item assesses one performance expectation. Test items require examinees to recall knowledge, apply knowledge and skills, and apply reasoning skills. Answering questions for this subtest requires a combination of excellent reading skills, specific content knowledge, and the ability to interpret scientific data. Data may be presented in paragraph form, graphs, maps, tables, figures, and charts. As in Part 2 of the Mathematics subject area, the use of the approved calculator is allowed for the Science test. However, there is no formula sheet available for use on this test.

  • There is a time limit of 75 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.

How do you get the diploma?

Individuals must take and pass all five subject area tests of the high school equivalency assessment (currently the TASC test) to receive the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma. The state of West Virginia has provided funding for individuals to take the high school equivalency assessment for free. In order to get the free testing, examinees must go to an Adult Education (AdultEd) classroom to take the state approved high school equivalency (HSE) practice test (currently the TASC Test Readiness Assessment) and receive a passing score in each subject area. Individuals may also choose to attend classes at an AdultEd center to brush up on skills to help them prepare for the TASC test.