TASC Test Information For

Colleges/Postsecondary Schools


The TASC test standard setting and validity studies improve the new pass cut scores.

Standard Setting & Validity

TASC Test Standard Setting and Validity Studies


Data Recognition Corporation | CTB has a comprehensive research plan in place for 2015 to set new pass cut scores and new College and Career Readiness (CCR) cut scores.

This research will be broken down into two initial phases.


Phase 1:  Item Mapping and Descriptor Writing

DRC|CTB Research develops item maps that associate TASC test items with locations on the scale for each subject. Each map includes items from all forms in a subject (and if available, field test items placed on scale). This is work that DRC|CTB conducts using their Bookmark Standard Setting Procedure™.

DRC|CTB Research provides training for TASC test content development leads in each content area to support the development of a descriptive developmental scale in each TASC test subject.

Deliverables include:

• Descriptive item maps similar to those created by the National Adult Education Professional Develop Consortia (NAEPDC).

• Performance Level Descriptors similar to those achievement level descriptors created by the NAEPDC. These indicate the knowledge, skills, and abilities held by students at the current cut score and at various scale locations.


The goal is to have various levels beginning with the Pass score (level 1), then additional levels (e.g., College and Career Ready) where each subsequent level is formed by aggregating the descriptors illustrated for each item or sets of items for some set of consecutive items on the item map. For example, we may aggregate the descriptors of the items below 500 for one set of descriptors (the “just barely passed” examinee descriptor) or descriptors for items from 500 to the CCR cut score.

Phase 2: Aligning TASC Test to Developmental Course Content

DRC|CTB Content Developers identify TASC test content equivalent to that of college developmental coursework (not-for-credit courses)—these are the courses for students deemed not ready for full college coursework. This supports the setting of CCR cut scores by identifying TASC test scores associated with mastery of developmental course content (which include the prerequisite skills to support success in credit-bearing courses).

First, DRC|CTB identifies commonly used textbooks for college "developmental" courses. These are courses such as Developmental Math, taken by students who do not demonstrate achievement associated with success in credit- bearing college courses such as College Algebra.

DRC|CTB then aligns the content of the developmental textbooks with TASC test to understand the skills on the item maps developed in Phase 1 that are considered prerequisite to success for credit-bearing courses. This will provide the framework to establish a content-based CCR cut score for TASC test. One consultant for Mathematics and one for Reading/Writing will be contracted to examine the alignment and support the identification of an appropriate cut score in each TASC test content area.