Tests of Adult Basic Education: Forms 9 and 10

Tests of Adult Basic Education: Forms 9 and 10 (TABE 9 and 10), including Complete Battery and Survey

Narrative Summary: 

TABE 9 and 10 is the fifth generation of assessments designed to provide achievement scores for adult education students. The content of TABE 9 and 10 stresses the integration and application of skills in contexts that are meaningful to adult examinees. The assessment levels extend from the basic literacy level, which includes beginning reading and mathematics skills, to the most advanced levels, which include objectives in all content areas that are taught at the high school level and are also measured on GED tests.

Intended Population: 

TABE 9 and 10 is intended for adults in adult basic education and adult secondary education programs.


TABE 9 and 10 evaluates adult students and places them in adult education programs. It also assesses educational growth and evaluates adult education programs.

Skills Measured-Test Content: 

TABE 9 and 10 focuses on three types of literacy: prose literacy, document literacy, and quantitative literacy. Together, these areas cover reading, mathematics computation, applied mathematics, and language. These main content areas are supported by optional vocabulary, language mechanics, and spelling tests.

Range of Skill Levels: 

Five levels, ranging from beginning literacy to advanced. Examiners use the Locator Test to help determine which level of TABE 9 and 10 to administer.

Number of Items per Test: 
  • Level L (Literacy). This test contains 4 sections and 100 items:
    • Prereading (18 items) o Reading (32 items)
    • Mathematics computation (16 items)
    • Applied mathematics (34 items)
  • Levels E (Easy), M (Medium), D (Difficult), and A (Advanced)—Complete Battery. This test contains 7 sections and 255 items:
    • Reading (50 items)
    • Mathematics computation (40 items)
    • Applied mathematics (50 items)
    • Language (55 items)
    • Vocabulary (20 items)
    • Language mechanics (20 items)
    • Spelling (20 items)
  • Levels E, M, D, and A—Survey. This test contains 7 sections and 160 items:
    • Reading (25 items)
    • Mathematics computation (25 items)
    • Applied mathematics (25 items)
    • Language (25 items)
    • o Vocabulary (20 items)
    • o Language mechanics (20 items)
    • o Spelling (20 items)
  • • Locator Test. This text contains 4 sections and 40 items:
    • o Reading (12 items)
    • o Mathematics computation (8 items)
    • o Applied mathematics (8 items)
    • o Language (12 items)
Types of Items: 

Multiple choice

Development of Items: 

TABE 9 and 10 went through seven stages of test development: assessment design, item writing, item review, tryout, item analysis, test selection, and national norming. Adult examinees in the norming sample were from adult education centers, alternative high schools, vocational/technical colleges, and correctional institutions. The TABE 9 standardization took place in the fall of 2002, and the TABE 10 standardization took place in fall 2003.

Size of Item Bank: 

The Survey, Complete Battery, and Locator Test are available in both Forms 9 and 10:

  • Complete Battery (Levels L-A): 255 items*
  • Survey (Levels E–A): 160 items
  • Locator Test: 40 items

*Level L can be used with either the Complete Battery or the Survey


Level L includes subtests for prereading, reading, mathematics computation, and applied mathematics. Levels E, M, D, and A include subtests for reading, mathematics computation, applied mathematics, language, vocabulary, language mechanics, and spelling.

Alternate Test Forms: 

Forms 9 and 10

Required / Recommended Administrator Training: 

Training is required following APA guidelines.

Test Administration Procedures: 

For both paper-and-pencil and computer-based testing, refer to Guide to Administering TABE 9 & 10 (CTB/McGraw-Hill, 2004) and Guidelines for Inclusive Test Administration (CTB/McGraw-Hill, 2002).

Scoring - How: 

By hand, machine, or computer

Scoring - Type: 

Content areas are scaled separately, and scores cannot be compared across subject areas: Scale scores, grade equivalents, percentile ranks, NCEs, stanines, and NRS levels for the Complete Battery and Survey; Cut scores for the Locator Test; Estimated GED score

Scoring - Who: 

CTB offers scoring; however, more often customers score by hand with an answer key, using a PC-based scoring program, or automatically through online or PC-based testing.

Scoring - How Long: 
  • By hand: Time varies with the number of scores needed. Minimum 5 minutes.
  • Machine scoring and online and PC-based testing: Automatic.
  • CTB: Up to 21 days but often the turnaround is 2 or 3 days.
Reporting Procedures: 

CTB offers reports for individual students, classes and schools, programs, and the like. These include individual diagnostic reports, student subtests (one report for each student with subtest and objective scores), group lists (with students' names listed within the group and their subtest scores), group summaries (performance summaries without names), individual item analysis, prescriptive reports for students, and pre- and posttest reports for individual students and groups.

Time Needed for Assessment: 

Estimates do not include time for instruction:

  • Level L—Complete Battery: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Levels E, M, D, A—Complete Battery: 3 hours, 37 minutes
  • Levels E, M, D, A—Survey: 2 hours, 8 minutes
  • Locator Test: 37 minutes (recommended)
Publisher / Company / Source: 

Home Office CTB/McGraw-Hill
20 Ryan Ranch Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone (toll free): 1–800–538–9547
Telephone (local): 831–393–0700
Fax (toll free): 1–800–282–0266
Fax (local): 831–393–6528

Versions & Publication Dates: 

Forms 9 and 10, 2003

  • TABE 9: Paper and pencil, PC/network, audio, Braille, large print, and online versions are available.
  • TABE 10: Paper and pencil, PC/network, and online versions are available.

Price list may be obtained by visiting the CTB/McGraw Hill Web site. Go to Adult Education, TABE 9 and 10. Prices and ordering information are also available through the CTB/McGraw-Hill Adult Education catalog.