How to Improve TABE Math Scores

by Lori Garrett-Hatfield
The TABE has been used for placement in vocational and GED preparation classes.

The TABE has been used for placement in vocational and GED preparation classes.

The Tests of Adult Basic Education, or TABE, are used by vocational and technical schools, adult education programs, and GED preparation programs to determine an adults' skill level in reading, writing and mathematics. Because the TABE is used as an entrance exam for many programs -- vocational and technical courses, GED preparation and adult basic education classes -- adults aim for the best score possible, including a good score on the math test.

The TABE Math Test

The TABE math test is broken into two subtests: math comprehension and math applications. The math comprehension section tests a student's basic computational skills in a wide range of areas in math, from addition to algebra. Students must complete all calculations without a calculator. Because the students have only 40 minutes to answer 25 questions, they must work quickly. The second math subtest, math applications, consists of word problems, graphs and charts. Students are allowed to use a calculator on these problems. However; they must continue to work quickly since the second math subtest allows only 50 minutes for 50 questions.

Practice Tests Online

Many practice tests are available for adults who want to practice all of the TABE, or the math subtests of the TABE, before taking the test. Florida Community College at Jacksonville has an entire practice TABE online. Test Prep Preview has some TABE test sample questions as an introduction to their online tutorials. ProProfs also has an entire TABE test online, and students can choose to have the test timed or untimed. Study Guide Zone also has practice questions and a downloadable study guide for the TABE. Florida Gateway College has a practice test that is downloadable as well.

Math Tutorials Online

Students who have completed practice tests online should have some idea of where their weaknesses lie, and there are many math tutorials online to help fix problem areas. The Florida Department of Education has an extensive test preparation site for students who want to do well on the TABE math subtests. Delta-Montrose Community College in Colorado also has an extensive test preparation website with separate links for different math problem areas on the TABE. has math problems and tutorials in English and Spanish.

Live Math Tutors

Many locations offer free tutoring for adult education students. The State of Florida, with some of the most comprehensive adult education resources nationwide, has a tutoring program at many of their vocational schools, such as Eastern Florida State College, many of them free of charge. Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership in Idaho Falls offers free tutoring for the TABE. Harvest House in Buffalo offers test preparation and tutoring for adults, and many libraries have free tutoring available. Also, many community colleges and vocational schools have tutoring for the TABE as part of their adult literacy programs.

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