• Student CASAS Testing Requirements and Information FAQs

    Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) Testing

    1. Why do I need to take CASAS tests?
      • This is a requirement for each student at FACE.
      • Reporting CASAS Student Test Benchmarks (achievements) and EL Civics units passed helps keep the school funded each year. This is how the school stays free.
    2. What test modality should I take? Test Modalities: Reading or Listening
      • The two most common CASAS test modalities are Reading and Listening.
      • Your teacher usually decides which test your class will take.
      • Core M-TH ESL classes usually take Reading tests. Higher level classes may also require Listening tests.
      • Friday Class students may take either or both CASAS Reading and Listening paired tests.
      • Fri Intermediate Communication class usually takes a B Level Test 983 or 984 CASAS Listening test.  
      • Most students start with 983L as the PRE test.  Later, taking a 984L would be the POST test. The other way around (984/983L) is also okay. Both tests together make a PAIRED test.
    3. What are the test levels? Test level examples: A level => B level => C level => D level
      • Reading levels: Lowest A level 81R/82R => B level 83R/84R => C level 85R/86R => D level 187R/188R) Highest
      • Listening levels: Lowest A level 981L/982 L => B level 983 L/984 L => C level 985 L/986 L => No D level Listening test. C level is highest.
    4. When do I take the test?
      • CASAS Testing is usually done the first two weeks of school, again each quarter, after as needed, and at the end of the school year.
      • CASAS tests needs to be taken in the first week or two of starting a class, usually AFTER class.
      • Students will also take a second test later towards the end of each quarter or school year.
      • New students or students joining a class from the waiting list must be CASAS tested immediately.
    5. Where do I take my CASAS tests?
      • Placement tests are taken during the registration process. Sometimes the first CASAS level test will be given at that time.
      • Once you start attending a class, be prepared to stay after class and test in the classroom or in Room 9 by arrangement.
    6. How many tests do I need to take?
      • You only need to take ONE reading/listening pre test or ONE reading/listening post test in a class. You do not need to take more tests even if you have more than one class.
      • Field Testing is an experiment and does not count toward your benchmarks. Field testing is test of the test.
    7. How long does a CASAS test take?
      • The Reading test time is maximum 1 hour.
      • The Listening test time is usually a little less time – about 45-51 minutes.
      • Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes earlier and stay about 5-10 minutes after each test.
      • The test administrator needs time to verify each test or else mistakes will be made.
      • Be patient. Testing is complicated.
    8. How many times do I need to take the tests?
      • A pre (entry) and post (exit) CASAS Test is REQUIRED for every student until completing one benchmark, the end of the school year, or the student leaves the school.
    9. When do I get my test results?
      • Your teacher will usually get your test scores to you as soon as they can.
      • Please keep track of the tests you take with each teacher on a Tracking Form or in your notebook..
      • Write CASAS test form number #s, dates, and scores FOR ALL of your classes on a CASAS Tracking Form.
      • If asked, please share the CASAS Tracking Forms with teachers to make sure your tests are valid.
      • This system is not perfect and mistakes can be made.
    1. How can I interpret the test results to help me improve?
      • Your teacher can go over the test results with the class.
      • Charts may be shared in the class.
      • CASAS test score information is just one data point to be considered toward your future goals. Focus on your lower skill(s) to make them stronger.
    1. What are paired tests?
      • Paired tests are two different tests, but at the same level (A, B, C, D)
        • Paired (Pre/Post) Test examples: Form Numbers # 83R/84R, 85R/86R, 985L/986L are paired tests.
      • You need at least two paired tests (Pre/Post) of the same level and modality (reading or listening) to count, but NOT the same form number.
        • Incorrect paired testing: Do not take an 83R and then another 83R. The 2nd test will not count. Do not take the same test form number as a paired test.
        • Correct paired testing: Reading Modality Test Form #s 83R & 84R are paired tests at the same B Test Level and must be taken as Pre/Post Tests. (e.g. If 83R pre-test => then 84R post-test).
    1. What happens if I cannot stay and take a test with my class?
      • You will need to arrange with the class aide or ESL office when you are able to come and take the test.  
      • Please do this at the beginning of class when an aide is present.
      • Or by arrangement in the test center @ 11:45 - 12:45 (approximately - see times below.) 
    1. What if I need to leave the school before the class test?
      • You can take the test earlier.
      • Notify your teacher at least 1 week in advance before leaving the school so you can complete the required testing that helps pay for your school tuition.

    15. Where is the testing Center and when is it open?

    • Testing is available M-F at the Test Center in Room 9 (Fri open to 1:30): Students (three at a time) are scheduled in 15 minute increments. Check schedules around holidays. You will need schedule a specific day/time, to start your test such as:
      • 11:45 am
      • 12:00 pm
      • 12:15 pm
      • 12:30 pm
      • 4:30 pm
      • 4:45 pm
      • 5:00 pm
      • 5:15 pm
    1. Can I test from home?
      • Some remote testing is also available. 
      • Please speak with the Class Aide - early in the morning. She is with us from 9-10:15am on Fridays.


  • Practice CASAS Tests

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/7/2009 3:00:00 PM
    Comments (-1)
  • How should I look at or think about my test score?

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/6/2009 3:40:00 PM
    The teacher will give individual test scores to students and review the test scores with them.  The teacher will NOT review the test with students.
    To move students to another level, the teacher will help make sure  students understand that testing is just one aspect, other aspects are considered, for example:
      1. Speaking/Pronunciation/Confidence
      2. Writing
      3. Grammar
      4. Motivation (Attendance, Work in Class, Attitude, Goals)
      5. Test Scores

    Remember: Scores are not reported to mothers and wives and husbands.  Just do your best each time.  Sometimes the score will go up, sometimes stay the same and sometimes go down.

    1. A pre test and post test are needed.  You must have two tests to see your progress. Don't leave your school/class without taking a pre and post test!!!!
    2. What is a benchmark?
      1. Youve progressed.
    3. How do I look at my score?
      1. Review your score with your last score.  Compete against yourself.
    4. How can I improve my score?
      1. Learn test taking strategies.
      2. Study at home or on the internet
    Comments (-1)
  • CASAS Test Taking Strategies

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/5/2009 3:00:00 PM


    The information/document/

    paragraph reading part of the test is at
    the top of the page:


    We were outside in the sun working, so we thought we

    would go and get an ice cream.


    The question part of the test is below:

    Q 1: Why did they go?

    a.     I like candy canes.

    b.    The job was difficult.

    c.     It was a hot day.

    d.    Janet said, No.


    1.   Try to stay relaxed.  Go slowly. Dont panic if you dont know something.  The answer is there!

    2.    Think positively! I can do this! Keep a positive message: I can find the answer!

    3.    Answer easy questions first, you can go back to harder questions

    4.    Ask yourself, what is the main purpose (key idea) of the document/information/paragraph?

      1. What is it?
      2. What does it do?
      3. To explain what?
      4. To tell a story about what?
      5. To inform about what?
      6. Who uses it?
      7. What do I already know about it?
      8. What is logical and true usually?

    5.    Read the question and answers first.

    6.    Eliminate (throw away) bad answers.
    Usually 2 of the answers are not good at all.
    Now you have a 50/50 chance.

    7.    Read the first sentence of the information.

    8.    Read the last sentence of the information.

    9.    Decide on the best answer.

      1. Think about main idea again
      2. Read deeper into the paragraph or re-read the first/last sentences again to check yourself (confirm your guess/make sure your idea is right)
      3. Carefully double check the information again in the first/middle/last part of the paragraph.
      4. Choose the most logical answer with the information you have been given.

    10.Review answers at the end if you are still not sure.



    This is called a multiple choice test or a multiple guess test because it is often actually very easy to guess the most logical answer.


    Comments (-1)
  • CASAS Test Preparation

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/4/2009 3:00:00 PM
    Get a good nights sleep

    Eat a good breakfast (2 eggs)


    Testing is 6 times a year plus summer school tests.

    Testing is also called an assessment.

    Testing is a requirement for each student.


    Why do we test?

    The adult school is funded from the California government in two ways

    1. CASAS testing benchmarks
    2. EL Civics benchmarks

    We must make a report to them to the government to show that teachers are doing our jobs and that students are learning.

    The CASAS test is similar to a report to the California government.


    If your test score goes up 3-5 points, the school gets a benchmark.  Then the school gets more money for the school. This money pays for books, computers, photocopies, teachers, etc.

    If your test score goes up at least 6 points, we may get two benchmarks! (Beginning levels must go up 5 points for a benchmark)


    Also if you do an EL Civics module AND you take the CASAS pre and post test, the school may make an additional benchmark.  That means the school can get even more money for books and supplies.


    So thank you for taking the test.


    Remember you dont have to be perfect, just do your best job.

    If you are perfect, I must move you to another class or send you to college.

    At this level (Intermediate High), if your score is between 215-225 this is just fine!


    You always learn something new when you take the test.  So be relaxed and ready to learn.


    Comments (-1)
  • Testing Reminders to Students

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/3/2009 3:00:00 PM

    Important reminders to student just before taking the test.

    1. You have one hour to take the test. Wait for your teacher to tell you to start the test. Do not open the book until your teacher tells you.
    2. This is individual work, not partner or group work
    3. Always - Check your name on the test form!!!!
    4. Check the test booklet form # against numbers bubbled in on the test form (sometimes done by aide or teacher)
    5. Go over test bubbles
      1. What is a bubble? Fill-in all bubbles completely and neatly
      2. Verb: to bubble in = to fill in a bubble, past tense bubbled in (linking pronunciation)
      3. Know what a good vs. bad bubble is
    6. Pencils
      1. A dark lead #2 pencil is best
      2. Mechanical pencils are often too light
      3. Machines grade the papers, not the teachers! (We can't fix it for you!)
      4. Return borrowed pencils
      5. Please sharpen the pencils that you borrow and return
    7. Students with the same test numbers should move to different seats.  Do not sit next to someone with the same test #.
    8. Rules:
      1. No pen. Use pencils only
      2. Erase changed answers completely
      3. No talking
      4. No helping
      5. No dictionaries
      6. No looking
      7. No cheating
      8. No cell phones
      9. No writing in books                                                              i.      Please help by erasing the writing or letting the teacher know if your book is bad.
      10. No taking notes
        The test is special and expensive.  Illegal to steal the words
        You can write down what you remember after you have turned in the test and look it up later)
      11. After test, please work quietly on something, No talking please until all the tests are returned
      12. Make sure your test form does not get lost inside the book.  Return the book to the teacher with the test form and your NAME sticking out from the top.
    Comments (-1)
  • General Test Taking Links

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/2/2009 3:00:00 PM
    Comments (-1)
  • What is the CASAS test?

    Posted by Lisa (Elisabeth) H. Braley on 10/1/2009 3:00:00 PM
    Edited from the CASAS Website at www.casas.org:
    CASAS or Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems is the most widely used system for assessing adult basic reading, math, listening, writing, and speaking skills.
    CASAS is the only adult assessment system of its kind to be approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor to assess both native and non-native speakers of English.
    Backed by 25 years of research and development in adult assessment, instruction, and evaluation, CASAS provides programs with the resources and expertise to establish a comprehensive performance accountability system.
    Comments (-1)


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