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Minnesota Standardized Assessment Accommodations Guidelines

Todd Wagner, State ABE Director and Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Specialist has given the following guidance to administering the tests:

“Test accommodations must comply with publisher guidelines.  Beyond that, no special documentation or permission is required to provide accommodations on the TABE and CASAS tests. Test administrators need only to provide the same accommodations at the pre- and post-test in order to assure standardized testing conditions. Note that it may be helpful to document accommodations provided in the event that the folks involved in post-testing were not those initially involved in pre-testing.  However, it is up to local programs whether and how to keep such documentation."

CASAS Standardized Assessment Accommodations Guideline

Entrance Standardized Assessment/Pre-Test

  1. For students identified as having a disability and based on discussion between the adult student and ABE instructor or designated staff, determine necessary accommodations for either CASAS or TABE tests using the checklists provided. Note that accommodations used in testing should typically reflect/be-the-same-as accommodations used in instruction.
  2. Administer the appropriate level and form of the CASAS or TABE test in the subject area(s) of primary instruction.
  3. Maintain a record of the accommodations provided in the students records.

Exit Standardized Assessment/Post-Test

  1. Use the same test series used at pre-test, but an appropriate alternate form, i.e. do not use same test form used at pre-test.
  2. Refer to the record of accommodation(s) used when pre-testing and use the same accommodation(s) at post-test.

CASAS Accommodations Provided


Date: ___________             Date: ___________

Test Series: ____             Test Series: ____

Test Form: ______            Test Form: ______

Check the appropriate box(es). These are changes suggested by CASAS that do not decrease the validity of the assessment.

CASAS Accommodations: Presentation

  1. Head phones for listening test
  2. Sign Language Interpreter for listening series
  3. Magnifier
  4. Large print (Life and Work, Employability Competency System)
  5. Braille

CASAS Accommodations: Response

  1. Scribe/writer

CASAS Accommodations: Setting

  1. Alternate room
  2. Accessible facility or equipment
  3. Simple calculator for level A/B only
  4. Accessible alternate site 

CASAS Accommodations: Timing and Scheduling

  1. Extended time
  2. Frequent breaks
  3. Alternate time

CASAS Accommodations: Accommodated/Alternate Test Formats

  1. ECS large print
  2. Life and Work Large Print
  3. Listening B/C levels (blind and native speakers of English)

For additional information click on the links below:

Guidelines for Providing Accommodations Using CASAS Assessment for Learners with Disabilities (PDF)

CASAS Accommodations Guidelines (PDF)

Standardized Assessment Accommodations

The National Reporting System (NRS) for Adult Basic Education requires that participating students be pre-tested and post-tested with one or more state-approved, adult-appropriate standardized test. The purpose of assessment is to ensure consistent and accurate identification of students’ education functioning levels at intake and at program exit. That information is then used to measure improvement. Standardized assessment also plays a valuable role in providing quality services to students participating in Adult Education programs. Good standardized assessment information can help to determine appropriate placement, guide selection of instructional content and teaching strategies, monitor progress and evaluate program effectiveness.

Assessing Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities have the right to participate in educational programs without discrimination. With regard to assessment, this means that students should have the same opportunities to participate in and benefit from assessment activities, including required pre-testing and post-testing with standardized tests, as students who do not have disabilities. Students with disabilities also have the right to reasonable accommodations during an assessment.

Adult students with disabilities are responsible for providing evidence of their disability and for requesting necessary accommodations, if needed, in a timely fashion—ideally at intake. It is also the student’s responsibility to provide documentation concerning their disabilities and the need for accommodation.  Literacy programs, in turn, must provide “reasonable accommodations” to persons with disabilities. Not all students with disabilities will need accommodations during assessment. But accommodations should be used when needed to allow students with disabilities to participate in standardized assessment.

Test Accommodations

Accommodations are changes that are made in test administration that do not decrease the validity of the assessment. The publishers of the adult-appropriate standardized tests used provide guidelines for accommodations when using their assessments. Results for students who receive test accommodations can and should be used when appropriate to determine educational functioning level and to document level change.

Test Modifications

Modifications are changes made to standardized test administration that compromise the validity of the standardized scores. Tests administered using modified procedures can still yield valuable information regarding students’ knowledge and skills which can be used to provide feedback to the student regarding progress, aid in instructional decision-making, and contribute to program evaluation. Test results obtained under modified administration procedures, however, may not be used to determine entering educational levels for NRS purposes. 

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