What to Expect During the Test Session
The TASC is conducted as an interview. There are no test books or written responses associated with this test. The interview is structured as a conversation between you and an interviewer and covers topics of general interest. The interviewer has a prepared set of questions and prompts for stimulating communication. Responding to these questions and prompts will require you to demonstrate five communication competencies and use a range of signing levels. The interviewer will also ask follow-up questions to further the conversation or explore a response more fully. You, in turn, should feel free to ask the interviewer questions or make any comments appropriate to the conversation. If you do not understand a question/prompt or sign, it is acceptable to ask for clarification during the interview. The direction of the interview will, in part, be determined by your questions and responses.
The combination of the prepared set of questions and prompts, and the interviewer’s questioning strategies within the conversation that occurs, is designed to allow you to demonstrate your highest level of proficiency within a natural and dynamic conversation. The combination provides the scorers, experts who will evaluate your performance, with information by which to assess your expressive and receptive sign communication proficiency.
The TASC interview is conducted solely in sign language. This principle is followed because research and experience have shown that people generally demonstrate their best sign language communication skills when using sign language alone. Any voicing you do will not be used in scoring; scorers will evaluate your proficiency based only on your signed communication.
The Test Session
Although the test session is approximately 30–45 minutes in length, part of this time is for directions and completing forms. The actual test interview lasts approximately 20 minutes and is digitally recorded for scoring. You should avoid wearing black, dark blue, red or white clothing as these colors blend in with the backdrop and may cause difficulty in scoring the recorded interview. Additionally, it is critically important for scoring that you present a clear view of your face during the interview session. Therefore, consider how you wear your hair this day and avoid wearing such accessories as scarves or hats. Lastly, be aware of your sitting position throughout the interview as scorers must have full view of your signed communication responses on the digital recording.
The following information about the test session and what you should expect to do during the test session may be helpful to you.
- Relax. The interviewer will welcome you and make some brief comments at the beginning of the test session. The purpose of these comments is to allow you to become familiar and comfortable with the test setting and procedures. This may help you to relax and prepare for the actual test questions.
- Follow directions. At the beginning of the test session and throughout the test, follow all directions carefully. If you do not understand something about the directions, do not hesitate to ask the interviewer before testing begins.
- Show what you can do. Your goal is to demonstrate as fully as possible how well you can communicate using signed communication. When answering each interview question or responding to interview prompts, sign until you think you have given a thorough response or until the interviewer stops you by asking another question.
- Always try to respond as well and as clearly as you can. Remember that during the test, you should use the sign system that you chose at the time you registered. During the test, you are allowed to switch between signed systems if you choose; however, the interviewer must conduct the conversation in the sign system you selected when you registered.
- Sign naturally and appropriately for each communication competency. Sign in a manner appropriate to the context of each question or prompt. The interviewer will progress through the five communication competencies, and you must respond appropriately to each interview question or prompt using appropriate signed communication to demonstrate proficiency. Different situations will require you to respond differently.
- Don’t worry about finding the “right” answer. Interview questions and prompts are intended for you to demonstrate your signed communication ability. This includes your fluency, your accuracy of grammar, and the extent of your vocabulary. Questions or prompts are not intended to test your knowledge of facts, ideas or events. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers.