- Are the tests timed?
- Can I copy the audio files for CASAS listening tests CD onto my computer hard drive, flash drive, another CD, or other device and then use the copy to assess students/clients?
- Can I translate if a student doesn't understand something?
- How can we keep all the test forms straight? We store our many many CASAS tests on shelves and it's easy to get forms mixed up.
- How do I choose between the Life Skills, Life and Work, Employability (ECS) or the Workforce (WLS) test series?
- How many tests does CASAS have?
- What are the CASAS guidelines for pre- and post-testing?
- What are the three types of tests in the CASAS system? What is the main purpose of each type of test?
- What assessments do you have for students who have low literacy skills?
- What is a CASAS Appraisal and what does it do?
- What is the sequence of administering CASAS tests?
- What item types are on the CASAS Listening tests? Why don’t the CASAS advanced listening tests repeat the questions?
CASAS National Summer Institute
- How can I find out more information about the upcoming National Summer Institute?
- How do I register for the National Summer Institute?
- What is the CASAS Summer Institute?
- Why should I attend the Institute?
CASAS Web site
- Can I use the Web site if I don’t register?
- Does CASAS sell or share my information with others?
- If I register on the Web site, will I receive the CASAS Connection newsletter?
- What is the Download Area?
- How does an agency keep CASAS tests secure?
- I need more information about a CASAS product. Who should I contact?
- What does CASAS stand for?
Interpreting and Using Results
- How can instructors use CASAS test results?
- How can local program coordinators use CASAS test results?
- How do CASAS test scores relate to students' proficiency levels? What do the scaled scores mean?
- What kind of paper record keeping for audit purposes is necessary related to students who take CASAS computer-based tests (CBT)?
- How do I find directions to the training site?
- How do I know if CASAS received my registration?
- What happens if the training is full?
- What trainings can I register for online?
- Who do I contact if I have trouble registering for a training?
Purchasing CASAS Products
- Can I order CASAS products online?
- How do I purchase CASAS products?
- My agency hasn’t received the materials we ordered. Who should I contact?
- Where can I get the CASAS catalog?
- Is any software available to assist with data collection and scanning answer sheets?
- What can ruin a scannable answer sheet or make it unscannable?
Training and Implementation
- How do I train my staff to administer and use the test results?
- Who from my agency needs to attend training? How do I know if I should attend training?
- Why is training necessary to administer tests?
Are the tests timed?
- The pre- and post-tests are not timed, but students should generally complete these tests within an hour. The proctor may choose to allow those who are not able to complete the test within the time frame a few extra minutes to finish the question they are working on. Listening tests are automatically timed because they follow an audio script. The Test Administration Manuals for each appraisal explain time limit recommendations specific to particular appraisal test forms. For more information on extending time limits for students with disabilities, go to the Accommodations section of this Web site.
Can I copy the audio files for CASAS listening tests CD onto my computer hard drive, flash drive, another CD, or other device and then use the copy to assess students/clients?
- No. CASAS tests are copyrighted intellectual property. CASAS does not permit duplication of any sort. If you do not have or wish to use CD players, you can use CASAS eTests (locally installed or via online) to administer CASAS listening tests through your computers. You will need to provide speakers or headphones.
Can I translate if a student doesn't understand something?
- You may not translate a test item. Translation is permissible only before the test begins in order to explain test instructions or to collect demographic data.
How can we keep all the test forms straight? We store our many many CASAS tests on shelves and it's easy to get forms mixed up.
- Are you aware of the hatch marks on the spines as well as the color coding scheme? These features on the test covers help agencies organize and more easily manage the pre- and post-test booklets.
CASAS Pre- and Post-test cover design protocol
The overall color scheme for all CASAS pre- and post-tests is:
- A Level - blue color family (with the pre-test cover being a darker shade and post-test a lighter shade)
- B Level - green color family
- C Level - brown color family
- D Level - red color family
In addition to the specific color by level, there are also hatch marks on the left spine to help agencies keep the test booklets organized and to distinguish between pre- and post-tests within the same level (color family):
- Reading hatch marks are in the top part of the spine
- Math hatch marks are in the center of the spine
- Listening hatch marks are in the lower part of the spine
Lay several levels together, and the hatch marks will become more apparent. For example, if you stack 4 of the Life and Work Reading tests on top of one another, you will see that:
- A level pre-test = 1 hatch mark (darker shade of blue)
- A level post-test = 2 hatch marks (lighter shade of blue)
- AX level pre-test = 3 hatch marks (darker and different shade of blue)
- AX level post-test = 4 hatch marks (lighter and different shade of blue)
We hope that between the hatch marks, the color shadings, and the form numbers your agency will be able to more easily manage the myriad number of forms.
How do I choose between the Life Skills, Life and Work, Employability (ECS) or the Workforce (WLS) test series?
- Choose a series based on the curriculum that reflects students’ goals. The Life Skills series covers a wide range of life skill content areas. The Life and Work series includes both employment and life skill-related content. The Employability series contains employment-related content. The Workforce series reflects the reading and math skills needed at the workplace.
How many tests does CASAS have?
- CASAS has more than 180 standardized and performance-based assessment instruments.
What are the CASAS guidelines for pre- and post-testing?
- CASAS recommends establishing an assessment policy and procedures that accommodate both the instructional delivery system, the intensity and duration of instruction, and the student population served. The following are general guidelines for establishing an assessment policy that will provide meaningful data for determining the impact of instruction. Research indicates that the more time allowed for instruction and learning between pre- and post-testing, the higher the probability of increased learning gains and other learning outcomes.
Pre-test: Students should be pre-tested as soon as is feasible upon entry into the program or before any substantial instructional intervention has occurred. CASAS standardized tests in reading, math, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension may be used. Students should be assessed in the areas that are the focus of instruction.
Post-test: Agencies should administer post-tests, using alternate forms, at the end of a semester, term, quarter, or other substantial block of instruction to document learning gains. Typically programs assess after approximately 70-100 hours of instruction.
Programs offering high intensity courses (e.g., class meets more than 15 hours per week) may choose to test at the end of a semester, term, quarter, or other substantial block of instruction, even though the instructional intervention is more than 100 hours of instruction.
Programs offering low intensity courses with less than 70 hours in a semester, quarter, term, or other substantial block of instruction, may choose to post-test at the end of the instructional period.
Programs may choose to assess students who indicate they are leaving the program before the scheduled post-test time, to maximize collection of paired test data.
Agencies should establish a policy for assessing learners with disabilities, including developmental disabilities. Generally more hours of instruction are needed for these populations to show substantial learning gains. Please see CASAS test accommodations for assessing learners with disabilities.
What are the three types of tests in the CASAS system? What is the main purpose of each type of test?
- Appraisal tests are important for accurate placement into a program and into the appropriate pretest.
- Pre- and post-tests are designed to monitor progress within an instructional level. Pretests provide baseline data to determine student progress. They also give information about each student or about the class as a whole to help instructors plan appropriate lessons. Post-tests give valuable information about how much students have progressed as a result of instruction.
- Level exit or certification tests indicate whether a student is ready to move to the next instructional level or to exit a program.
What assessments do you have for students who have low literacy skills?
- CASAS Beginning Literacy Assessment Forms 27 and 28 assess literacy level reading skills and are appropriate for use with native and non-native English speakers. The POWER standardized performance assessment measures basic skills of adults with developmental disabilities.
What is a CASAS Appraisal and what does it do?
- Appraisal tests are the initial assessment instruments used in the CASAS system. They help identify students' skill levels to determine appropriate placement into a program or a level or classroom within a program. The Appraisal score also helps you determine which CASAS pretest a student should take. Appraisals are not appropriate for pre- and post-testing, but may be used for reporting a standardized score.
What is the sequence of administering CASAS tests?
- An appraisal is administered when a student enrolls in a program before instruction begins. Students should take a pretest shortly after the appraisal or soon after instruction begins. A student should take a post-test after a period of instruction concludes (usually 80-120 hours). CASAS recommends that programs use multiple measures to assess progress of students.
What item types are on the CASAS Listening tests? Why don’t the CASAS advanced listening tests repeat the questions?
To achieve a wider assessment of the domain of listening comprehension, CASAS listening tests include a variety of item types:
- Picture prompt – listen to a statement and select the picture that corresponds to it
- Comprehension – listen to a statement or dialogue and answer a question about it; the question is heard initially to preview the content and context, then the prompt, then the question again, then the answer choices
- Next Line – predict next line of dialogue by listening to a statement or dialogue and then to three alternate next lines, and select the most appropriate one to continue the conversation
- Which is correct? – Identify a true statement based on the prompt by listening to a statement or dialogue, and then to three statements, and choosing the one statement that is true in relation to the prompt. The cue for this item type is always Which is correct?).
Repetition is another variable in LWL item specification. Items at the lower two test levels include repetition: all Level A items are repeated, and two out of three item types include repetition at Level B. The design for inclusion of repetition in item types is summarized below:
- Level A: All are repeated.
- Level B: First two item types are repeated; third item type is not repeated.
- Level C: None are repeated.
There are three item types in each test level. A minimum of 10 items per item type are included on each form. The chart below summarizes the distribution of listening item types.
Item Type Level(s) Picture Repeat A Comprehension Repeat A and B Next Line Repeat A and B Which is Correct? B and C Comprehension C Next Line C
CASAS National Summer Institute
How can I find out more information about the upcoming National Summer Institute?
- Registration materials are mailed the first week in January. Visit the Summer Institute Web page to download the registration brochure to to find more information about the Institute. If you would like to join the CASAS mailing list, e-mail email@example.com with your request.
How do I register for the National Summer Institute?
- Visit the Summer Institute Web page and download the registration brochure.
What is the CASAS Summer Institute?
- The CASAS Summer Institute is a four-day training institute and conference held annually in San Diego, California. Each year, this conference draws more than 700 adult educators and education policy specialists from across the United States. Anyone in the field of adult education may attend this institute as a participant. This Institute provides training workshops and other forums that address key issues in developing and implementing accountability, assessment, and program evaluation systems linked to national and state program and performance standards. The Institute also highlights the use of data across states to inform instruction, improve programs, and report outcomes to stakeholders and policymakers. The Institute offers professional development training for program administrators and instructional staff. Workshops and panels address state and local program models for evaluating learner and program progress outcomes. Presenters will focus on national and state research studies in assessment, accountability, standards setting, certification, program evaluation, and other key topics.
Why should I attend the Institute?
- The Institute is designed for professionals working in adult and workforce education programs who are interested in gaining more knowledge and skills in the areas of accountability, assessment, and program evaluation. In addition, the Institute focuses on the needs of professionals currently using or interested in implementing CASAS in employment preparation, welfare reform, workforce development, ABE, ESL, EL Civics, business and industry, adult secondary, family literacy, correctional education, and special needs programs. The Institute is essential for state-level staff in adult education and employment and training programs, local agency directors and coordinators, and instructors to use the CASAS system fully and most effectively.
CASAS Web site
Can I use the Web site if I don’t register?
- Absolutely. Registering as a CASAS Web site user is not required. However, registering can provide you with more browsing options and information specific to your needs.
Does CASAS sell or share my information with others?
If I register on the Web site, will I receive the CASAS Connection newsletter?
- Yes, you may choose to be a part of the CASAS mailing list. As part of the mailing list, you will receive the new Resource Catalog and Summer Institute registration form each January. Periodically you will receive e-mail regarding CASAS news and announcements, and links to the current edition of the CASAS Connection newsletter.
What is the Download Area?
- The Download Area serves as an archive of past reports and research articles, as well as a one-stop place for finding downloadable documents posted in various places throughout the CASAS Web site.
How does an agency keep CASAS tests secure?
- Always keep tests in a locked cabinet. Shred all old or worn tests; do not throw away used answer sheets or old test booklets in school trash cans. Count all test booklets before and after use. Students should not sit too closely together during a test. There should be at least one proctor for every 25 students.
I need more information about a CASAS product. Who should I contact?
- Please contact CASAS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your inquiry will be routed to the appropriate department.
What does CASAS stand for?
- CASAS stands for Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems.
Interpreting and Using Results
How can instructors use CASAS test results?
- Instructors can use CASAS data:
- to refine student placement.
- to select appropriate classroom materials.
- to target instruction.
- to measure individual student progress.
- to understand the relationship of the level and demographics of a class to the program as a whole.
How can local program coordinators use CASAS test results?
- Local program coordinators can use demographic and student progress information from CASAS test results for school board presentations and for other local accountability needs, to obtain supplementary funding, and for future planning, including staff and resource needs. Program coordinators use CASAS data to evaluate the accuracy of overall program placement and to measure student achievement program-wide.
How do CASAS test scores relate to students' proficiency levels? What do the scaled scores mean?
CASAS has worked with adult literacy practitioners in the field to create descriptions of the skills and abilities of individuals scoring at various CASAS scaled score levels. These Skill Level Descriptors explain in general terms what most learners can accomplish at the CASAS scale score level in a specific skill area.
What kind of paper record keeping for audit purposes is necessary related to students who take CASAS computer-based tests (CBT)?
- Student data maintained in electronic databases are sufficient for audit purposes as long as a paper record of an individual student can be printed on demand.
How do I find directions to the training site?
- Use Mapquest© or similar Web site to find directions to training sites. Be sure to perform your search using the address listed in the registration information. Do not search for directions using the name of the site because sometimes schools have more than one address.
How do I know if CASAS received my registration?
- You will receive an e-mail confirmation. If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation by the next business day, we may not have your correct e-mail address on file. Please send inquiries about your registration to email@example.com.
What happens if the training is full?
- If you receive a message indicating that the training that you are trying to register for is closed, please select a different training session to attend. If there are no other trainings scheduled, contact CASAS prior to the training. Space and materials may be available on a first come, first-served basis.
What trainings can I register for online?
- If you work for a Workforce Investment Act Title II, Sections 225/231, and/or EL Civics funded agency in California, you may register on-line for regional trainings. Trainings usually consist of CASAS Implementation, California Accountability, and TOPSpro training. Periodically, you may register to attend a POWER, Functional Writing Assessment, or Citizenship Interview Test training. Check the CASAS On-line Registration System for scheduled dates and locations.
Who do I contact if I have trouble registering for a training?
- Contact the Online Registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purchasing CASAS Products
Can I order CASAS products online?
- No. CASAS products are not available for purchase online. We'll advise all subscribers when online purchasing is available.
How do I purchase CASAS products?
- California agencies
California adult schools receive sufficient Entry and Update Records free of charge for demographic data collection. Agencies must place an order in writing to CASAS to receive these records. Section 225/231 and EL Civics funded agencies may order a limited amount of test materials, as well as Entry and Update Records, free of charge. Refer to the CASAS Ordering Guide for WIA/AEFLA 225 and231 Agencies or Ordering Guide for EL Civics Agencies.
If you are located in California but do not receive Section 225/231 and /or EL Civics funding, please see the information below on ordering CASAS products.
Agencies in all other states
You may find information on ordering CASAS products in the CASAS Resource Catalog. Please use the order form provided in the Catalog or on this Web site to submit your order in writing. To ensure accurate orders, we cannot accept phone orders. To prevent a delay in processing your order, it is important that you complete the "Training Verification" portion of the order form including information on where you or someone in your agency received training. For more information on training requirements, please contact the Training and Implementation team at email@example.com. For more information on placing an order, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-255-1036.
My agency hasn’t received the materials we ordered. Who should I contact?
- Please contact Customer Service at 1-800-255-1036 if you have questions about an order.
Where can I get the CASAS catalog?
- The Catalog is posted on the CASAS Web site under Training and Support / Product Purchase. You may also request a hard copy of the Catalog by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is any software available to assist with data collection and scanning answer sheets?
- Yes. TOPSpro™ (Tracking of Programs and Students) is a computerized database system that:
- Automatically scores CASAS tests
- Tracks student and program outcomes and progress
- Generates reports for students, teachers, and program administrators
- Provides individual, class and agency-wide profiles of skills
- Collects student demographics
- Manages data for state and federal accountability
TOPSpro provides over 100 reports that offer flexibility and customization. Reports are available at the individual, classroom, and agency level, and display information in the following areas:
- Test performance
- Progress and learning gains
- Demographic data
- Competency achievement
- Student test and program history
- Data and class management
- Federal and state accountability requirements
For more information, visit the TOPSpro section of this Web site or contact the TOPSpro team at email@example.com.
What can ruin a scannable answer sheet or make it unscannable?
- Some types of ink, stray marks, staple holes, lightly darkened bubbles, glue, tears, and post-it notes make answer sheets unscannable.
Training and Implementation
How do I train my staff to administer and use the test results?
- Each agency is responsible for receiving training in the appropriate use of the CASAS system. Training is available via free, online, self-paced courses. Visit the Online Learning Lab for more information. Your state may also offer in-person training; check with your state Professional Development department for more information. The test administration manuals and the CASAS Website have many resources for staff development. Ongoing discussion with all relevant program staff regarding implications for curriculum, assessment, instruction, data collection, and reporting is recommended for ongoing program improvement. There are a variety of training options available to your program or agency. For more information about the types of training that CASAS offers, please visit the Training and Support section of the CASAS Web site, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Who from my agency needs to attend training? How do I know if I should attend training?
- At least one staff member from each agency that wishes to order any of the CASAS assessments must participate in training. It is recommended that program coordinators and staff who will be administering CASAS assessments and interpreting the results attend training. Contact CASAS if you are not sure which training is appropriate for you.
Why is training necessary to administer tests?
- Accurate test results are possible only if test administration procedures are standardized and followed carefully. The CASAS system was designed with the intention that programs would select the context (series) that most closely relates to their students' goals, based on a local needs assessment. Training is required to implement CASAS testing so that local programs become aware of the variety of intake and implementation options and test series (contexts) and can make the best possible use of test results.
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