The Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a diagnostic test used to determine a person’s skill levels and aptitudes. Many companies use it in hiring, promotions, or for selecting employees for training programs for skilled positions. The TABE test is also used by public service agencies who are guiding people into adult education programs, such as getting a GED, going to trade school, etc.
TABE Skill Building Exercises
TABE Test Practice Questions
For Questions 1-3, select the correct punctuation mark for the sentence.
1. Historians generally believe that the tulip was introduced into Europe. When the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I acquired the bulbs in Turkey and sent them to a Flemish botanist named Charles de l’Ecluse.
2. The popularity of the tulip immediately spread and developed into what became known as “Tulip Mania” in the Netherlands.
Questions 3 and 4 pertain to the following passage:
It is most likely that you have never had diphtheria. You probably don’t even know anyone who has suffered from this disease. In fact, you may not even know what diphtheria is. Similarly, diseases like whooping cough, measles, mumps, and rubella may all be unfamiliar to you. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these illnesses struck hundreds of thousands of people in the United States each year, mostly children, and tens of thousands of people died. The names of these diseases were frightening household words. Today, they are all but forgotten. That change happened largely because of vaccines.
You probably have been vaccinated against diphtheria. You may even have been exposed to the bacterium that causes it, but the vaccine prepared your body to fight off the disease so quickly that you were unaware of the infection. Vaccines take advantage of your body’s natural ability to learn how to combat many disease-causing germs, or microbes. What’s more, your body remembers how to protect itself from the microbes it has encountered before. Collectively, the parts of your body that remember and repel microbes are called the immune system. Without the proper functioning of the immune system, the simplest illness—even the common cold—could quickly turn deadly.
On average, your immune system needs more than a week to learn how to fight off an unfamiliar microbe. Sometimes, that isn’t enough time. Strong microbes can spread through your body faster than the immune system can fend them off. Your body often gains the upper hand after a few weeks, but in the meantime you are sick. Certain microbes are so virulent that they can overwhelm or escape your natural defenses. In those situations, vaccines can make all the difference.
Traditional vaccines contain either parts of microbes or whole microbes that have been altered so that they don’t cause disease. When your immune system confronts these harmless versions of the germs, it quickly clears them from your body. In other words, vaccines trick your immune system in order to teach your body important lessons about how to defeat its opponents.
3. What is the main idea of the passage?
A. The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a dark period for medicine.
B. You have probably never had diphtheria.
C. Traditional vaccines contain altered microbes.
D. Vaccines help the immune system function properly.
4. Which statement is not a detail from the passage?
A. Vaccines contain microbe parts or altered microbes.
B. The immune system typically needs a week to learn how to fight a new disease.
C. The symptoms of disease do not emerge until the body has learned how to fight the microbe.
D. A hundred years ago, children were at the greatest risk of dying from now-treatable diseases.
5. 3,306 + 2,794
6. 8,537 – 6,316
7. Which of the following numbers is greatest?
8. Which number is 300% of the difference between 23 and 27?
1. A: The use of the period before the word “When” suggests the start of a new sentence, but this actually creates a fragment. The comma sets off the dependent clause by creating a natural pause in the sentence.
2. D: No extra punctuation is necessary within the sentence. The conjunction “and” simply combines two verbs but not two independent clauses, or separate sentences, so no comma is necessary.
3. D: The main idea of this passage is that vaccines help the immune system function properly. Identifying main ideas is one of the key skills tested by the HESI exam. One of the common traps that many test-takers fall into is assuming that the first sentence of the passage will express the main idea. Although this will be true for some passages, often the author will use the first sentence to attract interest or to make an introductory, but not central, point. On this question, if you assume that the first sentence contains the main idea, you will mistakenly choose answer B:. Finding the main idea of a passage requires patience and thoroughness; you cannot expect to know the main idea until you have read the entire passage. In this case, a diligent reading will show you that answer choices A:, B:, and C: express details from the passage, but only answer choice D: is a comprehensive summary of the author’s message.
4. C: This passage does not state that the symptoms of disease will not emerge until the body has learned to fight the disease. The reading comprehension section of the HESI exam will include several questions that require you to identify details from a passage. The typical structure of these questions is to ask you to identify the answer choice that contains a detail not included in the passage. This question structure makes your work a little more difficult, because it requires you to confirm that the other three details are in the passage. In this question, the details expressed in answer choices A:, B:, and D: are all explicit in the passage. The passage never states, however, that the symptoms of disease do not emerge until the body has learned how to fight the disease-causing microbe. On the contrary, the passage implies that a person may become quite sick and even die before the body learns to effectively fight the disease.
5. D: This is a simple addition problem with carrying. Start with the ones column and add 6+4, write down the 0 and add the 1 to the digits in the tens column. Now add 9+0+1. Write down the 0 and add the 1 to the digits in the hundreds column. Now add 3+7+1 and write down the 1. Add the 1 to the thousands column. Add 3+2+1 and write the 6 to get the answer: 6100.
6. B: This is a simple subtraction problem. Start with the ones column and subtract 7-6, then 3-1, then 5-3, then 8-6 to get 2,221.
7. A: Convert all the numbers to fractions and compare. The number 0.099 can be rounded to 0.1. Then, the first 3 choices are: a) 1/3; b) 1/4; c) 1/100. Since the numerators are equal, the number with the smallest denominator is greatest, and that is 1/3. To compare that with choice D:, note that 1/3 = 2/6 and 2/6 > 2/7.
8. C: The difference 27 – 23 = 4, and 300% of 4 is 3 times 4, or 12.
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