Test Breakdown of ASSET

The test is required for the accurate identification of a student’s level of skills, strengths and weaknesses related to specific subject areas and consequently placing him in postsecondary courses. This is done through a series of tests that demarcate the skills acquired by students in high school.

It does not concentrate on testing the memory of students, rather it helps to determine if the students have understood the concepts and are able to apply their knowledge. It provides an opportunity to improve one’s shortcomings by identifying them at an early stage.

The result helps in the following.

  • Students can be guided towards the most suitable course that can enhance their knowledge and abilities. Students can be placed into postsecondary institutions on the basis of the results.
  • It provides insight to teachers about the knowledge that the student has grasped.
  • The results show the subject area in which the student needs more attention.

The score reveals the ability of students at an early stage in academics, which helps to strengthen the foundation. This helps students to get prepared for higher level of education and exams. It helps to improve the students where they falter at a stage where the loss is minimum. If the result of this test is ignored, it might cause a greater loss at a later stage when it becomes extremely difficult to improve.

Students appearing for the test should pay attention to the structure and content asked in the test since this makes it possible for them to exhibit their skills in the most efficient and affective manner. The structure is explained below.

ASSET Test Structure


The tests included are:

  • Basic Skills Tests – Under this, three skills are tested by three tests. These are Writing skills test, Numerical skills test and Reading skills test. 
  • Advanced Mathematics Tests – There are four tests that test the advanced mathematical skills in students. These are Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra and Geometry.

Basic Skills Tests


Writing Skills Test

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 36 items
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions. There are three prose passages followed by 12 multiple-choice questions each.
    • Test content – Questions in this test pertain to punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, organization, strategy and style.
    • Skills required – With these questions, it is possible to judge the rhetorical skills of students along with usage and mechanics. The ability of students to make judgments regarding the errors in sentence structure and related grammatical mistakes is tested. Students are required to select the best answer option, which can be done to precision only if they have clear ideas about the content.

Numerical Skills Test

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 32 items (25 – Arithmetic, 7 – Pre-Algebra)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions
    • Test content – The content is taken from topics of Arithmetic like operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions, factors, common factors, multiples, ratios and order of operations for real numbers. The Pre-Algebra questions include questions on prime numbers, composite numbers, complex fractions, signed numbers, absolute values, scientific notation, and square roots.
    • Skills required – The skills tested in this test are the basic numerical skills acquired by students in their high school coursework. In order to answer these questions, students should exhibit word problem solving skills that require basic knowledge of arithmetic. Calculators are not permitted in this test and hence students should be able to work out the problem mentally or with the use of a scratch paper.


Reading Skills Test

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 24 items (12 referring questions, 12 reasoning questions)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions. There are three passages of about 375 words each, followed by sets of 8 questions.
    • Test content – The passages are taken from general topics of prose fiction, business, social studies etc. The questions either refer to the passage directly, or are based on reasoning out the derived and implied meanings. 
    • Skills required – This test tests basic reading comprehension skills. Hence, students must be able to understand the given text by reading it. Since there are direct as well as indirect questions asked, the students are required to exercise their logical reasoning and thinking abilities to come to the conclusion. However, one has to strictly answer the questions within context.

Advanced Mathematics Tests


Elementary Algebra

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 25 items (Pre-Algebra – 5, Elementary Algebra – 16, Intermediate Algebra – 4)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions
    • Test content – Evaluation and simplification of algebraic expressions, quadratic equations, polynomials, integer exponents, rational expressions and solutions of linear equations. Use of calculators is allowed, however only certain specific calculators can be used.
    • Skills required – The skills required to answer these questions match up to the skills of students typically acquired in algebra course of first year high school.

Intermediate Algebra

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 25 items (Elementary Algebra – 5, Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry – 16, College Algebra – 4)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions
    • Test content – Solutions of polynomial equations by factoring, graphs of linear equations, operations with radical and rational expressions, the distance formula, slope of a line, solution of linear inequalities and simplification of radicals. Specific calculators can be used in this test also.
    • Skills required – The skills tested here are similar to the skills acquired in the second year of high school algebra course.


College Algebra

    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 25 items (Intermediate Algebra – 3, College Algebra – 16, Trigonometry – 6)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions
    • Test content – The content covers exponential functions, factorials, operations with complex numbers, composition of functions, inverses of functions, linear inequalities and graphs of polynomials. Students can make use of specific calculators for this test.
    • Skills required – The skills tested are that of advanced level mathematics acquired in first year college algebra course.


    • Testing time – 25 minutes
    • Number of testing items – 25 items (Triangles - 12, Circles – 6, lines – 3, other figures – 4)
    • Type of testing items – Multiple-choice questions
    • Test content – The questions asked in this test include the topics that come under circles, lines, triangles and other figures. Use of calculators is allowed.
    • Skills required – Skills acquired in high school geometry course are tested in this part.


Scoring the ASSET Battery of Tests


There is no pass or fail score. However, there could be minimum acceptable score level for each educational program as offered by institutions. If this score is not met, then students may have to take additional developmental courses to bring up their skill level.

All testing items carry equal marks. That is why students are also reminded in the guidelines to be followed during the exam that they must not linger too long on a particular question.

On the basis of the attempt, students are provided with a detailed analysis of their performance in three reports about advising, educational planning and transfer planning.

Succeeding in ASSET


Taking ASSET seriously is essential in order to derive the benefits. Since it identifies the areas that require more attention in the initial stages of educational performance of students, it becomes instrumental in their development and future performance. Hence, one must identify with the various tests that ASSET comprises of, and prepare well for them to make the most of this testing program.


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