What is the "40 hour rule" for assessments?

The "40 hour rule" is a Federal ABE testing rule. It applies to academic students who will be counted in the state and Federal NRS reporting.

The 40 hour rule

Students MUST* receive at least 40 hours of instruction between tests in the same test family (CASAS, TABE, BEST PLUS) and subject.


Attendance time on the day of the test DOES NOT COUNT toward the 40 hours between tests.

The next test in the same test family/subject must be an alternate form number. Example: if the last test was a TABE reading 9M, the next test would be TABE reading 10M.

Students with fewer than 40 instructional hours may be assessed:

  • in the same test family, but different subject
  • in a different test family
  • using a non-NRS test, such as an in-house assessment or rubric.

*Exception to the 40 hour rule

To set an Educational Functioning Level (EFL or entry level) for the Federal NRS reporting year, students must have a currently approved, valid test dated in the 12 month lookback period - within 12 months of the start of the Federal NRS year, July 1.

If the last test was given prior to the 12 month lookback, give a new test using an alternate form even if 40 hours have not yet occurred.

If you accidentally test a student before 40 hours of instruction you will have to decide what to do with that test. The test can not be recorded.

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