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Federal Bureau of Prisons – CASAS

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The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) offers a variety of educational programs and classes to help inmates develop and improve literacy and numeracy skills. The Bureau offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for those who have limited English proficiency in reading and listening.

BOP facilities use a variety of CASAS tests for initial placement and to monitor progress of inmates in programs that teach literacy and listening skills to non-native English speakers. CASAS competency-based tests help BOP educators identify the language and literacy skills that inmates need to prepare for employment upon release.

BOP Starter Kit

Every Bureau of Prison site with an ESL program must purchase at least one BOP Starter kit. The kit contains these assessments:

BOP Placement Test (reading and listening)
BOP ESL Placement Test Booklets (set of 25)
BOP ESL Placement Test Answer Sheets (set of 100)
Life and Work Reading Pre- and Post-Tests

  • Forms 81, 83, 185 (set of 25 test booklets for each test form)
  • Forms 82, 84, 186 (set of 15 test booklets for each test form)
  • Life and Work Reading Test Administration Manual

Life and Work Listening Pre- and Post-Tests

  • Forms 81-86 (one CD for each test form; 25 picture-prompt test booklets to accompany Forms 81 and 82; Forms 83-86 use CD only without test booklets)
  • Life and Work Listening Test Administration Manual

Level C Certification Tests for Reading

  • Form 522 (set of 25 test booklets)

Answer Sheets for Pre- and Post-Tests - Option 1 General Purpose Answer Sheets (set of 100)
BOP ESL Test Administration Manual

Delivery Format

Test Booklets
Audio CDs (for listening tests)

Scoring Options

Manual Scoring

Advantages and Benefits

  • Reading progress tests offer four levels of pre- and post-tests, from Level A (beginning literacy) to Level D (adult secondary level)
  • Listening progress tests (for ESL learners only) offer three levels of pre- and post-tests, from Level A (beginning ESL literacy) to Level C (advanced ESL)
  • All tests are easy to administer and score; test results easy to interpret
  • Tests take up to one hour to complete

Targeting Instruction

CASAS assessments correlate to CASAS Competencies and to CASAS Content Standards. BOP facilities can use test results to help target instruction.


Use the QuickSearch Online database to determine instructional resources by assessment series, skill area, program type, CASAS competency, publication title, and by publisher. This valuable resource is available at no cost.


No training is required for Bureau of Prisons facilities to order and administer most assessment series. BOP sites should order and study the Test Administration Manual for each test series they administer.

CASAS offers self-paced online Implementation Training at no cost. CASAS does recommend completion of Implementation Training for those who wish to enhance their understanding and use of CASAS assessments and resources.


Order the Bureau of Prisons assessments now.

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