Paperless: GED exams will be computerized by 2014By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Instead of anxiously waiting weeks to find out whether they’ve passed or failed their exams, area GED students hoping to earn a high school equivalency diploma soon will be able to get immediate results.
Adult education programs in half of all U.S. states now offer computerized General Educational Development — GED testing, and West Georgia Technical College is on track to follow suit with an exclusively computer-based system at designated testing centers at least by 2014.
Maddox said paper-based testing will continue at least through the end of this calendar year at all WGTC locations and through June at “addendum” locations.
“We’ve been told the Coweta site [at Central Educational Center] would be able to be paper-based through June,” Maddox said.
Pearson VUE’s GED Testing System ( www.gedtestingservice.com ) already is up and running at sites in Rome, Griffin, Columbus, Thomaston, Acworth, Lawrenceville, Macon, Jasper, Athens and Americus. According to officials from GED Testing Service, the exam is moving to computer to meet the demands of the changing workplace and better prepare adult learners for the competitive job market and entry into college and career training programs.
“As society integrates technology into almost every facet of life, and the job market continues to be shaped by technology, adults will need basic technology skills to be successful,” said Randy Trask, president of GED Testing Service. “Moving the GED test to computer not only helps adults demonstrate necessary basic technology skills, but also provides adults an array of new services to make their testing process easier and more efficient.”
Maddox said security issues inherent in the paper GED exam method will be eliminated in computerized testing.
“There’s always the danger of losing one of the paper tests, and one lost test can shut down a testing center,” she said. “Computerized testing will alleviate that for sure.”
Officials from GED Testing Service said several new services will streamline the exam process and benefit adult learners who need to quickly enter job fields or training programs. Immediate results on four of five subject areas mean those adults can begin preparing to retake portions of the test not passed.
Essays will take “a few days,” officials say, but test-takers have the option of typing instead of writing the essay on computerized tests.
Computerized testing is the same as paper testing, which requires students to take a GED exam in person at an authorized center. Official GED testing is not available online.