GED testing change coming in January

by Celia Shortt

Students who have started but not completed the General Education Development (GED) test need to finish it by the end of 2013 or they will forfeit all test scores and fees and be forced to start over.

'It's very important that anybody who has unfinished business finishes it by the end of the year or they will lose their investments,' said Karen Kirchler, vice president for Adult Education at West Georgia Technical College.

On Jan. 2, a new GED test will start. It not only provides a high school graduation credential, but also prepares adults for more education, training, and better-paying jobs. It will cover four content areas - literacy, mathematics, science and social studies - and measure knowledge of essential skills to be ready for college or a career.

The changes are part of the Common Core standards being implemented across the nation and necessary updates given the amount of time since the current GED test began.

'The last test was developed in 2002,' Kirchler said. 'It is kind of due to update the test, given that it is a high school test.'

The passing standards set by the new test mirror those of graduating seniors, helping those who take it remain competitive with students who complete their high school education in the traditional way.

'I think it will increase the value of a GED,' said Kirchler. 'It is a current and valid instrument because it is now graded against graduating high school seniors.'

'Our goal is getting as many students who come to us to complete and earn a GED between now and the end of the year,' she added. Another change in the GED test is that it will be administered only on the computer and not on paper.

Last year, West Georgia Technical College had 484 adults enrolled in their adult education classes. They currently offer free adult education classes in the following counties: Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, Meriwether, and Troup. They also administer the GED test in a variety of locations, including computer-based testing in Carrollton and will have computer-based testing available soon in LaGrange and Newnan.



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