December 3-- The State of Georgia will launch a new GED® program in January 2014 that has been developed by the national GED Testing Service (GEDTS) in Washington, D.C.
The change will align the entire GED program with college and career readiness standards and provide the level of academic rigor required by the increased demands of the job market.
Students who are taking the current GED test, but have not passed all five parts, have until the end of 2013 to pass. All partially-completed tests and scores will expire at the end of the year, meaning those students who do not act now will have to completely start over again in 2014 with the new GED test in order to receive their high school equivalency credential.
Students who are still taking the current version should check online at TCSG.edu for the last date the current test will be offered in their area and schedule right away to avoid a rush at the end of the year.
There are several noticeable changes evident in the new 2014 GED test. The test will only be delivered on computer and therefore must be taken at one of the fifty-seven state-approved GED testing centers. The test, which once had five content areas, will combine the Language Arts Writing and Reading, and have four content areas: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The test will take about seven hours to complete.
The cost to take the full, four-part test will remain at $160. The price for an individual test in 2014 will increase from $32 to $40.
Starting in January, test-takers will use the new MYGED web portal to register for the exam. They will register online, find a testing location convenient to them, and learn about local adult education programs. The GEDReady component of the portal provides an online practice test which gives the student instant feedback as well as suggestions on where improvement or assistance is needed.
The new portal is scheduled to open at the end of November and can be accessed at www.GED.com.
Adult education teachers in Georgia have spent the last year attending conferences, webinars and classes to develop the teaching strategies required to successfully assist students as they prepare for the new 2014 GED test. “We have been working diligently to prepare for this transition to make it as smooth and worry-free as possible for our students. We want to remind our students that the 2014 GED Tests are different, but not necessarily more difficult”, says Jennifer Todd, an instructor from the adult education program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
Amy Denney, an adult education instructor from Chattahoochee Technical College, emphasizes that obtaining a GED credential is essential in today’s job market. “I feel so much better preparing students to pass an exam that will properly prepare them for the critical thinking and computer skills needed to compete in tomorrow's world. I also feel that Georgia has been the leader in preparing teachers for this new test," said Denney.
The GEDTS has also announced a 2014 GED® Test Retakes Program to assist students who previously failed to complete the GED test with preparing for the new GED test. The program waives the GEDTS portion of any fees for up to two retakes per failed content area, providing those retakes occur within 12 calendar months. This means that Georgia students will only pay $20 for any retake that meets the criteria.
“We highly recommend that all GED test-takers take advantage of the free adult education classes available. There are classes in every county scheduled at various times and dates for the convenience of working adults. Georgia’s adult education students can also qualify for financial assistance to help with the cost of the test,” says Beverly Smith, the TCSG assistant commissioner of adult education.
And, she said, people shouldn’t be overly concerned about the 2014 GED Test. “Change is difficult and this is the most significant change ever to the GED test. However, our teachers and testing centers throughout the state are ready to support this productive change for the residents of Georgia,” added Smith. “Results show that the pass rate is higher for test-takers who have attended adult education classes.”
Interested GED test-takers can find more information at tcsg.edu. People in Georgia can also call the TCSG Office of Adult Education at 1-800-946-9433 (1-800-94MYGED).
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 18 million graduates in the U.S. since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. In Georgia, almost 16,000 passed the test in 2012. Still, there are more than 1.2 million adults in Georgia who do not have a high school or GED credential.