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Friday, April 8, 2011 - 8:55am

GED Test Goes Electronic

Georgia is in a first group of states to begin offering the high school equivalency test -- known as the GED -- on computer. The rollout begins this summer.

It’s not an online test, but simply the paper version on computer. Test-takers must still go to a certified location, such as a technical college campus.

California, Florida and Texas were scheduled to offer the GED computerized version this month. Georgia joins the group in July.

The Technical College System of Georgia gives the test. The System’s Kim Lee says it won’t be a complete changeover to computer right away for test-takers.

“They’re going to have an option, in this state at least through the end of the year. As well as those individuals that require the paper-based models as an accommodation. But the majority of testing in this state will be computer-based testing for GED.”

Lee says the price of taking the GED will also go up starting in July. It’s currently $95, but will more than double in most cases. She says the national testing company that devises the exam wants to relieve the cost burden that testing centers have absorbed.

“They identified that local programs are having to pay for some of the cost in terms of administering the test, and the actual testing fee did not represent the true cost of the test.”

The new fees will be $50 for each of the five tests within the GED exam. But if students take the multiple components of the exam on the same day, the price would drop.

State officials say the computer version of the GED test will first be offered in July at Gwinnett, Dekalb, and Ogeechee Technical Colleges. A handful of other campus sites hope to be certified and added by the end of the month. By the end of the year, officials hope to have all 45 current testing locations and auxillary sites statewide offering the computer versions.