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Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 1:33pm

Taking the GED? Time is Running Out

Time is running out for people taking the current GED test. They have until Dec. 31 to complete all five portions of the high school equivalency exam. A new GED begins in January, and anyone who hasn’t completed the current exam will have to start over.

This is the first change to the test in 12 years. The Technical College System administers the GED.

Beverly Smith, assistant commissioner of adult education, says the new test is geared to better prepare students for college and careers.

“There’s a need in the business community and in colleges for more critical thinking. And the design of the test really is one where the student will have to focus on reading information, comprehending information and then being able to answer questions that really require them to think and understand and comprehend the material that’s in there.”

Smith explains that under the new test, students will get more than just a score.

“You’ll also get more information on parts of the exam you might not have been successful on, and where to find resources to get the skills to go ahead and improve yourself before you take the exam again,” she said.

The test will also focus on computer skills. And starting in 2014 the test will only be delivered on computer and therefore it must be taken at one of the 57 state-approved GED testing centers.

About 3,300 inmates receive a GED each year. Steve Edwards, education manager for the state Department of Corrections, says the changes could reduce the number of former prisoners who re-enter the system.

“Education is an essential component in making sure we get better jobs and being able to compete in the job market,” said Edwards.

Due to the changes, Edwards believes the new GED will be more attractive to employers.
About 30,000 Georgians take the GED each year. 1.2 million people in the state don’t have a high school diploma.

The new GED will be reformatted and will only have four parts. 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 MY GED web portal for the exam. They will register online and can find a testing location convenient to them. Smith recommends taking free adult education classes in preparation for the exam.