Next year, thousands of Americans will take the GED test and obtain a certificate that’s equal to a high school diploma. But come January 1st the test will be a much different experience. The GED Testing Service has announced a new exam for 2014 that focuses more on college and career readiness and less on high school completion.
Marty Kelly is the education coordinator for alternative and adult education and GED testing services at the Utah State Office of Education. She says the content of this new series of tests is geared more toward critical thinking.
“In the past it’s been regurgitation of information,” Kelly says. “But now it is taking it to the next level. How would you apply this math equation to this type of a situation? Can you critically think and convey those thoughts concisely?”
Previously the tests were made up of five individual modules, including math, science, reading, writing and social studies. The new series only has four. Kelly says the writing portion of the series will now be integrated into every subject. She adds all of the tests are aligned with the common core standards.
The testing service also has a new portal on the GED website called MyGED where participants can register and prepare for exams, search for jobs and apply to college. Kelly notes candidates can also view their scores and get personalized feedback.
“They’ll get a smart transcript back immediately that says, okay, I did really well in the social studies area, but my scores didn’t quite make it,” Kelly says. “I didn’t quite make the cut and these are the areas that I need to study and I need more information about before I go and re-sit for this test.”
While the same test is used nationwide, credentials are issued by the state.
Candidates can take the GED at any one of Utah’s 17 testing locations, but they must register online https://ged.com/ The testing fee is $30 per module as of January 2014.