Tuesday, February 5, 2013

GED test to face changes in 2014

On average, 65 individuals receive a GED, a general education diploma, from the Clark County Adult Education program a year. These individuals help make up Arkansas’ 85 percent pass rate for the GED, which is above average compared to other states.

To receive a GED you must be at least 16 years old, pass a practice GED test and then complete and pass the official GED test. The current GED test consists of multiple-choice questions broken into five sections: math, essay writing, science, social studies and literature arts reading. While Arkansas has always offered GED testing and enrollment for free, the GED program will see significant changes come January 2014, according to Sheri Rogers, Arkadelphia’s Adult Education Director.

After January 2014, the GED will cost individuals up to $120 to complete the required testing. While logistics are still in the works, Rogers said “they will be able to offer vouchers to help absorb some of the cost, for those who need it.”

Along with the new cost, the GED format will change and become a completely computer-based test with short answers and four sections: literacy, math, science and social studies.

“Computer skills will be the hardest part of the new GED,” shares Rogers. Individuals will have to become comfortable with the computer to be prepared for testing, which they can do through classes offered within the Adult Education program. “Part of being employable these days is being computer literate,” Rogers said, which means it is even more vital that adults gain the confidence and ability to use computers and use them successfully.

All GED testing begun prior to 2014 and not completed before January 1, 2014 will be invalid and individuals will have to start the process all over again. Rogers encouraged individuals who have started the process to complete it before the changes take affect.

Rogers believes the GED is important to obtain because “every step of education is going to get you more: more salary, more benefits and eligibility for more jobs.”

Along with offering GED testing and preparation, the Adult Education program also offers: help with low-level literacy needs, math skills and classes that teach how to speak and read English.

For more information on the local Adult Education programs offered, you can visit: www.freewebs.com/aded/

By Nicole McPhate,
for the APS Communications Department