Why are some Americans rushing to take GED?

Certification: Admission Tests GED - General Education Development


General Education Test (GED) is a high-school equivalent credential in the United States. The program managed by the GED Testing Service is a platform for school dropouts to prove their proficiency in knowledge and skills required for college and a career henceforth. Managed by American Council of Education (ACE) for over 70 years, GED Testing Service was transformed into public-private venture in 2011 by collaborating with the Pearson VUE.Since its inception in 1942, the program has been updated three times before the current version of 2014 series of GED program. The new program is developed to keep in pace with the latest advances in the field of education and serve the purpose of helping the colleges and employers get the right candidate to match up with the current requirements in the industry.

The nationally recognized program witnessed a huge rush from Americans to take up the GED exam in the year 2013. This was due to the announcement of introducing the new comprehensive GED program in 2014. ManyAmericans primarily those who had taken and passed part of the GED program, rushed to finish their high school equivalent test. The major reason behind the rush was the scores of the old version, 2002 series of the program are not considered valid under the new GED program 2014 and thus, they have to take up the exam again for completing the program. The number of new enrolments for the GED exam also witnessed a rise as many of them preferred to take up the 2002 series of exam rather than the 2014 series. There are various reasons for candidates to prefer the former over the new version including cost, level of difficulty etc.

Difficulty levelsraised

The 2014 series of GED exam is developed to be more comprehensive and tougher compared to the 2002 series. Though the number of sections has been reduced from five to four in the new version, the test will have fewer multiple choice questions and require more of written answers. The 2014 series will have more of essay related questions in the social studies, science and reasoning through language arts sections requiring critical thinking. The mathematics section will also have tougher questions in comparison to the standards of 2002 series. Moreover, the scoring will also be reported in two levels GED Passing score and GED Passing Score with Honours. The GED Passing score would demonstrate the knowledge and skills matching the high school level education and GED Passing Score with Honours would determine the readiness of the candidate for college and career henceforth.

Prior knowledge required for the new GED test

One of the most challenging factors for candidates in taking up the 2014 GED exam for high school equivalent credential is that the new series requires the candidates to have prior knowledge and proficiency in the content areas of the exam. The 2002 series did not have such a pre-requisite as questions were objective and mostly based on reading comprehensions. This allowed the candidates to take up the exam without much priorknowledge on subject areas. However, the 2014 series involves more of writing answers based analytical and critical thinking that requires the candidates to have sufficient knowledge on the content areas. This has further increased the difficulty level of the exam and required preparation time for succeeding in the exam.

New GED test to be costlier

With the change in mode of exam from paper and pencil method to computer based exam in the 2014 series of GED test, the cost of the taking up the exam has also increased. The new 2014 GED exam would cost $120 for candidates to take the test. The amount paid by the candidates does vary from state to state due to subsidies offered by the states. In accordance to the survey of 36 state agencies conducted by USA TODAY, the average cost of the 2002 series was $70 and the hike in price of exam in 2014 series in 70%. This forms another reason why students wanted to finish their GED exam before January, 2014.

Considerable Practice required for clearing the new GED test

Unlike the paper and pencil exam format in the 2002 series, the new GED program is completely computer based. The 2014 series of exam includes seven types of answering items including drag and drop, fill in the blanks, multiple choice, extended response, short answer, drop down and hot spot.The candidates must also possess basic computer skills such as awareness of the various answering item types, multiple computer screens and pop-up windows navigation, using the mouse and keyboard of the computer. The test takers will, thus, need and considerable practice on computer to take up the exam effectively and succeed in completing the exam on time.

Resources to Face the Challenges

Although the new test series poses various challenges before the candidates, the program also offers various tools to help the educators and test takers to complete support to the test takers for taking up the exam. Under the 2014 GED program, practice tests known as GED Ready is offered to the test takers. The practice tests, designed as a replica ofactual GED test, help the test takers to evaluate their likely performance in the main exam as the scores are provided on the same day along with a focused study plan. These practice tests are an efficient resource for candidates to prepare for the exam and also get hands-on experience of taking up the exam in the new computer-based format.The program also offers an educator-oriented tool known as GED Analytics for helping them efficiently prepare students for success in GED exam. Thenew 2014 GED program is, thus, designed and directed towards preparing the candidates to be successful and be able to match the current requirements of job market. 


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