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Impact By The Changes Made To The GED Test In 2014

GED Logo, gedtestingservice.com
GED Logo, gedtestingservice.com

To most people, the changes made to the GED test for 2014 probably don’t look like that big of a deal. The price to take the test, which gives people who dropped out of high school a chance at an equivalency diploma, went up from $70 to $128. Its content was changed to more closely reflect current Common Core high school teaching standards. And finally, the test can now only be taken on a computer.

These seemingly minor – during 2014. Orlando Weekly recently discovered that in many states, the number of people who passed the GED dropped significantly. Nationally, about 55,000 people earned their GED in 2014 – compare that to 2013, when 540,000 people could say the same thing.

In Florida, the numbers are equally dismal – where 44,688 passed the GED in 2013, it’s estimated that only 6,677 passed in 2014. Drop-off rates were worse in Texas, where 86 percent fewer people earned a GED last year, and Michigan, where the percentage was 88.

Although the GED Testing Service, the organization charged with administering the exam, insisted when it first made the changes to the test that it was bringing it up to date – most people, the service argued at the time, were already taking the test on computer, and since there are fewer low-skilled jobs available than there used to be, the new version of the test expects people passing it to be prepared to jump right into the mid-level job market, where there are more opportunities. And the testing service says that adult-education providers should be preparing potential test takers so they aren’t set up to fail.

The numbers, however, indicate that something has gone seriously wrong – one source we talked to called this “national tragedy” that has left adult learners and correctional education students further behind than ever before.