Educate Yourself On the New GED Test

Photograph of young people taking a test using computers.

If you work with young people seeking their high-school equivalency diploma, help them prepare by learning about upcoming changes to the GED high-school equivalency test. Beginning on January 2, 2014, test-takers will encounter a new, computer-based version of the exam available only at approved testing sites.

According to GED Testing Service, the company tasked with creating the new assessment, their modifications will help the GED stay meaningful to employers, training programs and institutions of higher education. GED Testing Service recently held a webinar for educators and other support professionals to provide an overview of the new exam. Here are some upcoming changes we think youth workers will want to keep in mind:

  • Four, rather than five, modules: The former reading and writing sections have been combined into a single section called Reasoning Through Language Arts.
  • Questions that demonstrate knowledge and computer skills: Test-takers may be asked to type a short response to a question to demonstrate keyboard skills, for example, or to select a correct answer from a dropdown menu.
  • Tiered scoring: GED Testing Services is developing a new scoring system, including the addition of a second, higher ranking that demonstrates career/college readiness in addition to basic competency.
  • For some repeat testers, a clean slate: Students who pass one or more sections of the current test, but not the whole thing, will not be allowed to transfer those scores once the new test goes into effect.
  • Revised support materials: GED Testing Service plans to release English- and Spanish-language practice tests in fall 2013, as well as a video teaching test-takers how to use a new computer-based calculator tool.

Want to learn more? You can watch the full webinar or read the center’s "Assessment Guide for Educators," which includes an appendix outlining the key differences between the 2002 and 2014 versions of the test.

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