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New GED Tests Focus on College, Career Readiness

Tulane Public Relations via Creative Commons

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 The testing fee is $30 per module as of January 2014.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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