New GED test launches in January
by Mark Andrews
Sep 11, 2013 | 2549 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The GED is facing big changes in 2014. As sites prepare to facilitate the test, GED Testing Service and Chattahoochee Technical College are working to inform the public on what to expect through the process as well as how a GED can improve lives.

“Did you know that, for example, 85 percent of children who live in low-income families have parents with less than a high school diploma or that Americans without a high school credential are twice as likely to end up in state prisons,” President of GED Testing Service Randy Trask said Tuesday during a conference call. “We need to give these adults and their families a fighting chance. We need to give them the tools, the resources and the knowledge to help them obtain their second chance at a high school credential and to prepare them to succeed in career-training programs.”

According to a press release by GED Testing Service, new features of the 2014 program include, “An individualized roadmap that supports a test-taker from preparation through testing and on to college or the workforce; the only high school equivalency test built from the ground-up, and fully aligned from day one to Common Core State Standards and the College and Career Readiness Standards recommended by the U.S. Department of Education; an official practice test that shows test-takers what they did well and where they need to improve, including specific pages to study in their training materials at home; a mobile-friendly platform that allows test-takers to use their smartphones to register, prepare, and check scores; cutting-edge analytics for local test administrators to track performance, create reports, and manage a successful program tailored to the needs of test-takers in their community; [and] computerized testing format that allows test-takers to show they have the basic digital literacy skills necessary for most jobs and training programs.”

Jon Collins, executive director of adult education at CTC, said while the CTC testing site has the second-highest pass rate in the state, the accomplishment is derived from test preparation at the college. He said with the new test, it remains crucial for those looking to pass to prepare.

“For example, the Language Arts test is called ‘Reasoning through Language Arts,’ with the key word being ‘reasoning,’ and the math test is not called Mathematics anymore, it’s called ‘Math Reasoning,’” Collins said. “We have to take a different approach to our instruction, which is to really challenge our students to do more thinking and not to just, for example in math, look at numbers in a conventional way — out in the real world, how do you use numbers to solve problems using a variety of mathematical concepts.”

He said while the college has offered the GED in an online computer-based format since the start of the year, staff has been working diligently to make the transition to the new format.

“One of the things we’ve been involved in is our state office has prepared a series of webinars on the various components of the new test and also the structure of it, so all of us have been taking those webinars,” Collins said.

This weekend, Collins said, the adult education department will be participating in what is called the 2014 GED Blitz.

“[The 2014 GED Blitz] gets into the nitty gritty and the teachers should walk out of there by Saturday with a really good idea on how to work through the 2014 test with their students,” Collins said. “There has been a very major effort going into this and it’s not the last of it.”

He reminds potential test takers that although the test will be given online with no paper option in 2014, it can only be taken at a registered testing site. CTC currently is the only testing site in Bartow County.

The cost of the test, which contains five sections that can be completed at different times, is $160 and Collins said financial aid is available for those who qualify. There is no cost for test preparation at CTC.

For more information, email the Adult Education program at adulted-ged@chattahoocheetech.edu.