At LBW Community College’s adult education program building Tuesday, Nicole Beck and Matt Ziglar were among the group studying for their upcoming GED tests. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News
At LBW Community College’s adult education program building Tuesday, Nicole Beck and Matt Ziglar were among the group studying for their upcoming GED tests. |
Stephanie Nelson/Star-News

GET GED READY

Published 12:03am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Testing changes mean it will soon be harder to get a GED in Alabama.

Those wishing to obtain a high school equivalency diploma should do so before Jan. 1, 2014 – that’s when big changes to the test and how it is administered go into effect.

“What it means to the person taking the test is this – the test is going up two years in equivalency,” said Diann McCurley, the adult education specialist at LBW Community College Opp campus. “We’re encouraging people who want to take the test, to come in now before the changes take place.”

The GED, or General Education Development, test was originally developed by the American Council on Education (ACE) in 1942 to demonstrate high school equivalency for World War II veterans. Through the years, more than 18 million people have passed the GED test nationwide, with about 400,000 passing each year.

The test’s five subject areas – writing, social studies, science, reading and math – will be revised to more closely reflect the Common Core State Standards, a national initiative to better prepare learners for college and the workforce. In November of 2010, Alabama became one of 45 states adopting the standards.

“The changes mean that it’s a more advanced math test with algebra and geometry,” McCurley said. “With the social studies and science portions, you will have to answer on a more specific question. With the old test, you’d read a paragraph and test after – like comprehension. Not with the new one. With it, you have to answer with a specific answer, so you have to know dates and names and such.”

Also beginning in 2014, those who didn’t complete the current test or missed passing by even one point will have to start over, she said.

The way the GED test is administered will also change in 2014, she said.

“You have to have computer skills,” she said. “The essay portion is written on the computer, so you won’t be able to use grammar or spell check.”

Another big change is the price, McCurley said, which will increase from $50 to $150.

But, if one needs help in preparing for the test, don’t despair, she said.

“LBW is here to help,” she said. “With our adult education program, we can help you prepare to take the GED test with college prep classes and do what we can to make you a success.”

Classes are free of charge and available in Andalusia, Florala, Opp, Greenville and Luverne.

For more information, visit lbwcc.edu/academics/adult_educationged.aspx.

Testing will be held on the following dates:

• In Andalusia, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6 and July 11; and

• In Opp, March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18 and July 16.

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