The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 25, 2013

GED test going up in price

Star Beacon

— Time is running out for those General Education Diploma  (GED) test-takers hoping to avoid a more expensive test and a more challenging exam.

In January, not only will the test become more difficult, aligning with new Common Core Standards, but the cost for the exam will increase from $40 to $120.

The test will no longer be taken with paper and pencil, but will instead be taken on a computer at a certified testing center. The test will be administered by Pearson Vue, a private company.

Any passing scores since 2002 will expire at the end of the year. This means anyone who has taken the test since 2002 and passed any, but not all, subject areas, have until Dec. 31 to pass the other subjects or else they will lose those passing scores, said Jeff Seth of the Ashtabula County Adult Basic & Literacy Education Program (ABLE).

Once they lose those passing scores, testers will have to start over and take all sections of the new, more difficult test.

Seth urges testers to complete their testing before the end of the year. “If you’ve taken the test and passed three or four subject areas, please go and take the other subjects before you lose those passing scores,” he said.

According to Seth, the closest place to take the computer test is at the A-Tech Technical and Career Campus in Jefferson.

Any tests taken this year, on paper or computer, will be the older version of the exam. The new exams will be administered next year.

Slots to take the test are filling up. The next date is in late September with only a few seats left. Testing is done once a month from now until December. “If you’re intending to take the test this year, get scheduled well in advance,” Seth said. “I would say a month in advance.”

The new test will have four subject areas instead of five. Those areas include science, social studies, reading, and math incorporating elements of calculus and trigonometry.

Beginning in 2014, test takers will be allowed to take the test three times per year. Since this year is a transitional year, testers will be able to take the paper and pencil test up to three times, and the computer test up to six times, according to John Charleton, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.

This marks the first GED change since 2002. To schedule an orientation, get started with GED classes, or for more information on testing, call the ABLE office at A-Tech at 440-576-5599.