New Year, New GED Test

Michael Locklear – coordinator for the evening program at Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.

Michael Locklear coordinator for the evening program at Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.

Attention Utah students looking to earn a high school equivalency credential: the new GED test is set to launch Jan. 2, 2014.

Utah’s adult education teachers and administrators attended training earlier this year in preparation for the switch to the new test series.

Marty Kelly, USOE’s GED testing administrator, said adult education teachers received the training to help them understand that the intensity, the duration and the preparation for the new test is going to be very different than what it has been in the past.

“The whole focus of the new test is college and career readiness paired with the Utah’s common core standards,” Kelly said. “The focus is going to be narrower and deeper.”

The test will go from five test modules to four: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies.

Unlike the old test, it will be computer-based delivery. The paper and pencil method will be a thing of the past, unless it is to make accommodations for a student. Students will be able to take a practice test, GED Ready, which will provide a report on what their strengths are and what needs improvement.

Around 7,000 Utahns pass the GED exam each year.” Anybody 16 years or older, not in school, can take the test at any of Utah’s 17 testing centers.

Kelly said she is happy to see the changes; the new test is more relevant to today’s student and to the needs of tomorrow’s employees. “It will impact the ability to go to college, and show that you are more ready, than we have ever been able to show before.”

Here is what some of the teachers who attended USOE’s training for the new GED said:

“We are not just teaching for the test, to pass the test. We are giving them skills that they are going to use in the job market later on. I’m not sure that the GED in the past was as aggressive toward that point as it is now. I’m impressed with that.” Michael Locklear – coordinator for the evening program at Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.

“Some of the things we’ve gone over are going to be really good along the lines of having the students be more critical thinkers. Aspects that will help them improve their quality and skills to be more employable.” Nathan Neeley, Adult Education Instructor at Purgatory Correctional Facility through Southwest Adult High School.

“The best thing is that it (new GED) is trying to keep up with K-12, common core and current standards for graduating high school students to help make the GED credential more equal. It is trying to validate the value of the test for students who go that route.” Renee Hyer, teacher at Southpointe Adult High School in Jordan School District.

You can find all you need to know about the new GED series at: http://schools.utah.gov/ged/

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