By Michael Ormsby
Over 39 million American adults lack a high school diploma, and the GED exam plays a significant role in preparing these adults for higher education and better jobs. The GED 21st Century Initiative set goals for the GED Test, to align it with the Common Core State Standards and assure that GED® test-takers are prepared for today’s colleges, universities and jobs. The American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson VUE have formed a new partnership that will continue using the name GED testing Service and that will design and deliver the GED test, in line with these goals.
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In the last year, Pearson VUE has partnered with the ACE in a study to compare GED scores in computer-based testing with scores in traditional pencil-and-paper tests. Now, the partners are moving forward with plans to convert the GED exam into a computer-based test.
A new version of the GED Test is planned for 2014. Meanwhile, computer versions of the current test will be offered in California, Florida, Georgia and Texas at official testing centers starting in April, 2011. The GED exam is not offered online, and no online GED exams are planned. However online GED test preparation is available.
A computer-based GED assessment is only one part of the upcoming changes in the GED test. The new GED exam planned for 2014 is intended to be more rigorous and reflect the Common Core State Standards in order to make sure everyone who earns a GED diploma is ready for higher education and better careers. The GED testing Service also plans a national test preparation program to include individualized resources to prepare for the GED exam, as well as a transition network to help GED earners connect with job opportunities and colleges or universities.
Preparation for the GED test needs to focus on the skills students need to succeed in higher education, including goal-oriented planning, self motivation, and critical thinking. Learning basic skills needs to be part of a comprehensive preparation to expand on those skills so that they can provide the most real-world benefits in the workforce and in higher education.