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California becomes 38th state to offer GED® test on computer

Posted on 04/16/2013

Computers

New higher price causes some states consider dropping GED

On February 27, when six students took portions of the GED® test at Ventura Adult School, California became the 38th state to offer the current exam on the computer. A few days later, four students at Antelope Valley Adult School in Lancaster also took the computer-based exam. As more test centers make the transition to computer-based testing, GED® teachers need to prepare students with both the academic and computer skills needed to be successful.

Change is coming. On January 2, 2014, the current test will become obsolete and the only way examinees will be able to earn their GED® certificate is at an approved testing center offering the computer-based exam. The pencil and paper format will no longer be offered, even as an option. The cost of taking the test administered by the GED Testing Service® External link opens in new window or tab is also schedule to increase, and 40 states and the District of Columbia are looking for an alternative.

Two test makers are already offering new exams.

"It's a complete paradigm shift because the GED has been the monopoly. It's been the only thing in town for high school equivalency testing. It's kind of like Kleenex at this point," said Amy Riker, director of high school equivalency testing for Educational Testing Service External link opens in new window or tab (ETS), which developed one of the alternative tests.

Both ETS and CTB/McGraw-Hill External link opens in new window or tab, the other competing testing service, have developed paper versions which they offer at roughly half the price of the computerized test.

Sources: OTAN Online Connection, Spring 2013 , and Associated Press External link opens in new window or tab

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