Georgia technical college officials are making a final push to get people to the state high school equivalency test, the GED, before the end of the year.
“We’ve really been making a conscientious effort to contact students who have completed parts of it to let them know if they didn’t complete the test by the deadline they’d have to start the whole process over,” said Athens Technical College Executive Vice-president Dan Smith.
The last day to take the GED test through Athens Tech is Dec. 13, Smith said.
A new version of the GED will go into effect Jan. 1, and students who haven’t completed all five sections will have to repeat the entire test in its new, computer-based version.
The current GED has five sections. Students pay $160 for all five parts, or $32 per section: language arts, reading, math, science and social studies.
The new test will have just four sections; language arts and reading have been combined into one section. The price for the whole test will remain at $160, but the cost per section goes up to $40.
Some states have elected to use other high school equivalency tests rather than the new GED, but Georgia elected to remain with the company that administers the GED.
The new test is designed to be aligned to new Common Core high school academic standards adopted by Georgia and 44 other states. But that does not mean it will be harder than the current test, according to Jennifer Todd, an instructor in the adult education program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
“We want to remind our students that the 2014 GED tests are different, but not necessarily more difficult,” she said in a press release.
A new GED scoring scale will go beyond just “passing” or “below passing.” Students who score above a certain level will get an “honors passing” designation. After further testing, the company that administers the tests plans to set a college-ready level.
Although it costs money to take the GED test, Athens Tech and other area agencies offer free classes to get people ready. Scholarships and grants are also available to help pay the cost of the test for those who need help.