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GED test changes coming in 2014

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Area educators will begin to prepare for the major, national changes to the GED test in 2014.

The new version of the test, which will be administered starting January 1, 2014, marks the first revision of the test since 2002. According to the GED testing services, around 700,000 people take the exam every year in the U.S.

Adults pursuing their General Education Development Certificate must complete the current requirements by the end of the year, or they will face changes in the test price, format and curriculum.

In terms of format, the test will also shift from pen and paper to a computer exam. Gainesville Community Ministry Director of Educational Programs, Maria LeFave said the mechanism for taking the test will contribute to the difficulty of the exam.

For GED candidates with less experience working with computers, the extra variable of computer-based testing could increase the stress of the exam.

GED educators must find a way to help test takers gain enough experience on the computer to reduce that variable of not knowing how to work on the computer, she said.

The goal of revamping the GED in terms of the curriculum is to align the test with today’s increasingly demanding high school courses.

Charlie Wise, the Alachua County GED chief examiner, said the increased difficulty of the exam would help test takers with their future careers.

“The GED is getting more challenging,” he said. “The logic being that we want everyone to raise their game so they’re more competitive in the global marketplace and that they can pursue, perhaps, a more fruitful career.”

The Alachua County School District, Gainesville Community Ministry, Gainesville Job Corps Center and Santa Fe College all offer GED prep classes. Educators at these locations have begun changing their teaching methods to ensure the success of those taking the GED before and after the upcoming revision.

Cassandra Ganter wrote this story online.

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