Students getting ready for the GED are about to see some major changes to the test.
The 2014 test promises to be more rigorous, and hold students to a higher standard.
The GED tests that students are taking today are more than a decade old, and they aren't keeping up with the demands of the modern job market.
"13 years ago there were a lot of jobs that weren't available like they are today, so we just want to make sure were preparing students for the future," said Kirk Shimshock, Assistant Director of State and Federal Programs for the Northwest Tri State Intermediate Unit 5 (IU5). He oversees the local GED Program.
Changes in the five test subject areas will make the program more difficult.
"The biggest change is going to be content and the rigor, they're tying the test to the common core state standards," said Shimshock.
But it will also be more rewarding, with employers likely giving preference to applicants with these new higher qualifications.
"When you're being judged on higher standards, you know, they are more apt to be hired, I would say definitely," said Shimshock.
Students can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete the program, depending on their schedule.
The changes to the test are so significant that if students don't finish their current track by the end of the year, they'll have to start the entire program over.
The new test doesn't mean you have to hold off on starting your education until the new year, though. You can get ahead of the game and take the 2014 tests now.
"I would recommend maybe trying or attempting the new computer based test," said Shimshock. "It's out right now, it's available, it has been going for the last year. Nationwide over 100 thousand people have taken the test."
Based on national response, students are succeeding with the new test, despite tougher standards.
"Students are actually going through the test faster and they are passing at a better rate," Shimshock said.
To find out more about the changes, or to sign up for classes, click here.
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