March 21, 2013. Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Basic Skills administrators are urging students who have started but not completed their GED to do so by year’s end in light of coming changes to the program.
The current series of tests, which were last updated in 2002, will end as of Dec. 31, 2013, and scores from the 2002 series will not be transferrable to the new series. The 2014 series of tests will be administered solely by computer and will consist of four content areas, a change from the current five content testing areas that are taken on paper.
Kim Hinton, Director of Adult Basic Education/GED at CCC&TI, says that those who have started but not finished their tests are urged to come in and complete it. “The most pressing issue is getting students in to finish their tests. We don’t want them to lose what they’ve already done,” she said. “And there’s still plenty of time. We have people coming in every day. Most of them say they didn’t realize how important it was. They’ve realized that they need their high school equivalency sometimes just to apply for a job and often to advance.”
Hinton says that while the changes may pose a challenge for some, there are still benefits to the new testing procedures. “Students need to have basic computer skills anyway and we have ways to help students get those skills and prepare for their tests,” she said. “More importantly, we hope those preparing for the testing will see this as a step toward preparing for further training and for their career, not just for a high school credential.”
Besides a change in the way the test is administered, the content of the test is also changing. The new test will be aligned with the common core standards, a set of guidelines used by each state in public education for all grades. The four content areas for the new testing are literacy, mathematics, science and social studies.
The cost for the GED tests is determined by the North Carolina Community College System. While the price currently remains at $35, pricing for 2014 battery of tests has not yet been determined.
For now, Hinton says that the best thing students can do is to call or come by Basic Skills at CCC&TI to talk with an advisor about completing their GED requirements before the end of the year. “A lot of people in our service area have started the testing but not finished it,” she said. “We’ve sent out more than 600 letters to those individuals encouraging them to come back and complete while their current testing is still valid. The time is now re-enroll, earn the GED and take the next step toward a career.”
For more information on the GED program, contact Basic Skills at CCC&TI at 828.726.2230.