Test takers encouraged to complete GED prior to new version rollout

COLUMBUS – Language included in the new state budget guarantees that first-time GED(r) test takers will not have to pay any additional money when costs for the new computer-based version triple in 2014.

According to the legislation “…up to $2 million in each fiscal year shall be used to pay career-technical planning districts for the amounts reimbursed to students” taking the computer-based GED(r) test for the first time. The goal of the legislation is to offset any additional application or test fees in excess of the current $40 cost.

“With more than a million Ohio adults who don’t have a high school diploma it is essential that we support individuals who choose to pursue this option and make the GED(r) test accessible to as many citizens as possible. This is why the Governor’s office and the Department of Education included language in the budget legislation to offset the increase in cost imposed by the GED Testing Service(r),” said Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross. “It also is vital to provide test passers with career counseling and information on adult education programs that can help them move into a successful career.”

In striving to provide more adult learners throughout the state with a high school credential and basic technology skills, several testing centers in Ohio began partnering with GED Testing Service(r) in fall 2012 to offer the current GED(r) test on computer. Online registration and scheduling were already available to test-takers. The computer-based format costs $120 for a complete test, compared with $40 for the pencil and paper-based exam. Prices are set by the national GED(r) governing body.

The new legislation states the career-technical planning districts shall make available and offer career counseling services

* including information on adult education programs

* for each individual who registers for the exam. The computer-based format includes several new services that are streamlining the testing process and benefiting adult learners who often need to move quickly into jobs or training programs.

These benefits include:

* Online scheduling and registration that is available 24/7;

* More testing flexibility for test-takers

* They can choose when and where to take their test;

* Instant unofficial score reports

* Faster results mean adults can apply for jobs or begin studying immediately if they need to retake a subject area;

* Enhanced test security.

Currently, the GED(r) test on computer is the same test currently offered using paper and pencil. Whether a candidate takes the test on paper or computer, he/she must take it in person at an official GED testing center.

By offering the GED(r) test on computer, Ohio is preparing for the new 2014 GED(r) test, which will be available only on computer. Offering the test on computer before January 2014 allows testing centers to become familiar with the new system and better prepare test-takers. The current 2002 series test is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2013. If a test taker has not passed one or more parts of the 2002 series, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, they will need to take the entire new computer-based test and pass to receive a GED(r). Prior scores will not be counted.

The last day to apply and guarantee a120 days scheduling eligibility for the current test is Aug. 9, 2013. All fees and documentation (accommodations, parental consent form and/or age waiver if required) must be in the department’s GED(r) office to have an approved application.

The last day in the state of Ohio for the current test is Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 (based on each test center’s schedule). No test center is permitted to test beyond that date.

Adults interested in taking or learning more about the GED(r) test on computer, please visit www.GEDtestingservice.com<http://www.GEDtestingservice.com>.