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Missouri Makes Changes to Its GED Testing

Tests
The new GED test does away with pencils and papers/Credit: albertogp123 via Flickr

January 1, 2014 was the deadline for finishing the old GED test. Now, the test will be referred to as the Missouri High School Equivalency Test.

Katie Mitchell is director of adult education at the Lebanon Alternative Center in Lebanon.

“There are a few changes that have taken place, but in the long run we all believe those are very positive changes. It is a new test. It aligns more to the Missouri Common Core State Standards. So we are helping to prepare students at all Missouri sites and the teachers are prepared to align lessons with the new test,” Mitchell said.

One change is the cost:  it’s now more expensive to take the GED test. The cost jumped from $40 to $95 in Missouri. People taking the exam can break it up into sections, rather than taking it all at once.

Also, the test is now completely done on computers. Up until last year, pencils and papers were still used.  Students will learn immediately whether they’ve passed or failed the exam, with the exception of the essay portion, which will still take several days to get results on.

Academically, the GED test is changing, too:  Mitchell says the new test has more emphasis on math, science, and social studies.

Mitchell said Missouri educators have been preparing their students for these changes.

“We’ve known for a year now that there would be changes. Missouri knew that in the beginning of 2013 that there would be some kind of change in the test. We knew that in 2014 the test would be changing, we just didn’t know how, but we’ve been telling students all along to prepare for some sort of change,” Mitchell said.

According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the average high school equivalency test taker is a 25-year-old white male with an 11th grade education in search of better employment.

Additional information about the test will be provided at www.hse.mo.gov as it becomes available.

For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.