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December 12, 2013

SWGTC preparing for new GED; old one set to expire

THOMASVILLE — Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC), along with other Georgia colleges, will launch a new GED® test in January 2014 that has been developed by the national GED Testing Service (GEDTS) in Washington, D.C.

The change will align the entire GED test with college and career readiness standards and provide the level of academic rigor required by the increased demands of the job market.

Students who are taking the current GED test, but have not passed all five parts, have until the end of 2013 to pass. All partially-completed tests and scores will expire at the end of the year, meaning those students who do not act now will have to completely start over again in 2014 with the new GED test in order to receive their high school equivalency credential.

SWGTC will be conducting testing throughout next week, but the last local testing date for the current version of the GED will be Thursday from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m. Students who are still taking the current version should schedule their test right away in order to reserve one of the limited available slots. Test-takers must register, schedule, and pay for a test by going to the GEDTS/Pearson VUE website: www.gedcomputer.com, or by calling 1-877-392-6433.

There are several noticeable changes evident in the new 2014 GED test. The test will only be delivered on computer and therefore must be taken at one of the fifty-seven state-approved GED testing centers. The test, which once had five content areas, will combine the Language Arts Writing and Reading, and have four content areas: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The test will take about seven hours to complete.

The cost to take the full, four-part test will remain at $160. The price for an individual test in 2014 will increase from $32 to $40.

Starting in January, test-takers will use the new MYGED web portal to register for the exam. They will register online, find a testing location convenient to them, and learn about local adult education programs. The GEDReady component of the portal provides an online practice test which gives the student instant feedback as well as suggestions on where improvement or assistance is needed.

The new portal is now open and can be accessed at www.GED.com.

Adult education teachers in Georgia have spent the last year attending conferences, webinars and classes to develop the teaching strategies required to successfully assist students as they prepare for the new 2014 GED test. “Our College has been working very hard to prepare for this transition. We want it to be seamless for our students and are willing to help in any way we can,” said Dale Aldridge, SWGTC’s executive director of Adult Education.

The GEDTS has also announced a 2014 GED® Test Retakes Program to assist students who previously failed to complete the GED test with preparing for the new GED test. The program waives the GEDTS portion of any fees for up to two retakes per failed content area, providing those retakes occur within 12 calendar months. This means that Georgia students will only pay $20 for any retake that meets the criteria.“We highly recommend that all GED test-takers take advantage of the free adult education classes available. There are classes in every county scheduled at various times and dates for the convenience of working adults. Georgia’s adult education students can also qualify for financial assistance to help with the cost of the test,” said Beverly Smith, the TCSG assistant commissioner of Adult Education.

And, she said, people shouldn’t be overly concerned about the 2014 GED Test. “Change is difficult and this is the most significant change ever to the GED test. However, our teachers and testing centers throughout the state are ready to support this productive change for the residents of Georgia,” added Smith. “Results show that the pass rate is higher for test-takers who have attended adult education classes.”

Interested GED test-takers can find more information at www.southwestgatech.edu or by calling SWGTC’s Adult Education Department at (229) 225-5292.

The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 18 million graduates in the U.S. since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. In Georgia, almost 16,000 passed the test in 2012. Still, there are more than 1.2 million adults in Georgia who do not have a high school or GED credential.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Emergency Medical Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu.

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