Pass / Fail

So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

New, tougher GED has students racing to finish before January

Administrators at the adult education center are concerned that the GED overhaul will make it harder for many test takers to complete the exam.
Administrators at the adult education center are concerned that the GED overhaul will make it harder for many test takers to complete the exam. Diane Orson/WNPR

If you're working on your GED, you better hurry.

That's because the GED Testing Service is changing its test to bring it more in line with job preparedness. 

The new General Educational Development tests will be administered starting on January 2, 2014. People who want to take the current version of the test have a little more than five months to finish. Anyone caught in the middle of the process when the deadline passes will have to begin all over again.

The deadline has led to high demand for the test, according to the Contra Costa Times. 

Officials for Los Angeles Unified School District’s GED testing program said they're offering increased testing ahead of the deadline.

“We’ve been sending out letters as a warning to partial testers, asking them to please contact us or contact their local GED test centers so they can finish up this version,” said Monica Balbuena, chief examiner for LAUSD’s GED testing program.

Officials for the state department of education said that California will continue to offer the new version of the GED tests, but the state is beginning a process that would allow for other tests to assess high school equivalency.

Until now, the GED has been the equivalent of a high school diploma. The outgoing version tests competency in Writing, Reading, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics.

The revamped GED will go further, also assessing the career- and college-readiness of test takers. As a result, it will be more rigorous than previous versions, requiring longer answers and more critical thinking.

The new test will also be more expensive to take, according to the Hechinger Report. Prices for the test differ by district and location. Currently, it costs $200 to take the five tests through centers at the L.A. Unified. 

This is only the fourth time the test has been redesigned since it was established in 1942. The last time was in 2002.

The GED Testing Service has released a side-by-side comparison of the content tested in the 2002 version and the 2014 one. For sample questions click here.

Due to incorrect information provided by the Los Angeles Unified School District, an earlier version of this story misstated the district's plans for high-school equivalency testing. KPCC regrets the error.

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