Starting January 1, the GED program is going to get a facelift, all geared towards helping test-takers be more competitive entering college and the workforce.
"The high schools themselves are increasingly elevating the standards, so the GED periodically raises the standards to keep in line with those changing standards," said Sharon Hutchinson, the Regional Program Specialist for Mount Rogers Regional Adult Education Program.
The exam is also changing formats to reflect the changing business world. "Employers and colleges require that people be proficient using computers, working with technology. It's being changed to align with that new requirement," said Hutchinson.
The exam will also test more than just a candidate's factual knowledge -- critical thinking and reasoning skills will be tested as well. "A person will be expected to draw details or facts from passages, possibly asked to compare them," said Hutchinson. "[They might be] asked to determine which one they think is best supported, and give their reasons."
But the new exam will not be cheap. All the changes add up to around $120 per exam, which has educators concerned that candidates might not be able to afford the test. "We're hoping that we will be able to secure grand funding to help people out with at least part of that cost," said Hutchinson.