RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. - A test that allows people to further their education has been updated this year.
The General Educational Development test, commonly known as the GED test, is typically revamped every 10 years. This year, the test moved online.
It's not uncommon for the test to change, but up until now, it's always been taken on paper.
Kenneth Combs didn't finish high school, but the GED program gave him a second chance.
"I just wanted to make sure that I'd be able to go to college. I do have plans in the future," he said.
Josh Russell is 24. He needed the education for other reasons.
"Just to get a good job to support my family," Russell added on his desire to join the program.
The two landed at Southwest Virginia Adult Education in Russell County. They received a GED under its brand new format. It's all online.
Karen Gent has been teaching in the program for 10 years. She said the new program can be a test itself.
"If you're not tech savvy, if you don't have good keyboarding skills, then that's just another thing you have to work on and get ready for to just be able to take the test," Gent added.
It's meeting the digital demands of the workforce.
"We're in the 21st century workplace now, so the skills that you have to have to be successful today are definitely different from what they were 10 years ago," Gent said.
The new test can help those who have differing education needs.
"I think it was easier for me because i have a hard time concentrating when the teacher is talking, so it's kind of move at your own pace kind of thing when it's on the computers."
It can also give opportunities to those who take the chance.
"I'm going to major in forensic science and try to be a criminal investigator," Combs said.
The tests usually do have a cost. If you take the classes through a program like Southwest Virginia Adult Education, the classes are free.
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