The GED Diploma is available for adults that have not formally completed their high school education. In order to qualify for a GED, individuals must take and successfully pass the GED exam, which is given at over 3,200 testing centers across the United States. The GED exam is made up of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the test taker has the skill and knowledge level of at least a high school education.
The GED is considered a high school diploma equivalent that can be used in place of a high school diploma. Test takers that want to go back to school for higher education or receive a better job can now do so once they’ve received their GED certificate. More than 15 million people have received a GED credential since the program began. One in every seven Americans with high school credentials received the GED, as well as one in 20 college students.
ACE (American Council on Education) revised the GED Tests four times, since it’s inception in 1942. The most noticeable change to the series was the addition of a writing sample, or essay. The new tests placed more emphasis on socially relevant topics and problem-solving skills. For the first time, surveys of test-takers found that more students (65%) reported taking the test with the intention of continuing their education beyond high school, rather than to get better employment (30%). A fourth revision was made in 2002 to make the test comply with more recent standards for high-school education. Starting in 2014, a new GED will be introduced to test-takers and will be administered through computer-based testing (CBT), although paper-based testing (PBT) will still be available under certain circumstances or as an accommodation.
The computer-based version of the GED tests will only be offered at Official GED Testing Center locations. The test will not be administered via the Internet "online testing" outside of those official centers. There are more than 3,200 GED testing centers, so test-takers shouldn’t have an issue when searching for the nearest GED testing center.
The GED 21st Century Initiative set goals for the GED Test, to align it with the Common Core State Standards and to make sure that GED test-takers are prepared for today’s colleges, universities and jobs. The American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson VUE have formed a new partnership that will continue using the name GED testing Service and that will design and deliver the GED test that is in line with these goals. The new GED exam planned for 2014 is intended to be more rigorous and reflect the Common Core State Standards in order to make sure everyone who earns a GED diploma is ready for higher education and better careers.
The GED testing Service also plans a national test preparation program to include individualized resources to prepare for the GED exam, as well as a transition network to help GED earners connect with job opportunities and colleges or universities. The GED 21st Century Initiative is an important first step in increasing adult educational opportunities and preparing adults for future success.