Eye on Education

The New Computer-Based GED Will Also Be Significantly More Expensive

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The price to take the GED will triple starting in 2014.

The price hike for the high school diploma equivalency test is part of a bigger move to transition from a paper-based test to a  computer-based one.

But some folks worry the test will become too expensive for a lot of people to afford, and will discourage those people that need it the most.

Forty-two year old Nora Scharbaii hopes to pass the GED by the end of the year so she can go on to become a massage therapist.

“Without a GED, you basically are no one,” Scharbaii says. “Without education you cannot do what you really want to do.”

Taking the GED will cost her $40. But, starting in 2014, the GED will get a whole lot more expensive – three times more expensive to be exact.

Sharbaii says for folks like her, that’s a problem, “because I’m a single mother and unfortunately I’m not a working mother. I depend on the grants and every help I can get.”

The last paper-based test will be offered on December 21, 2013 in Ohio. The computer-based test will be phased in over the coming year.

The test will also undergo some content changes starting in 2014, including cutting down from five separate sections to four.

Officials at the Department of Education say the new computer-based exams will have some upsides. They expect more more testing locations to open and results to be turned around more quickly.

Plus, while students usually get three chances to pass the test in a 12-month period, during the transition year, they will have six extra chances to take the test on the computer, giving them a total of 9 shots to pass the test in 2013.



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