GED diplomas down following changes to test

A year following GED test changes, fewer people in Kentucky received diplomas.  

According to data from the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education, 77 percent fewer people received GED diplomas this past fiscal year in Kentucky compared to last year. Compared to 2013 numbers, the last full year of the old version of test, it’s an 81 percent drop in diplomas.

Adult Education Director Samantha Williams said she thinks those stats are because the test is more rigorous, but also because fewer people are taking it.

“I think it’s a fear of the new test because it is more rigorous, and just the unknown about the test. There are more questioning items on there,” Williams said.

Rather than multiple choice answers, the new GED has interactive answers with fill in the blank, drop down menus, and drag and drop, or pinpointing answers directly onto a grid.

“It’s just a matter of looking at it in a real world situation, not just: Here’s the problem, work it out,” Williams said.

She says the changes in the new GED test may be challenging, but they’re for the better.

“Honestly, it [the old test] didn’t prepare present day students for today’s job market,” Williams said.

She says the new test requires critical thinking and problem solving skills, so students are ready for today’s job market, careers, and college.

First time GED test taker James Bordes is currently enrolled in a GED class at Western Kentucky Community and Technical College. He doesn’t think the new GED is difficult, but he also has help.

“It makes it a lot easier to progress through the program when you’ve got someone to help you,” Bordes said.

He has taken two of the four sections and passed them.

“Got to have a GED or high school diploma to get a better job,” Bordes said.

 For a limited time in Kentucky first time GED test takers can receive a $20 voucher for each section of the test. That makes it $40 instead of $120 for all four sections.

To qualify, you have to take a preparation course at an adult learning center like WKCTC. Their next one starts Sept. 16 and is free, aside from GED test costs. For more information click here.

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