Passing GED score lowered, more students succeed

Passing the GED test just got easier.

Pearson, the company that offers the GED test, lowered the passing score for future test takers and retroactively passing some students who recently took the test. The company says it implemented the changes in January, and so far, all but six states have implemented the change. The company says 1,469 people in Illinois have now passed the GED retroactively from the lowered scores.

Some students say they never thought they’d pass, but now, they finally feel like they’re out of high school.

School may be out for the summer, but adult students like Lakan Crippen are hitting the books, studying for the next GED sub-test, hoping to finally pass them all. Crippen says for herself and other students, the journey hasn’t been easy.

"I dropped out of high school, never thought I was going to come back," said Crippen.

Before January, any GED test takers needed a score of 150 to pass the test. But, with the change, now you need a 145.

"Without it changing to 145, I never would have passed one of my tests," Crippen said.

Jennifer Bagby says she failed her math test; it was her hardest subject. But when the score changed, so did her grade.

"If it wasn’t for them bringing the test score down, I wouldn’t have succeeded and graduated when I did, I’d still be in a class today," Bagby said.

Shawnee Community College Dean of Adult Education James Darden says they’ve heard from six other students who have passed the GED after failing initially. He says he hopes this inspires adults who did fail a sub-test or even the whole thing to come back and try again.

"Those ones that maybe just took a sub-test and only needed a couple of point to pass, that kind of encourages them to take the other sub-tests,” Darden said.

Bagby said now that she’s got her GED, she’s got her sights set higher.

"I’m glad to be done, and I start college in the fall," she said.

Bagby said this score change is giving her hope and a real shot at a college degree.

Pearson says Tennessee is one of six states yet to lower the passing score. It says most are planning to change it soon, but it is up to each state to decide.

To find out more about the GED prep course and testing services offered at Shawnee Community College, call Kyle Echols at 618-634-3222.

For more information about the GED test and how to find your local testing site, click here

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