A new computer-based General Education Development test will be released on Jan. 2, 2014, according to North Dakota State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler. The updated version aligns with both the Common Core State Standards and the U.S. Department of Education's voluntary national college and career readiness standards. Students currently working toward GED completion who do not take and pass all existing exams before the end of the year will have to restart the process in 2014. The last date for current students to take the existing GED in North Dakota this year will be Dec. 13.
"The updates to the GED test are designed to eliminate the gap that existed between the skills and knowledge needed to complete the existing GED test and the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace," Baesler said in a press release. "People who complete this new test will be better prepared to enter college or technical school, or be hired for a job that offers competitive wages."
According to the GED Testing Service, people who don't have a high school credential earn about $7,000 per year less than those who have earned a high school diploma or passed the GED test. More than 65 percent of GED candidates prepare for and take the GED for entry into college or technical school; 30 percent reported taking the GED to either obtain or increase employment opportunities.
"We have approximately 70,000 adults in North Dakota who don't have high school diplomas or the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace," Baesler said. "Completing the new GED test will give these adults a fighting chance to gain the skills, resources and knowledge they need to support themselves and their families, and a credential that signifies something meaningful to employers, career and technical schools, and colleges."
Passing the GED certifies that an individual has high school level academic skills in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science and social studies. Seventeen adult learning centers statewide offer the test to any adult over the age of 16 years who no longer attends high school.