Language included in the new state budget guarantees that first-time GED test-takers will not have to pay additional money when costs for the new computer- based version triple in 2014.
According to the legislation “... up to $2 million in each fiscal year shall be used to pay career-technical planning districts for the amounts reimbursed to students” taking the computer-based GED test for the first time.
The goal of the legislation is to offset any additional application or test fees in excess of the current $40 cost.
In striving to provide more adult learners throughout the state with a high school credential and basic technology skills, several testing centers in Ohio began partnering with GED Testing Service in fall 2012 to offer the current GED test on computer. Online registration and scheduling were already available to test-takers. The computer-based format costs $120 for a complete test, compared with $40 for the pencil and paper-based exam.
Prices are set by the national GED governing body.
The new legislation states the career-technical planning districts shall make available and offer career counseling services — including information on adult education programs — for each individual who registers for the exam.
The GED test on computer is the same test currently offered using paper and pencil. Whether a candidate takes the test on paper or computer, he/she must take it in person at an official GED testing center.
By offering the GED test on computer, Ohio is preparing for the new 2014 GED test, which will be available only on computer. Offering the test on computer before January 2014 allows testing centers to become familiar with the new system and better prepare test-takers.
The current 2002 series test is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2013. If a test-taker has not passed one or more parts of the 2002 series, beginning Jan. 1, they will need to take the entire new computer-based test and pass to receive a GED. Prior scores will not be counted.
The last day to apply and guarantee 120 days scheduling eligibility for the current test is Friday. All fees and documentation (accommodations, parental consent form and/or age waiver if required) must be in the department’s GED office to have an approved application.
The last day in Ohio for the current test is Dec. 21 (based on each test center’s schedule).