By Denise Dick
The clock is ticking for GED test-takers hoping to avoid a higher cost — and a more challenging examination.
Beginning in January, the cost increases from $40 to $120 to take the GED.
The test will be administered by a private company, Pearson Vue.
Rather than taking the test with paper and pencil, participants will be required to take it on computer starting in January as well.
“Anyone who has taken the test since 2002 and has any passing scores, those passing scores go away, they expire Dec. 31, 2013,” said Mia Panno, Youngstown ABLE coordinator. “If you’ve taken the test and passed three or four subject areas, please go and take the other subjects before you lose those passing scores.”
Otherwise, those testers will have to start over and pass all parts of the new test.
Besides the cost, the test will get more difficult beginning next year, aligning with Common Core Standards.
Slots to take the test are filling up. The next date is mid-August with only a few seats left.
“If you’re intending to take the test this year, get scheduled well in advance,” Panno said. “I would say a month in advance.”
Beginning next year, there will be four instead of five subject areas on the test. Tested areas will be math, science, social studies and reading with math incorporating elements of calculus and trigonometry.
John Charleton, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education, said test-takers will be able to take the new computer test three times per year beginning in 2014. That’s the same number that testers in the past were able to take the paper-and-pencil test. This year, which is a transitional year, testers could take the paper-and-pencil test up to three times and the computer test up to six times, he said.
Tests taken this year, whether on computer or paper, are the older test. The new, more difficult exam begins next year.
Panno said the closest place to take the computer test this year is Cuyahoga Community College. That will change next year as career and technical centers in the Mahoning Valley apply and are approved as Pearson testing sites.
Some changes will happen this year, though.
Sept. 30 is the last day an applicant can apply and pay testing fees online. Beginning Oct. 1, test-takers may only apply at a testing center or practice site.
This marks the first GED change since 2002.
Information is available at www.gedtestingservice.com.