Changes to GED Testing Effective Jan. 1

2014-01-10 | R. Yearout Clarksdale Press RegisterBookmark and Share

Beginning this year, the entire country will see major changes in the administration and scoring of the GED (General Educational Development) test, which locally is offered by Coahoma Community College’s Workforce Development Center.

What may affect people the most is that even if they began their GED testing last year, they will not be able to continue it this year. The former version allowed students to take sections at a time, but because of the new rules, even if you did not complete the testing in 2013, you have to start all over again.

“If you did not complete your (GED) before this year began, then you do have to start this process all over,” said Matthew Killebrew with CCC public relations. “Old scores will not be accepted. A lot of people [take the test] when they have the time available, so that’s going to be hard if they have to start over, but we’ll do everything here at the college to make it easier. It’s just a state mandate that anyone that didn’t complete it will have to start over.”

The GED exam was created in 1942 to help World War II veterans who dropped out of high school use college benefits offered under the GI Bill. This will be the test’s first facelift in more than a decade.

In large part, the changes to the GED testing are due to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is a nationwide educational initiative so far adopted by 45 states that details what students K-12 should know in English and math at the end of each grade.

Common Core is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, “seeks to establish consistent education standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter two or four year college programs or enter the workforce.”

Deborah Profit, a GED teacher with the CCC Workforce Development Center, said, “We’ll use the same material; it’s going to be more of the Common Core, because there is more comprehension skills to get them ready for college.”

The test’s new grading system is designed to see how prepared test-takers are for the job market. The GED test now will have a passing score of 150 for each of the four subjects: Reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science and social studies. Therefore, students will need to reach a score of at least 150 on each subject for a total score of 600 or higher in order to receive the GED test credential.

Students may also earn an “Honors” score if they receive a score of 170 or higher on any subject. A score of 170 or high indicates the level at which the student is prepared for the job market.

“The score needed for career and college readiness has been established at 170 on a scale of 100 to 200 for each subject. This score is based on performance data of a national sample of high school graduates from the class of 2013 who participated in the Standardization and Norming study in the summer of 2013,” according to the website

“That [site] has a practice test, it tells you all the changes as well, and it has a lot of good resources as to what you can expect when going into the program,” Killebrew said.

CCC already has a lab set up for people to take the computerized test.

“It will be 100 percent computerized, the proctor will no longer be reading the instructions,” Killebrew said. “They’ll come in, sit down, and the process will be all computerized and the proctor will be there just to observe.”

Because of the computerization, the cost to take the GED test has gone up nationwide. At CCC, the price for the test has risen from $75 to $120. Classes will remain free.

Profit said part of the GED classes will be making sure the students are comfortable enough with computers to take the test without that kind of anxiety or worry. reports that “[t]he shift to the Common Core standards is happening nationwide at the current time. By shifting the content of the test now, but keeping the passing standard for high school equivalency matched with performance of graduating high school seniors in 2013 who have not yet had instruction in career- and college-ready content, we enable adult test-takers to achieve a high school equivalency diploma on the same basis as their current high school graduate counterparts.”

For more information on what the classes and test, contact Linda Robinson, the GED testing services coordinator, at 662-621-4209 or by email at, She is located on CCC’s campus in Curry Hall, Room #6.

For any questions about the new testing, please see the below link:
GED Testing Services Website