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2014 GED test brings big changes

BY Anna Erickson

The GED test, which has offered people without a high school diploma another option to receive a degree for many years, will have several changes in 2014.

Starting in 2014, though, the General Educational Development test will be more difficult and administered out of town. Classes to prepare for the test will still be available locally.

Park Rapids and Nevis have now joined the Lakes and Prairies Adult Education consortium.

Stephanie Drange is heading up the adult education consortium and GED testing.

“Park Rapids will still have classes at Frank White Education Center,” she said. “People can contact Community Education. That will not change.”

What will change is the test itself.

“Central Lakes College (in Brainerd) is now the closest testing site,” she said.

The test will also be more difficult.

Geometry and calculus will be components of the new math tests. The current exam just measures algebra know-how.

If all five exams – math, science, social studies, reading and writing – were not taken by the end of 2013, the completed tests won’t count. Students hoping to acquire a GED will need to start over.

The 2014 GED test is aligned to the Common Core Standards, uniform education standards.

Also, the test will be offered only on computer, which could be difficult for some people who are not computer literate.

“Computer literacy will be necessary,” Drange said.

Classes, however, will continue to be offered in Park Rapids at no charge.

Adult Basic Education is available statewide at no cost to adult learners and is administered through the Minnesota Department of Education.

According to MDH, each year, more than 500 delivery sites serve approximately 75,000 adult students.

To be eligible for ABE services, people must be 16 years old or older, not enrolled in K-12 public or private school and lack basic academic skills in one or more of the following areas: reading, writing, speaking and mathematics. 

The ABE curriculum doesn’t just include GED. English as a Second Language is also an option for some people.

Though the GED is by far the most popular high school equivalency credential, states are exploring other options.

Minnesota is looking at alternatives, possibly an “adult diploma” that recognizes achievement, but not on the level of the GED tests.

Not all people who take Adult Basic Education classes and take the GED test are young. Some people decide later in life they would like to pursue a GED. Inmates at the law enforcement center have also pursued a GED.

For more information about the GED and Adult Basic Education contact Park Rapids Community Education at 237-6600.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561