New, Tougher GED Goes Computer-Only

California students who haven't finished their GED are cramming.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    No more of this on the GED beginning in December.

    The California Department of Education is taking steps to challenge changes to the General Education Development test that would remove pencils and paper from the high school equivalency exam and see the test go all-digital, according to reports.

    The test will also become tougher, which means people across California who lack high school diplomas are racing to finish their in-progress GEDs by December.

    Beginning in January, the GED will be administered on computers only, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    The number of sections will also be reduced from five to four: language arts, math, science, and social studies.

    The test, which changes once every 10 years, is now designed to have students think more critically and answer longer questions -- including some in essay form -- that require a "show [of] understanding by defending opinions," according to test officials.

    The California Department of Education is awaiting word from the state Board of Education for approval for an alternative test, but that may not happen until next year, the newspaper reported.

    In the meantime, test-takers who have failed any one of the five current exams that make up the GED curriculum are scrambling and cramming to finish before the new regulations take hold. If they don't finish before December, they must start fresh, the newspaper reported.

    As many as 1 million Americans will take the test this year, according to reports.