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States Cite Rising Cost as Reason for Leaving GED
April 14, 2013

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Most U.S. states and the District of Columbia are taking a serious look at the General Education Development (GED) exam because of concerns about technology and cost.

The GED, which has been nearly the only exam of its kind for decades, is about to get a high-tech makeover, with a computer-only presentation and electronic grading, from January. The move comes after Pearson Vue Testing acquired a joint ownership in GED Testing Service, a nonprofit.

The GED exam has five parts: Reading, Mathematics, Writing, Social Studies, and Science. Students must gain a passage score in all five subjects in order to achieve a GED certification, which in the United States is the equivalent of a high school education.

The current exam has a price tag of $60. The new exam will cost $120.

In some states, GED test-takers can avail themselves of state subsidies to help offset that cost. Some states make this a legal requirement.

The major difference will be the absence of a pencil-and-paper version of the exam. Both paper and electronic versions are now available, and GED Testing Services officials say that candidates are passing the computer version at a higher rate than the paper version.

A total of 40 states are exploring alternatives to the GED. Some states have already made the switch. Other test-preparation companies, such as CTB/McGraw-Hill have options. This has not always been the case.

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