New GED Test Coming In 2014 -

New GED Test Coming In 2014

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Big changes are coming to the GED test. Big changes are coming to the GED test.

Hundreds of people across South Carolina are racing to earn their General Equivalency Diploma or GED by Dec. 31.

“It has been hard to keep going,” says Michael Nix of Easley.

Nix hopes complete his GED this year. If he doesn’t, he will have to start over and it will be tougher.

The GED is currently undergoing a major overhaul. Officials say it hasn’t been revised since 2002.

The new exam is designed to prepare students for vocational training, college or jobs by testing the skills employers are seeking.

Starting Jan. 1, the GED will only be given on computers for $150. Paper and pencil versions will be obsolete.

It is estimated that 9,000 adults in South Carolina complete the GED exam annually.

Officials say 70 percent receive their GED, however, there are concerns that students are not ready for the changes.

"Change is hard for anyone, said Mary Gaston, director of the Pickens County Adult Education Learning Center. There is some anxiety with our instructors; there is some anxiety with our students."

The new exam will test students in four sections: literacy, math, social studies and science.

Officials believe it will take about seven hours to complete.

How the changes will affect employers is unknown.

“Labor in the Upstate is tight. If it is more difficult for people to get their GED,” says Herb Dew, president of HTI, “It is going to hurt us."

HTI finds workers for 25 companies in the Upstate, all of which require their employees to have a high school diploma or GED.

That's why educators are urging people to get their GED now, before the changes take effect.

“We are doing as much as we can to encourage students to go ahead and come in the door now,” Gaston said.

Adult education learning centers in Pickens, Anderson and Oconee Counties are offering free registration and classes to help those looking to earn a way into the job market through December.

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