The new year brings changes to the General Educational Development test, better known as the GED exam. Education experts say the test will be more difficult, more expensive, and a pencil and paper version will no longer be offered.
“The students will register online and then take the test in a computer lab on a computer," Kathi McLendon, Dean of Central Piedmont Community College’s Career Readiness program said. “For some adults who may be a little frightened by a computer, this can be a little scary for them.”
McLendon says the test, which in the past has cost $40, now costs $120. She says she doesn't want the cost of the test to prevent students from bettering themselves.
“I won’t sleep at night until we find some way to help students lower that test fee. We’re working with our college foundation to help identify donors who would donate money that would help underwrite the costs of the test fee.”
Tonia Littlejohn got her GED certificate in May. She said that without her GED, she wouldn't have been able to enroll in nursing classes.
“It opened up better opportunities because I been working fast food all my life making $7.25 an hour, and that wasn’t no living.”
McLendon says the new GED test will require more writing, higher level reasoning and more critical thinking skills than the old one. She advises students to check with advisors at their local community colleges to figure out the best ways to prepare and pay for the new GED exam.