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GED Test Changes Bring Challenges

By Daniel Cherry | Published 18 Mar 2013 06:16pm | comments
Thousands of Mississippians in adult education classes are in danger of losing all their progress towards a GED due to changes to the program. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, students will have to pass all 5 parts of the test by December 31st or start all over again.
 
Adult educators are urgently reaching out to Mississippians who have partially completed their GED test before the changes come down at year's end. Colleen Hartfield with Hinds Community College says they have entered their crisis action plan.
 
"Our goal is to get as many students to test-ready stage as quickly as possible so that they will have the time to take the test and retake the test prior to the deadline."
 
The company that makes the GED is updating the test closer to current education standards for high school seniors, which will make the test more difficult. Eloise Richardson, Director of GED testing for the state says also, the cost of the test will jump from 70 dollars to 120 dollars.
 
"That's a big deal because a lot of people that don't have their GED are unemployed, they've been laid off, they don't have a job. And buying groceries sometimes has precedent as to whether to go take the GED or not."
 
Mississippi currently has about 18 thousand residents enrolled in adult education classes preparing to take the GED exam. Colleen Hartfield with Hinds Community College says since the state's dropout rate is nearly 17 percent, getting adult students an education is vital.
 
"It is especially critical in a state like Mississippi because of the 400 thousand Mississippi adults that are working age without a minimal high school diploma, it creates some real difficulties to move our state forward."
 
Last year more than 12 thousand people in Mississippi took all or part of the GED exam. Adult educators say outreach for students who partially completed their tests will increase as the deadline for changes draws closer.

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