SC Superintendent of Education applauds new computer based GED t - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SC Superintendent of Education applauds new computer based GED test

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The new GED, computerized test, will be available January 2, 2014, is streamlined into four sections: math, science, social studies, and English. The new GED, computerized test, will be available January 2, 2014, is streamlined into four sections: math, science, social studies, and English.
COLUMBIA, SC -

State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Mick Zais, issued the following statement announcing the benefits of the computer-based high school equivalency test starting January 2, 2014.
 
"In a society driven by information technology, we need to empower those seeking a high school equivalency certificate to help them pass the test today and succeed in their careers tomorrow," said Dr. Zais.  "My wife, Susan, taught adult education. I know what it's like to see someone earn their GED Diploma and have new doors open for career opportunities."
 
General Educational Development (GED) was first offered in 1942 as a way for those who left high school to serve in World War II to earn a high school equivalency certificate when they returned home.  The GED enabled them to enter the workforce or seek higher education.  Today, 95 percent of businesses and institutions of higher education accept a GED as the equivalent of a high school diploma.
 
In South Carolina about 11,000-12,000 people take the test every year.  Last year, nearly 63 percent of test takers were under the age of 24.  Some 55 percent were male and 45 percent were female.  Thirty-eight percent were African American, 56 percent white, and 3.7 percent were Hispanic.  Since Dr. Zais was elected state superintendent three years ago, the GED pass rate has averaged 75 percent, 2-5 percent above the national average.  For three years in a row, South Carolina had the second highest passage rate in the Southeast.  
 
Last year, about 21 percent of test takers had completed the ninth grade, 32 percent had completed the tenth grade, 33 percent finished eleventh grade and 7 percent completed the twelfth grade.  The current GED test is a paper-pencil test with five subtests: math, science, social studies and English, which includes both reading, and writing.  The test has both essay and multiple choice sections.  The cost is $80.
 
The new, computerized test, which will be available January 2, 2014, is streamlined into four sections: math, science, social studies, and English.  A minimum score of 150 points is required to pass each section with an overall score of at least 600.  The new GED will have an additional score indicating the candidate's college and career readiness.  There will be multiple choice and student response sections.  The cost will be $150.
 
The official GED test can only be taken in one of South Carolina's 50 adult education sites, which are currently preparing students for the transition to the new testing format.  Community-and faith-based organizations also provide GED instructional programs, but are not testing sites.  Individuals who are considering taking the GED test are advised to contact the South Carolina Department of Education's Office of Adult Education to verify the authenticity of any GED testing site.  
 
Additionally, the South Carolina Department of Education is working with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to apply $100,000 of funding, approved by the South Carolina Workforce Investment Board, for scholarships to cover the cost of the test.  
 
Under this plan, which lasts through March 31, 2014, fees for the GED are waived for students who meet the program requirements.  
 
GED candidates across the state who score in the top 5 percent nationally receive a special certificate of recognition from Dr. Zais.
 
"Our adult education leaders are working hard preparing students for the new computer-based test," said Dr. Zais.  "I want to thank the Department of Employment and Workforce, the business community, and faith-based leaders for their support.  They are helping our students advance their education and careers.  We're all working to provide educational opportunities for every citizen," concluded Dr. Zais.
 
Learn more by visiting the S.C. Department of Education's GED webpage

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