GED Changes Create Time Crunch for Students

Students who are studying for their GED have until the end of the year to pass the test before new state standards take effect. Bob Hornung teaches GED classes in Starke, Pulaski and Jasper Counties. He says the entire test is changing to a new, more intensive version.

“It’s going to have writing across every subject, because up to the core standards is what the new test will represent, the new state core standards. Everything’s going to be in line that way. Unfortunately someone who has taken a test with the old version can’t carry those passing scores over from the old year. They have to start all over from scratch under the new rules of the test,” Hornung said.

Hornung says students who are working toward a GED can finish up by the end of the year if they work hard. He says the time frame for completing the test depends on several factors, including the individual’s starting point.

“Some come in and maybe they’re just recently out of school and maybe have gotten through the 11th grade completely, they’re going to have a more recency effect to draw on. We have some people that may have been out of school for many years and may have only went to the 9th grade equivalent there, so there may be some catching up to do,” said Hornung.

Hornung says a student’s will to learn is equally important.

“It’s really determined on kind of where their starting point lies and the intensity they put in. How often they come to class and how hard they work when they get here will really determine the rate at which they can get from Point A to Point B,” said Hornung.

The new GED test will also be more expensive, as it is entirely computer-based. The test now costs between $50 and $70, but that cost will go up to $120 when the new standards take effect. Test takers should also know the content of the test will change. The current test has five sections: reading, science, social studies, language, and math. The future test will combine the two language arts sections, reading and language, into one comprehensive test. They will also change the format of the essay. Currently, students are mostly prompted to write something about themselves. The future test will ask test takers to write a short research essay. The new GED test also promises to have more challenging math questions and may likely include skills from trigonometry as well.

GED resources are available at the Starke County Adult Learning Center, 6, N. Shield St., Knox, 574-249-8720 or 574-772-6882 ext. 3 or at the Starke County Adult Learning Center, North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library, 208 Keller Ave., North Judson, 574-896-2841.