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The GED, for decades the brand-name high school equivalency exam, is about to undergo its first major facelift in more than a decade. As of Jan. 2, an upgraded GED exam and two new competing equivalency tests are offered in several states and will usher in a new era in adult education testing.
The General Educational Development was created in 1942 to support veterans wanting to use GI Bill benefits. The revamped test, offered only on computers, aims to be more rigorous and better aligned with skills needed for college and today’s workplaces.
Even before its launch, officials in many states balked at doing away with paper-and-pencil testing. At least nine states severed ties with the GED and adopted one of the two new tests on the market. Three other states will offer all three. Tennessee will offer the GED test and one other, and other states have yet to decide what to do.
The advent of new tests has thousands of test takers rushing to complete sections of the old test they had left incomplete. After the upgrade, old scores of “partial passers” will no longer be accepted.