The GED (General Educational Development) test, tests proficiency in a group of 4 subjects which, when passed, certify that the GED test taker has Canadian or American high school level academic skills. Although GED is usually mistaken to mean a general education degree or general education diploma, the U.S. council on education coined GED initials to identify general educational development tests which measure proficiency in social studies, science, mathematics, reading and writing.
Passing the general educational development tests gives everyone who didn’t complete high school an opportunity to earn high school equivalent credentials, in most states in the U.S., Canada or internationally. The GED test is developed by Pearson solely and taken in person on a computer. States as well as jurisdictions where GED tests are recognized, award High School Equivalency certificates or any other similarly titled credentials to individuals who meet all passing score requirements.
Although the GED test is primarily available in English, the test is also available in languages like Spanish. There is also a large print, audio and Braille version of the GED test available. The test is available to incarcerated individuals as well as individuals in military bases besides being available in traditional settings. Individuals who live outside America, Canada or U.S. territories can take the tests in any Pearson VUE testing centers globally.
The origin of the GED test dates back to 1942 when the U.S. Armed Forces Institute requested the ACE (American Council on Education) to develop tests for measuring the high school level academic skills. The test was aimed at gauging the knowledge of all military personnel (including veterans) who had joined the military before finishing high school. After passing the GED test, returning soldiers got the academic credentials they required to get civilian jobs as well as gain access to institutions of higher learning.
It is important to note that the ACE has revised GED Tests numerous times. The most notable change to the test so far has been the inclusion of an essay or writing sample. New tests concentrate on problem solving skills and socially relevant topics. According to numerous surveys done on test takers, approximately 65% of all GED test takers take the test to further their education beyond high school as opposed to getting better employment. The most recent GED revision took place in 2014 (2nd January 2014). The test is delivered on a proprietary computer based testing platform known as Pearson VUE.
GED Test Administration
The U.S. and Canada are home to over 3,200 GED testing centers. The testing centers are usually found in community colleges, public schools and adult-education centers. People in metropolitan areas have a better selection of testing centers. All official GED testing centers/locations are controlled environments. Testing usually takes place in person and not online, guided by strict rules under tight security.
It is important to note that there may be breaks between tests depending on the number of tests being administered per session. It is also important to note that there are restrictions on what the test takers are supposed to bring into testing rooms. Like any other standardized tests, different GED test forms have similar difficulty levels. Test costs range from $45 (in Maryland) to $120 which is the typical cost for all 4 GED tests.
Lee Wei is an English teacher from Bangkok, Thailand. For information about preparing to GED test in Bangkok, visit www.languageexpress.co.th/en/ged/