1:41 PM AKST, December 5, 2012
Students have taken the General Education Development test, or G-E-D, for 70 years in lieu of getting a High School Diploma.
The GED test gives people a second chance. The reasons they're here are as different as math and writing.
Beginning in 2014, the test switches from paper and pen to computer based for everybody. On top of that, it's going to get more expensive, and requires some basic computer knowledge in order to pass.
The American Council on Education administers the test. They began a partnership with Pearson, an education company. For the students we visited today in Roanoke City's Adult Education program, the test costs 58 dollars. When the new changes take effect, the price will double to 120 dollars.
So why the tougher test?
The American Council on Education says the current test doesn't represent the challenges of today's life in the working world. ACE says the test doesn't adequately prepare people for a post-secondary education or life in the working world.
Wendell Bell teaches a GED prep course. He's calling bogus. Bell says the GED is already tough enough for the people who take the test, that it doesn't need to be any tougher.
The reaction across the country to this news has been to cram in the test as it stands now. Roanoke City's Adult Education programs says they've administered 30 percent more tests than they did this time last year.
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