By Karen Bowen
The GED Testing Service, a joint venture of the American Council on Education and publishing giant Pearson VUE, has been releasing information about the new test periodically over the past year. We know certain things about the new battery; some content and format are still being developed and will not be finalized until sometime in 2013. What we do know has roused the concern of GED programs, instructors, partner agencies, and state adult education systems across the country. GED© 2014 will be administered by computer. It will be more difficult. It will be more expensive to learners and supporting agencies. Most current curricula will not be sufficient to prepare learners to pass. Testers can pass the new assessment at two levels – basic high school equivalency or college/career readiness, which means the stakes for test candidates may be quite high.
At the GEDTS© website (www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/new-assessment) instructors can find several resources. The most useful of these are the Assessment Guide for Educators and the GED© Item Samplers. A review of the Item Samplers shows immediately just how different the new test will be. It moves away from the traditional multiple-choice format. Students may need to drag and drop data into a table or graph, or “hover” over an area to reveal a “hot spot.” Instead of the current personal essay question, students will complete short answer responses as well as fill-in-the-blank and Cloze items. The new Reasoning through Language Arts test will contain a 45-minute extended response question requiring textual analysis and possible synthesis of several original sources. An additional 25-minute extended answer response will be on the Social Studies test.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Karen’s “GED 2014.”