GED students face 2001 testing deadline, or new exams



October 26, 2000                                                      (217) 782-4648 or (312) 814-3490


Springfield -- Illinois adults working toward their GED certificate have until December 2001 to successfully complete the GED Tests.


The GED Testing Service in Washington, DC will release new tests in January 2002 to replace the current edition.  Any GED candidate who has not successfully completed the GED Tests by that time must start again with the 2002 Series GED Tests to qualify for an Illinois High School Equivalency Certificate.  Scores from the current test cannot be converted to scores on the new tests. 


Persons who have not yet begun taking the battery of five tests, but who are planning to do so, must begin testing as soon as possible and earn the scores needed to qualify for a certificate before the December 2001 cut-off date.  Those not passing all five tests must begin testing again in January 2002 with the new GED Tests.


The new GED Tests will continue to measure the significant and lasting outcomes of a four-year high school course of study in English Language Arts, social studies, science and mathematics.


The tests will incorporate the most current, widely used curriculum standards and standardized assessment practices available.  Graduating high school seniors will continue to set the benchmark by which passing scores are set.


The new GED Tests will differ significantly from the current GED Tests.  For example, the new tests will use real-life materials to a greater extent.


Such materials—editorial cartoons, graphs of economic data, and business memoranda, for example—cut across traditional classroom subject areas and require candidates to process information in multiple disciplines simultaneously.



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These types of questions not only mirror the tasks students are being asked to perform in the kindergarten through 12th-grade environment, but also closely match the ways adults must function as effective workers, parents, students, and citizens.


The 2002 Series GED Tests will allow the use of a calculator on the mathematics test.  Traditional high school students at every level are using calculators and the calculator’s presence allows introduction of more realistic questions into the test.  For one-half of the math test, however, GED candidates will be required to demonstrate their mathematical abilities without a calculator.


Changes to the language arts/writing test will affect the way the essays are scored and combined with the multiple-choice portion of the test.  In the past, candidates who knew their grammar, but had difficulty expressing themselves in writing could write a poor essay but improve their scores with excellent performance on the multiple choice portion of the test.  To pass the new writing test, GED candidates will have to demonstrate better all-around communication skills.


By reflecting the changing needs of society, the GED Tests retain their value to the individual and to educational, business, and trade organizations as an authoritative measure of high school level skills and knowledge for students who do not complete traditional high school coursework.