On January 2, 2014, the 2014 GED test will become the standard GED test, taking the place of the 2002 test. The new test is being developed jointly by The American Council of Education (ACE), the organization which has created and given the test for the past 70 years, and the computer-based testing company Pearson VUE. ACE teamed up with Pearson VUE because they believed that the test needed to be properly computerized and was in need of Pearson VUE’s expertise. It will be used in every place the GED is given except Canada.
The new test will focus more on one’s readiness for attending college and beginning a career than the previous test. It will be more difficult, and there will be a much greater emphasis placed on mathematics. To better ensure college readiness, the test will implement various new standards, such as the Common Core State Standards. The test will consist of four sub-sections: literacy, math, science, and social studies. There will no longer be a writing test; writing skills will instead be judged based on one’s written answers in the literacy and social studies sections. Based on their final score, a person who passes the test will be given one of two certificates — a certificate for “general high school equivalency” and a certificate that indicates one’s college readiness.
The new test will be given solely on the computer. This will make it easier for one to take the test, as the testing centers will then generally give them during all open hours. One may go through the test as fast as one likes, as there will be no start or stop times.
There has been some concern about the negative effects that the introduction of the new GED test will cause. The test will cost more, the increase in computerized testing will be an obstacle to some who are not familiar with computers, and there will be fewer testing centers. States are currently exploring options to overcome these issues.