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Queens Chronicle

Changes coming to GED requirements

Some may need to start over in 2014

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:37 am, Thu Feb 28, 2013.

If you are in the process of passing your General Educational Development tests, you may want to finish all five by the end of this year.

Starting in 2014, the State Education Department will change the five tests given to adults who are seeking their High School Equivalency certificate.

The GED, formerly known as the General Equivalency Diploma, requires adults who never completed high school to pass tests in language arts, science, math, writing and social studies. A student would need to score a 410 to pass each of those subjects, and a total score of 2,250 is required to pass the overall test. Partial passing scores can be transferred if students take the test again.

But under the new rules, that won’t be allowed; and students who haven’t completed all five tests will need to start from scratch.

Among the changes that will be made: the cost to take the tests will increase to $120, the tests will become entirely computer-based and the content of the tests will be altered slightly.

The changes will be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The Fund for Public Advocacy, a group affiliated with the New York City Public Advocate’s office that aims to involve New Yorkers in policy making, is reaching out to the 18,000 city residents currently working toward a GED to get them to complete the program as soon as possible.

“At the end of the year, they would have to start all over again,” said Maggie McKeon, a spokesperson for the Fund for Public Advocacy.

McKeon said the group hopes to help at least 3,000 students complete their requirements by the end of the year.

“Obviously we hope to reach as many as possible,” she said.

New York ranks 49th out of the 50 states in takers who pass the GED. Statewide, there are nearly 3 million people without a high school diploma, but only 1 percent of that total receives a GED annually.

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