Big changes are on the horizon for individuals who study through GED (General Education Development) classes to take the test to receive a high school equivalency certificate.
Lydia McClellan, Adult Education and Literacy Director/Community Education Coordinator for Macon R-I School District would like to encourage anyone who has been thinking about getting their high school equivalency to start now.
"Beginning in 2014, students will be taking a new version of the test," said McClellan. "It will be a completely computerized test and will cost considerably more than the current test."
The current paper and pencil test is $40. McClellan anticipates that the new computerized test will be raised to a minimum of $140.
The new test will be more in line with the common core subject course of study currently used in high schools. The test now in use was last updated in 2002.
"The new test will also measure college and career readiness," said McClellan. "Many of our students come to us with little or no computer experience, so we will be assisting with those skills too."
In Macon, GED classes are offered free of charge through the Family Literacy Center at 408 Blees Industrial Drive. GED Classes are held M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and M-W from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Students must attend class two times a week for a minimum of 3 hours each time.
The usual course of study time is around six months. The five main areas of study include: math, language arts (reading), language arts (writing), social studies and science.
"The first quarter of the year is the best time to come in and get started," said McClellan. "If students wait until the last part of the year they may be put on a waiting list for a testing date."
Testing sites in our area include Moberly, Hannibal and Columbia. It normally takes around two weeks to get test results.
"Some students who pass a portion of the test may complete the other areas at a later date," said McClellan. "All these partial results will expire on Jan. 2, 2014, the first official day of the new test.
"It is a big change. We don't want to scare anyone away with this news," said McClellan. "We just want to encourage anyone thinking about this to come out and get started now, before all the changes take effect."
For more information contact McClellan at the Macon R-I Career and Technical Education Center at 660-385-2158. The number for the Family Literacy Center is 660-395-8060.