Adults who did not graduate from high school often turn to the General Education Development test, or GED, considered by many employers as an adequate substitute for a diploma. But the GED is about to get tougher when new computerized tests replace the paper-and-pencil tests in January, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The current GED has five tests, which cover reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Students can take each test up to three times a year. They have to pass all five to get their GED. If they haven’t completed all five tests by December, they will have to start all over again.

The new exam will condense five exams into four, and will be more aligned with the Common Core Curriculum Standards that California and most other states are adopting in English and math. These standards are considered more difficult and focus on critical thinking. For example, many multiple-choice questions will be replaced by in-depth questions that require test takers to defend their opinions in short answers or essays.

The state has seen a 9 percent spike in GED test-taking in the first five months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, according to the Mercury News article.


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  1. Eric Jeoffries 9 years ago9 years ago

    You’ve never had to be 18 to pass the GED. You just need to get a couple signatures, that’s all. Its easy. I’ve had several students get it when they were 16.

  2. Susan Frey 10 years ago10 years ago

    I’m not sure of the details, but I know students younger than 18 can petition to take the GED.

  3. el 10 years ago10 years ago

    (link to the San Jose Mercury News is broken.)

    Do you still have to be at least 18 to take the GED?