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Montana to replace GED exam with new high school equivalency test

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 19 2013 06:49:35 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2013 09:15:49 PM MDT
BOAEMAN, Mont. -

The state of Montana is entering a contract with Educational Testing Service to develop a new exam to replace the GED. We told you how the for-profit company that now operates the GED planned to more than double the cost of the test.

The GED test allows students who drop out of high school to get the equivalent of a high school diploma.

Educational Testing Service currently develops, administers and scores the Graduate Record Exam, or GRE, and the test for teaching English as a foreign language.

Academic Instructors at the Bozeman Adult Learning Center have a strong message for those who have not completed their GED.

"Finish up now. If you started, finish up. Don't wait for the new ETS. It's better to finish what you've started," said Sarah Ghicadus, an academic instructor at the Learning Center. She says she and her colleagues are following updates for the new test closely.

"We're keeping up-to-date. Our employees in our program are all talking about it and it's something that's very much in the front of our minds," she said.

Ghicadus told NBC Montana the new ETS test that replaces the GED is going to be more of a challenge for students, saying they need to take it seriously when studying. Math, particularly, will likely be more difficult.

"More rigorous. Slightly higher than basic algebra. Some other higher level math skills," she explained.

Ghicadus said she and her fellow instructors are incorporating more lectures into their curriculum. Those include basic job skills to keep students current and active in the workforce after they graduate. She said it's to help them better prepare for the new exam.

"What we've done this year is we now have a computer literacy component to our curriculum. It's in addition to studying for the GED. We'll have you produce a business letter," said Ghicadus.

The deadline to take the GED exam is December 21. The EST exam will take effect in January, 2014.