Starting in January the GED exam will no longer be administered in the state of Montana. Montana is one of nine states that will be changing the high school equivalency test to the HiSet exam.
Tuesday afternoon we visited the Adult Learning Center in Bozeman. Just a few doors down is one of 25 GED testing sites across the state. In January, people will still be able to test at this location but they will not be taking the GED.
Byrdeen Warwood is the Bozeman community and adult education department coordinator. Warwood discussed the new test, the HiSET, and said it is designed to be more difficult.
"What we are doing as an educational provider is to make sure we understand as much as possible about the HiSET, those practice tests, and prepare our students the best we can. There is a little bit of maybe a little more rigor, meaning that you know the expectations of students' knowledge base. There is some spreading out of some content areas, broader content area knowledge," said Warwood.
We also met with 16-year-old Kanyon Cox, who is planning on taking the HiSET next year.
"It does make you a little nervous, and being home schooled I have never taken tests before," said Cox.
Cox has taken two GED practice exams. We showed her a version of the HiSET practice test to compare. She looked over it for a few minutes and gave us her thoughts.
"Several of them look answerable to me, but there are some I don't know about, I will have to look up," said Cox.
Another noticeable change with the new HiSET exam is that it will be offered in both traditional written form, as well as electronically. Warwood tells us they soon hope to get rid of pencil and paper all together.
"It could possibly be 2015 that we will be going all computer," said Warwood.
The test will also be cheaper than next year's GED. Currently, Montanans pay $55, but that price was set to rise to $120 next year. Instead the HiSET will cost test takers just $50.
Before all of the changes take effect, Warwood said they are focused on the last few rounds of GED testing.
"Get in here, lets get those educations goals under your belt and so that you can move on," said Warwood.
Meanwhile Cox said she will continue to prepare to take the HiSET as soon as next summer. Here is the link to practice tests for the HiSET exam.