High school equivalency testing

Wenatchee Valley College transitions to new GED testing service

Media Contact: Jaima Kuhlmann, lead education planner, 509.682.6846, or Aaron Parrott, adult basic skills director, 509.682.6795, or Jennifer Korfiatis, interim executive director community relations, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

Students seeking to take high school equivalency testing at Wenatchee Valley College must wait until January, when the college implements a new computer-based testing service.

The national GED Testing Service® is replacing the current five-part test with a four-part series that is considered more rigorous and a better indicator of students' readiness for college and careers. The parts may be taken separately but all must be passed in order for the student to receive a high school equivalency certificate. The new four-part series of tests align with the national Common Core Standards, which are designed to ensure every student is ready to compete and succeed, whether in higher education or better careers in the global economy.

Once the new test has been implemented, examinees will pay and sign up for the test online through https://ged.com in order to test at WVC. The college will not be involved in collecting payment, signing up students, or tracking student progress.

In addition, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges determined to keep the testing fee at $30 per test (or $120 for the battery of tests) for 2014. For those who want to take the official GED practice test, the cost is $6 per subject, or $24 for all four practice tests, which are also available at https://ged.com.

To help prepare students for the test and technology involved in the test-taking, students taking upper-level WVC Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes now have access to computer labs for at least fifty percent of their class time, and typing and basic computer commands are taught in context. In addition, students taking one year of ABE reading classes receive close to three years' worth of materials in science and social studies. ABE classes are designed so that students not only achieve success with the high school equivalency testing, but that they will also have the tools to enter college.

"The new Common Core Standards, also referred to as Career and College Ready, draw an exit criteria line that is parallel to the exit criteria of the Washington State Adult Learning Standards which govern ABE," said Aaron Parrott, WVC Adult Basic Skills Director. "The 2014 GED assessments are similarly aligned. In this way, we have high school, high school equivalency and ABE all exiting at the same level of competency in basic skills, and transitioning students with equal skills to college."

Parrott said that the Adult Basic Skills office is looking into ways to assist students with the cost of the official practice tests. "In the past, these scored tests have been useful to diagnose student progress and potential to succeed at the actual GED examination," he said.

The current five-part test officially expires Dec. 31; however, Dec. 13 was the last date for current examinees to complete their testing at WVC, which allows the state office adequate time to score the tests and issue certificates. Those who did not finish their tests will need to start over with the new series in January. Throughout the year, the WVC Testing Center contacted over 700 examinees who had not completed all five tests and scheduled extra testing sessions to accommodate those needing to finish.

For questions about testing, contact Jaima Kuhlmann, WVC Lead Educational Planner, 509.682.6846. For questions about high school equivalency classes, contact the WVC Adult Basic Skills office, 509.682.6795.