StateImpact Florida
11:47 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Why The GED Is Going Online

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:39 pm

Cynthia Williams is studying for the GED. She said she's had to learn how to use a computer to take the new online exam next year.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Cynthia Williams is studying for the GED. She said she's had to learn how to use a computer to take the new online exam next year.

One of the big changes with the new GED test come January will be that the exam is going online. Students will no longer have a pencil and paper option and will have to take the exam on a computer.

GED Testing Services vice president Nicole Chestang said online exams offer a lot of benefits to test-takers.

They’ll get their results the same day they take the exam. They’ll also be able to get copies of their transcript or take a practice GED exam to find out if they are ready.

GED data from Florida and other states shows students taking computer-based tests are finishing their studies quicker, more likely to pass the test and more likely to take the test again if they fail a section, Chestang said.

There’s a secondary reason the tests are going online: It’s tough to find a job that doesn’t require computer skills.

“Adults need basic computer skills to kind of be prepared for the most basic things in life today,” Chestang said, “such as searching for or applying for a job and in some states it’s the only way to access social services. So we want to make sure adults who are entering today’s workforce have those basic skills.”

Still, for adults taking the GED the computer is intimidating.

Hillsborough County teacher Travis McGinnis said he’s had to teach his students at Metropolitan Ministries how to use computers.

“Very nervous about it, because I’m not that used to a computer,” said Cynthia Williams, who is studying for the GED. “I’ve been practicing with my teenage children at home. They have been helping me. They know it all.”

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