There’s not quite an app for it just yet, but the South Carolina’s high school equivalency test is going digital.
And it will cost almost twice as much to take.
Starting in January adults who are trying to get the equivalent of a high school diploma, or General Educational Development (GED), will be required to take a computerized exam. The price will also increase from $80 to $150.
S.C. Department of Education spokesman Dino Teppara said it’s part of a nationwide effort designed to ensure adult students are ready for the modern business world. “It’s just a recognition of the fact that is the direction our society is going. You look at “smart” phones, iPads, and tablets and how we do business, it’s being transformed by technology.”
The newer exam is more rigorous and will be streamlined into four sections: math, science, social studies, and English. 150 points will be required to pass each section for an overall 600 score. A new section will also be added that would indicate a test takers’ preparedness for higher education, including college and career training programs. It’s the first update since 2002 and is designed to align with new U.S. Education Department standards.
Teppara brushed off concerns that those low-income test-takers unaccustomed to computers would struggle. “We’re talking about being on a plant floor. You’re going to (need) the ability to operate computers to do robotics,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “There’s many opportunities out there. The GED is going to open the door to either higher education… or right away at a business.”
He added that Education Department staffers are always available to help test-takers prepare.
Teppara said up to 12,000 South Carolinians take the test each year. South Carolina has averaged a 75 percent pass rate for the past three years, he added.