Experts Fear Potential Negative Impact of Revamped GED on Underrepresented

The General Educational Development exam (GED) is poised to undergo a major makeover early next year. Twice since 1985, the body that oversees the test has tweaked the exam. But observers say this will be the biggest change since the exam was introduced shortly after the end of World War II.

The new exam will have four parts and cost much more — $120, a fee that includes the book. It will also be computerized. And while few people outside the agency that administers the test have seen the exam, experts and adult education administrators say the earliest indications are that it will be more rigorous.

Some welcome the rigor, but others worry that the changes will discourage people from taking the exam. Historically, the number of test takers has declined in the year or two after the exam was adjusted; the pass rate has also dropped. Experts predict the trend won’t be any different this time. They worry that it would discourage many from pursuing some form of higher education and could impact enrollment at some higher education institutions, like community colleges and technical schools. They say this trend could be more pronounced among many minority groups. Approximately 50 percent of the test takers are people of color. Blacks and Hispanics make up about four-fifths of these exam candidates. <Read more.>

Via Lekan Oguntoyinbo, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

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