The Bossier Learning Center has dubbed 2013 the year to get educated.
Jeanie Armstrong, program coordinator, said they are kicking off the year with a campaign to promote the General Educational Development (GED) test before the program is revamped in 2014. The upcoming changes will change the content and procedures for GED testing and prepping.
Beginning January 2014, there will no longer be a paper and pencil test. Instead, the GED test and readiness exam will be converted into online computer-based assessments.
The test materials will focus on required elements established by the state’s common core standards and will test four areas instead of five, combining the Language Arts and reading portions. Armstrong said it will require students to have more prior knowledge instead of just reading comprehension skills.
“The test itself is going to be much more rigorous and will require a higher level of thinking,” Armstrong said. “The GED test has been marketed in the past as a high school equivalency diploma, but the new test scores will render a high school level and a college and career readiness level.”
The written essay will also change, prompting Armstrong to consider restructuring courses to meet the new, higher level criteria.
“In the past, the written test has been an opinion-based response,” she said. “Now, it will require an extended constructive response with two literary texts and evidence-based citing. This is a big, big jump.”
With all of the changes comes a new price as well. Armstrong said there will be a $50 fee to take the readiness exam the GED test will increase to $120.
“People typically go through the classes then take the free practice test, which gives us an idea if they are ready to pass it,” Armstrong said. “They are not going to have that anymore. Everything is going to be fee based.”
Fortunately, Armstrong said the center has implemented new teaching methods, such as small group studying, into their classrooms due to the state’s legislative changes for the 2012-2013 school year.
“We will adjust as needed,” Armstrong said. “We are an adult education stronghold and we plan to conn Chatinue that.”
Armstrong encourages anyone who has interest in completing the GED classes and test to do so in 2013. Those who have taken the current 2002 Series GED test, but have not passed all five parts, have until the end of 2013 to pass or they will need to start over again in 2014 with the new GED test in order to receive their diploma.
“This is the time to get it,” she said.
For more information or to register for GED classes, contact the Bossier Learning Center at 549-6839.