What's going on with GED in 2014?

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 Is the GED the same as a high school diploma? No, but for people who have dropped out of high school, it's often the next best thing. In 2012, 9,712 Minnesotans took the GED test and 5,562 passed, getting a credential that can open doors to jobs and college or vocational training. Next year, the test will get harder, and more expensive. What's up with that?

The official word from the GED Testing Service is that, "The new assessment will continue to provide adults the opportunity to earn a high school credential, but it goes further by measuring career- and college-readiness skills that are the focus of today’s curriculum and tomorrow’s success." That will mean two levels of passing the new test — one for a high school certificate and a higher certificate for college readiness.

According to a recent American RadioWorks documentary, the GED test was updated in 1978, 1988 and 2002. Each time, "there was a rise in the number of people who took the test before the update, and a drop the following year."

This time around, anyone who has not successfully passed the test by the end of 2013 has to start all over. All results from the "old" 2002 version of the test will simply be erased on December 31. That's why a record number of Minnesota GED students are expected to "graduate" in mid-January.

Read more here.