People who are seeking a GED diploma have only a few months left to pass all five tests before the format changes, forcing those with one or more remaining tests to start over.
Adults who pass the five tests that make up the General Educational Development tests receive the equivalent of a high school diploma. The GED assesses writing, social studies, science, reading and math. Students generally have to be at least 18 to take the GED.
The South East Regional Resource Center, which prepares and tests students for the GED diploma in Southeast, has been calling the local adults who have not completed their battery of GED tests.
"I've probably made 200 phone calls back earlier in the year," said Dottie Davis, SERRC's chief GED examiner. "Now we are going through again to reach as many people as possible."
The students have until Nov. 15 to take all the tests and until Dec. 15 to complete any re-testing, Davis said. After that, students will have to work toward the 2002 version of the tests.
Audrey Abeyta is one of about 100 to 150 students in Juneau actively working toward their GED diploma. She started two years ago but recently has been putting in time at SERRC's downtown center to try to finish before the deadline.
"Hopefully, when I do get my GED I would like more education in other things. I can't really do that without my GED," Abeyta said.
SERRC's instructors work one-on-one with students and in small classes to prepare them for the tests. Davis said she doesn't think it will take longer for students to prepare for the new tests.
The GED Testing Service changed the tests "because the states are changing their standards for graduating high school seniors," said Lyn Schaefer, director of test development, from Washington, D.C. "We need to mirror what they're teaching and testing."
The new writing test includes editing business communications such as memos. It still requires a 45-minute essay.
The multiple-choice social studies test includes more history and government and less psychology and sociology. The science test has been integrated with national science education standards.
The math test puts more emphasis on data analysis and statistics, although it continues to measure algebra and geometry. The test now allows the use of a calculator for the first time on one section.
Prospective and current GED students can call 586-5718 for more information.
Eric Fry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.