GED change benefits adult learners in Va.

The recent recalibration of the minimum passing score on the GED high school equivalency examination resulted in good news for hundreds of Virginia adult learners who took the test between Jan. 1, 2014 and when the change was announced last month.
GED Testing Service adjusted the minimum passing score on the test from 150 to 145 and recommended that states apply the new cut score retroactively.
The change was announced on Jan. 26 and subsequently accepted by the Virginia Department of Education. It resulted in 647 Virginia test takers, who scored between 145 and 149 in 2014 and 2015, earning GED certificates.
The testing service is notifying students by e-mail and by notices when they log onto their online accounts.
“These changes represent a huge shift in the world of adult education,” said Leigh Ann Hazelwood, coordinator of the Patrick County Adult Education Program.
She pointed out that based on the GED test score enhancements, three local individuals automatically received their GED certificates; four people need to pass only one test to receive their GED certificates, and statuses for four test-takers were changed from non-passed to passed.
“This is great news for men and women who will now have access to employment and training opportunities that require a high school-level credential, said Superintendent of Public instruction Steven R. Staples. “As word about the recalibration spreads, it is my hope that more Virginians will contact their local adult education centers and find out how a GED certificate or adult high school diploma can open the door to a better future.”
GED Testing Service said the scoring change was the result of a detailed analysis of educational outcomes of GED program graduates compared with high school graduates since the revamped and more rigorous computer-based version of the GED test was launched in 2014.
Virginia’s 71% pass rate on the new GED test will be adjusted upwards once the beneficiaries of the recalibration are added.
In addition to adjusting the minimum passing score, GED Testing Service added optional benchmarks signifying college readiness—a score of 164 to 174—and potential eligibility for postsecondary credit—a score of 175 and above.
GED Testing Service also announced the elimination, effective March 1, of the examination’s social studies extended response question.
For more information about taking free GED classes, contact the Patrick County Adult Education Center at 103 West Blue Ridge Street, Stuart. The telephone number is 276-694-6542.

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