GED change benefits local adult learners

Published 12:55 pm Thursday, February 18, 2016

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 late last month.

The change resulted in 17 additional passers meeting the new cut score in Region 14, which includes Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.

Region 14 saw 103 people pass the GED from January 2014-December 2015, according to state data.

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“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,” according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Education. “The change, which was announced on January 26 and subsequently accepted by the Virginia Department of Education, resulted in 647 2014 and 2015 Virginia test takers who scored between 145-149 earning GED certificates. The testing service is notifying students by email and by notices when they log into their online accounts.”

“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,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “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-percent 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 and potential eligibility for postsecondary credit. GED Testing Service also announced the elimination — effective March 1 — of the examination’s Social Studies Extended Response Question.