The changes will include eliminating the paper-and-pencil version of the test and moving to a computer-based exam. The new test will cost about $120 in most states, assuming students pass all four parts in their first attempt. That's about a 70% price hike from the current paper-and-pencil test, which costs about $70 on average, according to a survey of 36 state agencies.
In responding to the new costs, Marcie Foster, a workforce development policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, said:
While $120 may not seem like a lot to some of us, it represents a significant portion of student wages who are in this population. We're talking about students who don't have secondary school credentials.Some states are moving away from the GED program entirely in favor of new options that better fit their needs and costs for students. A group of states recently approached Educational Testing Service, the creator of the SAT college admission test, to build an alternative. Their new test, which can be taken by computer or as a pencil and paper based test, has attracted states such as Wyoming, New Hampshire, Tennessee, New Jersey and Missouri..
GED officials say they expect most states, including Pennsylvania, to remain on board, since 47 states have already adopted the new Core Curriculum State Standards aligned with the test. Pennsylvania's Department of Education says it will have 150 GED test centers operational by the end of the year.