Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 3, 2013

Time is short for local GED tests

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — At first it was the courses that shut down in Pauls Valley preparing local and area students for tests to earn their high school equivalency, better know as GED.

Soon the testing itself will stop here as PV’s GED testing center, located on the local high school campus, will come to an end later this year.

That’s the word of Theola Jackson, who along with her work as principal of the separate alternative school also oversees the center that offers testing for students wanting to earn a high school diploma by way of a GED.

Jackson is working to get the word out the local testing center will close down after December because of major changes in the national GED testing system.

The big change comes in the form of computerized GED testing in Oklahoma, which started earlier this year and even sooner in other parts of the country.

With the local center unable to upgrade to the necessary computers it’s forced to soon shut down the service here.

Jackson said she’s known for a couple of years there were some changes coming for the GED testing. What she didn’t know was just how big those changes would wind up being.

“We didn’t know how drastic the changes would be,” she said about the testing moving totally to computers with the written version coming to an end.

Just last year the PV center quit offering adult education classes, which prepare students for the GED tests.

Now the closest classes are offered at Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne, although no GED tests are available there.

With the testing to soon stop here as well Jackson is now hoping more people looking to earn their GED will contact the local center at 405-238-1233 and get signed up.

The final testing dates at the PV center are now set for the evenings of Oct. 7-8, Nov. 4-5 and Dec. 9-10.

“I thought there would have been a big influx of people wanting to come in to get the test this year,” Jackson said. “We haven’t had that.”

Tests last anywhere from 65 minutes to two hours with the first evening consisting of writing, reading and Social Studies. The second night features math and science.

One of the big changes for the new GED tests starting next year is they will be based on a curriculum called Common Core, which Jackson describes as much different and likely more difficult.

“This new test won’t have the writing component because it will have writing throughout the test,” she said.

The current tests consist of multiple choice questions and an essay.

The new one will include a number of short answer questions and some multiple choice answers, according to Jackson.

Along with the computerized system, the centers offering testing will also expand the hours each day so students can come in and take the GED tests.

Another change taking effect in 2014 is the cost of the GED test, which would potentially double, Jackson added.

“I just encourage anyone thinking about the GED tests to call us now,” she said.