New GED® and HiSET™ Tests to Start In January 2014

KNOXVILLE – Beginning Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, youth and adults in Knox County who are pursuing a high school equivalency credential will have a choice of taking either the new 2014  GED®  test or an alternative high school equivalency test, called HiSET™.  

Designed by Educational Testing Services and the University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Program, the HiSET™ is an alternative high school proficiency test adopted by the state of Tennessee to offer a testing option to the new GED® exam which will undergo a number of changes in 2014. 

Beginning in January, the new GED® test will be offered only on computer..  The HiSET™ will allow for either computer- or paper-based testing.  Like the GED® , the HiSET™ will measure a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, science and social studies and will be significantly aligned to Common Core State Standards.  Passing either test will lead to a high school equivalency diploma issued by the State of Tennessee and accepted nationally.

Friends of Literacy (FOL) works in partnership with adult education providers including Knox County Schools Adult Education (KCSAE), the Knox County Sheriff’s Detention Facility and UT WAVE to offer free GED classes to the one in eight adults in Knox County who do not have a GED or high school diploma.  For the year ending June 30, 2013, a total of 584 GEDs were earned through FOL and partner programs.  

“For the past year, Friends of Literacy (FOL) and our partner GED programs have been encouraging all enrolled GED students to work especially hard to earn a GED by the end of December, before the new testing programs go into effect,” says FOL executive director Melissa Nance.  Nance explains that any partial scores acquired will no longer be valid after January 1.  “This means that a student who has been working on a GED but not successfully completed all parts of the exam before the end of the year will essentially be starting over,” she adds.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who have a high school credential earn $181 more weekly than those without.  Additionally, those with a high school credential have an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent compared with 12.4 percent of those who do not.

For information on the new  GED®  or  HiSET ™ equivalency tests or for a referral to an appropriate preparation course near you, contact Friends of Literacy at 865-549-7007.

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