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Change in GED Exam Requirement Helps Those Already in Process of Obtaining GED

Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq is finalizing the process that will allow some Pennsylvanians to get their GED without having to start the exam process from scratch.

Starting this year, the National GED Testing Service replaced its 2002 exam with the 2014 GED. Thousands of people in the commonwealth had completed one or more parts of the 2002 exam, but the change meant that rather than using the score of the already-completed portion, they’d have to start the process over.

Now, that has been changed.

“What it does is it applies to those who have successfully completed one or more portions of the exam by December 31, 2013, there’s about 43,000 of them that are out there across the state,” said Pennsylvania Department of Education Spokesman Tim Eller. “They may have successfully passed the math portion, the science portion or social studies portion, they don’t have to retake that now, they can actually carry that score forward.”

This change will save those already in the process of obtaining a GED both time and money.

“They won’t have to restart the whole process again and take the entire test from beginning to end,” said Eller, “they only have to take those particular sections they were not able to complete.”

As the education secretary works to finalize the change, lawmakers are also working on the issue. House Bill 1930 would require the PA Department of Education to accept partial scores from the 2002 series GED test. That bill has passed the House Education Committee. But, Eller said the law would mostly be a formality.

“That decision’s finalized, at least from the secretarial level and the department level,” said Eller. “So moving forward, anyone who wants to bring their score forward from the prior GED doesn’t have to wait for legislation to pass, it’s already a done deal.”

A companion bill (HB 1931) requires the Department of Education to offer two GED tests, one on paper and one on a computer. Both bills now await action by the full House.

WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.