Changes are coming for adults working to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test and earn an Oklahoma high school diploma.

The currently used 2002 Series GED test will be replaced with the new 2014 GED test on Jan. 2.

Anyone who has taken the current test but hasn't passed all five parts, will have until the end of 2013 to complete the series. Passing scores from this test will not transfer into taking the new test.

"The GED test opens doors to college, better jobs, the respect adults deserve and the satisfaction of earning a high school credential," said Pam Blundell, State Department of Education GED administrator. "We want to be sure that everyone is aware of this deadline. GED test-takers must act now to finish and pass before the current test expires."

Test-takers will also see a few other changes with the new test.

"They say it will be more comprehensive — more college-entrance test than high school exam — but we just don't know until it comes out," said Leesa Baker, Ardmore City Schools administrative assistant for lifelong learning.

The new test will also be completely computer-based. The current test is administered on paper in Ardmore, though there are computer-based options at a limited number of other facilities in the state. Arrangements are in progress for a computer-based testing location in Ardmore for the new test.

The cost of the test differs by location, but in Ardmore, the test has been $80 and will raise to $120.

Since the test will continue to cover the same subjects — reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies — the current curriculum materials will continue to be used to prepare students.

"It's still based on Common Core, just like the school system," Baker said.

The GED program is provided through the State Department of Education with an office at Ardmore City Schools. Anyone within driving distance, regardless of the district they live in, can participate in the GED program through Baker's office.

Free GED tutorial classes are available through Baker's office. They take place relative to the school calendar, and a 2013-14 calendar has not yet been released.

The classes begin by testing the individual to determine their starting level. Then instruction is provided to move the student up to taking the GED test.

To ask questions locally, contact Baker at (580) 221-3030.

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