Several students in caps and gowns sit listening attentively at a graduation ceremony.

Above: GED graduates at MGCCC’s 2015 GED Commencement Ceremony held in June. These student had to meet a higher requirement of 150 to pass the GED© Test. Now, the score has been readjusted to 145 and backdated to January 2014, which will increase the number of graduates in Mississippi by more than 600.

GED© Testing Services has announced a recalibration of the GED© Test and the addition of two new performance levels. The passing score for high school equivalency is moving from 150 to 145. The change will also include two optional levels above high school equivalency to signify college readiness, and for some test-takers, the opportunity to earn college credits. These changes were driven by a detailed analysis of educational outcomes of GED© graduates compared to high school graduates over the past 18 months.

These changes apply to those who have taken the GED© Test since January 1, 2014.  Nationwide, more than 25,000 adults are expected to be immediately eligible to receive their High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma.  In Mississippi, an additional 637 GED© test takers will receive their HSE diploma due to this change.  These graduates will now have a credential that will enable them to enroll in a postsecondary institution or possibly enter the workforce.

“The 637 students who have earned their High School Equivalency diplomas from GED© Testing Services will be able to greatly improve their lives through education or other employment opportunities,” said Sandy Crist, state director for Adult Education and High School Equivalency at the Mississippi Community College Board. “The standards established by GED© Testing Services to score its tests are similar to those that high schools use.  In fact, a High School Equivalency Diploma is oftentimes more difficult to earn than a high school diploma.”

Beginning January 1, 2014, the GED© Test transitioned from a paper-based test to one offered entirely on the computer. Since that time in Mississippi, 7,056 tests have been taken, 4,144 have completed all four parts of the exam, and 2,343 have passed the exam.

Becky Layton, director of MGCCC’s Adult Basic Education program, said, “This is exciting news for our students and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Adult Education program. We have a number of students who have repeatedly tested and scored between 145 and 149, resulting in a below passing score. With the score change, some of the students now have a GED© credential, and for many others, they now only have one or two sections left to earn the GED© credential. This opens doors to continuing their education and gaining or retaining employment.”

Students affected by the scoring change should receive notifications, diplomas and transcripts from GED© Testing Services on or around March 1, 2016, even though the score change is effective immediately.

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