PLATTSBURGH — A new exam will soon replace the one that now leads to a High School Equivalency Diploma.
Cathy Snow, supervisor of CV-TEC’s Literacy, High School Equivalency Diploma and Job Skills Training programs, said starting on Jan. 2, 2014, the General Education Development test will be replaced by an exam called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.
The new test will then be the only free, state-subsidized assessment leading to a High School Equivalency Diploma from the State Department of Education.
Snow said they are urging anyone who can take the present test to do so while they still can. Those who have passed parts of the General Education Development tests since 2012 only have to take the parts they didn’t pass to earn their diploma, but that will end with the advent of the new testing, she said.
“Even if they only need one section, those other scores will be gone.”
The change came as a result of a Request for Proposals issued by the State Education Department in November 2012. The proposals were evaluated and rated by a panel of three psychometricians and three experts in higher education.
The winning proposal was from CTB/McGraw Hill.
The test will be available in English, Spanish, braille and audio versions. The five sub-test sections are English Language Arts Reading, English Language Arts Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
The test is to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by the State Board of Regents in 2011, during the next three years. Snow said new parts will be added to the exam each year to achieve that goal.
Presently, the test questions are in a multiple-choice format, with an opinion-based essay, she said. That will change to more rigorous exams that will include constructed-response answers and technology enhanced items.