GED program changes coming

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adults who have started, or who plan to start, the GED program have six opportunities to take the test before the next major change takes place Jan. 1, 2014. The test will be offered three times in 2012 and three times in 2013.

Sherryl Cooley, adult instructor at ANC-Leachville.

According to Beth Thompson, Arkansas Northeastern College adult education coordinator, it is important for interested adults to know about the upcoming changes in the GED program. Starting in 2014 Arkansas will not offer the free GED test.

"I can't say for sure what it will cost but it will be a minimum of $125," Thompson said. "Also, old scores for parts of the test will not be eligible after Dec. 31, 2013. As it is now, if students pass parts of the test they do not have to repeat that subject. For instance if a person passes language and science but failed math he or she does not have to take test over on the sections passed."

Thompson wants people to be aware of the changes. The ANC Adult sites include Leachville, Blytheville, Osceola and Paragould. The program is free until Dec. 31, 2013. Persons can enroll at any time and must take a practice test.

"The practice test is a good indicator of how they will do on the official test," Thompson said. "I want people to know they have only six testing opportunities before the changes."

The GED consists of language arts (writing and reading); two parts of math; social studies and science.

Sherryl Cooley is the adult instructor at ANC in Leachville and encourages anyone who wants to start GED program or those who have started and want to finish to come by.

The GED program came about because of veterans returning from World War II. So many young men dropped out of high school to join the military there was a real need for the GED program to help them move on to college or the workforce.

The program has evolved where it is today. In 1989 a major change in the testing took place when essays were added.

The next change came in 2002 (where it is today) allowing calculators for half the math test and allowing students to only repeat the failed parts of the test.

The GED curriculum is re-evaluated and matched to high school curriculums through field studies to ensure GED graduates have the same opportunities and skills as high school graduates.

Thompson again emphasized individuals have the opportunity to complete the GED program at no charge until Dec. 31, 2013. There will be three tests this year and three test next year statewide.

Adults can enroll at anytime and work at their own hours. The Leachville Adult Center is located on main street and is open Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

The Adult Education Center in Osceola is located on Semmes Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Paragould Adult Center is located at 700 East Main Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

The Blytheville Center is located at 2501 South Division G-Building and is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to the GED program ANC Adult Education Services offers TABE (Test Adult Basic Knowledge); Basic Skills Improvement (WAGE); College Prep; Computer Literacy; Employability Skills; and English as a Second Language.

"We have had great success with our adult programs and we hope to continue helping adults acquire their GED certification, move forward in career advancement, improve job skills, and help with all educational needs," Thompson said.

Upcoming GED test dates are Jan. 24-25 at Paragould; Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Leachville and Blytheville; Feb. 21-22 Leachville, and Feb. 29 and March 1 at Blytheville.

For more information Thompson can be reached at or on Facebook ANC Adult Education.

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