No time like the present for current GED test

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If you’ve put off taking the GED test, it’s time to buckle down and get it done — especially if you’ve already completed some sections of the five-part exam.

The current version of the GED test – known as the 2002 Series – will expire at the end of 2013 and be replaced with a new high school equivalency test on January 2, 2014.

Those who have taken the 2002 Series GED test, but not passed all five parts, have until the end of 2013 to pass or they will have to start over again in 2014 with the new test in order to receive their high school credential.

“The GED test opens doors to college, better jobs, the respect adults deserve, and the satisfaction of earning a high school credential,” said Denise Walker, director of Northeast State’s Counseling and Testing Services.  “So 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.”

Northeast State is a state-approved GED testing center. The GED test must be taken through an approved center to be valid. Currently, the paper and pencil exam costs $65. The fee in 2014 for the new test is estimated at about $75.

The GED diploma is required for all persons who do not have a high school diploma and desire to attend a college or university or who need it to increase their career opportunities. The first step in obtaining a GED is for individuals to contact a local Adult Education Center. Adult Education Centers provide free classes in preparation for the official GED practice test. Once individuals are ready for the GED exam, the Adult Education Centers provide registration and testing information to the students. Area centers are located in the following cities or counties:

Kingsport /Sullivan County – 423.378.4301
Carter County – 423.547.8356
Hawkins County – 423.272.8345
Johnson City/Unicoi/Washington County – 423.434.0206
Johnson County – 423.727.2654

The College has testing centers in Gray, Kingsport, and Mountain City. Proctors also travel to correctional facilities in Sullivan, Johnson, and Washington counties to administer the GED test.

A few important tips you should know about testing at Northeast State before the end of 2013:

  • Registration deadline for repeat GED® test-takers is December 2, 2013
  • Registration deadline for new GED® test-takers is December 2, 2013
  • Last day to take the current version of the GED® test is December 17, 2013

“To anyone who has already started the GED test, it’s time to finish,” Walker said. “You want to take advantage of the momentum you have before it’s too late.”

Grant provides bridge from GED to college

GED students interested in attending Northeast State now have added help with college and career decisions thanks to a grant provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Office of Access and Diversity.

The grant allows the College to provide free counseling and advising to GED students to help them navigate admissions and financial aid processes as well other college-related concerns.

Conventional wisdom assumes that most GED recipients enroll in college, benefitting from a chance to obtain a degree.  However recent studies reveal that few GED student s ever persist to graduation. A recent random sample of 1,000 GED recipients by the GED Testing Service showed that only 17 individuals earned a degree within five years of passing the test.

“Earning a GED is a huge accomplishment, but there’s really nothing there to help them continue that momentum into college,” said Erika Adams, director of Northeast State’s College Access Programs. “This grant will help transition them from the GED to continuing their college education.”

Adams said the grant runs through July 30, 2014 and is geared to serve a minimum of 125 students who express interest in enrolling in Northeast State. Once enrolled in the GED program, the College’s counselors will help students with COMPASS testing, completing financial aid forms, obtaining transcripts, and navigating any other requirements. Students will also receive academic and career counseling.

“Enrolling in college can be a tedious process and it’s that tedium that often makes people want to give up,” Adams said. “We can now step in and say ‘Let us help you with the process and reduce the frustrations.’ We want to take down those barriers to their progress.”

Adams said the College is working with students in Northeast State’s service area, which includes Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington, and Unicoi counties.

Initially, efforts have been directed at the Kingsport/Sullivan County GED Program, located in downtown Kingsport at the Regional Center for Applied Technology; and the Adult Education Office in Johnson City that serves the city, and Washington and Unicoi counties. Adams also said GED students who have passed through the Testing Center at Northeast State will soon receive information about the program.

“There’s been a lot of excitement from students. They know how tough it is to have a decent job without an education and they’re eager to get help and increase their education,” Adams said. “Community college is the perfect venue – we have short-term programs that allow someone to get a degree fairly quickly, get a good job, and support themselves and their families.”

For more information, students may contact Adams at emadams@NortheastState.edu or 423.354.557, or Ashley Dickson at addickson@NortheastState.edu.

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