GED paper testing soon to be a thing of the past

Once again technology is changing how things are done in the world of education.

In 2014 the General Equivalency Diploma or GED test will make its first major change in several decades.

The test is changing from a paper test to a computerized one. And with that change will come increased costs for everyone involved.

Kayla McBride is a chief examiner for GED and she is administering the some of the last paper based tests that she will ever administer.

Kayla has talked with her testers and says that biggest challenge for many of them will be the $100 price jump.

"The $40 to $140 is a big increase for these students and a lot of them struggle with just coming up with the 40 dollars let alone the $140," McBride said.

For some students who are not familiar with computers the changeover will require some extra training as well.

"This new testing will have them write or type their essay out and right now a lot of students are struggling writing that, let alone typing on a computer," she said. "Students are apprehensive about it because they're not familiar with doing it on the computer as opposed to sitting down and filling in the little bubbles and being more comfortable with that way."

And it's not only the students who will be required to change.

Examiners like Kayla will also be required to take extra training.

But it's perhaps the schools or testing sites that will incur the biggest up front cost from this change.

"The testing center has to supply computers as well as security cameras, teachers to conduct the testing and you have to have glass windows that you can see the students and things like that," McBride explained.

Kayla's advice is simple to anyone who has been putting off taking or completing their tests. "Take the test as soon as possible. If they need to retest any sections, that they need to retest and not wait until 2014 to do it because it's gonna be a change for everyone and so we just encourage people to come before the end of the year to take their GED on the paper based testing," she said.

Kayla says she wishes that a transition period had been set up which would give people a better chance to adjust to the changeover.

By the way, starting in January people taking the computer based GED test in Illinois, will see the cost increase from 50 dollars to 120 dollars.