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GED Testing Service lowers passing score; diplomas awarded retroactively

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By Ashley Heffernan
Published Feb. 4, 2016

Nearly 600 South Carolinians who barely failed the GED test in 2014 and 2015 will now receive the high school equivalency credential because of a change in the passing score.

In late January, Washington, D.C.-based GED Testing Service LLC recalibrated the passing score in most states from 150 to 145, according to a news release. The service also added two new performance levels to signify college readiness and to allow test-takers to earn college credits.

The changes were based on an analysis of GED graduates’ educational outcomes over an 18-month period compared with those of high school graduates, according to the news release.

In South Carolina, the 571 GED testers who scored between 145 and 149 since Jan. 1, 2014, will be awarded their S.C. High School Equivalency Diploma. The GED diplomas will be dated Dec. 31, 2015, according to the S.C. Department of Education.

“I am pleased that these changes to the GED test and program will open new doors for South Carolina students,” S.C. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said in the news release. “Our focus is on readiness for college and careers, and this is a step in the right direction for the nation and South Carolina.”

Since the GED testing program started in the early 1940s, more than 220,000 S.C. residents have earned the diploma, the news release said.

David Stout, the state’s GED administrator, said the score change means 4,083 S.C. residents will have earned the GED diploma in 2014 and 2015.

In addition to the change in the passing score, GED Testing Service is adding the GED College Ready level, which signifies that a student is ready to enter credit-bearing college courses; and GED College Ready + Credit, which may qualify students for up to 10 hours of college credit, the news release said.

“The GED program continues to be much more than a high school equivalency test,” Trask said in the news release. “These scoring changes, coupled with the new support systems such as the recently released career pathways tools, or the other extensive resources available through MyGED, mean more adult learners will be prepared for the next step in their career pathway.”

Reach staff writer Ashley Heffernan at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyBHeff on Twitter.

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