The General Educational Development exam provides a high school diploma equivalency credential to adult learners. The 2014 GED test is more academically rigorous than the previous 2002 version. In addition to basic skills, the new exam measures college readiness for success in higher education and the workplace. The content areas remain the same -- language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies -- but significant modifications pervade the revised GED, set to launch January 2, 2014.
The new 2014 Reasoning through Language Arts section features multimedia-enhanced reading passages and analytical questions. Test-takers must navigate split screens and embedded content for editing and comprehension tasks. The RLA demands higher critical thinking skills, as candidates identify a host of expository, literary and argumentation devices within the passage. The extended response requires test-takers to analyze a writing sample and compose an argument essay based on the information provided.
The new 2014 Mathematic Reasoning Test focuses on quantitative and algebraic problem solving. Content questions include multiple choice word problems, algebra equations solving for x, geometry, as well as graph and grid analysis. Although the majority of questions assess algebraic reasoning, 45 percent consists of quantitative problem solving. Test-takers can access an on-screen calculator throughout most of the math test.
The 2014 GED Science Test presents content learned in high school and throughout the daily experiences of adult learners. Approximately 80 percent of the section comprises life and physical science questions, while the remaining 20 percent spotlights earth and space science. Required tasks include forming correct summations after analyzing maps, diagrams, charts, graphs and chemical equations. The science test also features reading passages, word problems and an on-screen calculator.
The 2014 GED Social Studies Test explores content related to civics and government, United States history, as well as economics and geography from a worldwide perspective. Question types range from multiple choice, drag-and-drop and hot spot to fill-in-the-blank. The newly-added extended response requires test-takers to analyze a reading excerpt and type an argument essay that incorporates quoted material from the reading.
Scoring and Administration
Candidates must score 150 on each section for a total of 600 to pass the new GED. The entire exam takes seven and one-half hours to complete. Reasoning through Language Arts takes 150 minutes, while Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies take 90 minutes each. The 2014 GED favors computer-based testing; no jurisdictions will offer written examinations. In addition to academic knowledge, the revised GED seeks to assess technology skills.
Ashan R. Hampton is an instructor, multimedia specialist, author and commercial radio broadcaster/producer. She has earned certificates in information technology multimedia and instructional design. Hampton also holds an M.A. in English and is completing a doctorate in higher education administration.