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GED changes on the horizon

CATTARAUGUS –– According to Bethany Ruane, an adult literacy and GED team leader at Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, individuals preparing to earn their high school equivalency diploma should be aware of changes that could “affect their chances of being successful.”

Ruane said that general educational development, formerly general equivalency diploma, is a “very specific test of high school literacy, and is owned by a company that has rigorous guidelines.

“One caution for everyone is that those online ads for earning a GED may not all be recognized or even valid,” Ruane said. “If it says you can pay to get your GED, be very wary. It would be a shame to spend for something that is not recognized when going on to higher education or work, especially since BOCES GED preparation is funded by New York state as free education.”

A new GED test series will begin in January 2014, after which partial scores from tests previously taken will be invalid and will not be combined with new test scores.

“If you have taken and passed a section of the GED test from 2002 to the present and you want those scores to count in your favor going forward, you must retake and fully pass the test before 2014,” Ruane said.

“If [GED candidates] do not completely pass before 2014, they will be taking the whole test in the new format.”

New York GED tests are given only at official GED testing centers that have been approved by the state education department. There is currently no online or computer-based GED testing available, although a pre-test is available for a charge through the GED testing service.

BOCES offers many career technology and adult education courses that students can take, in tandem with GED prep. The cost for these classes are often covered by workforce development funds and financial aid is also available.

BOCES has many GED preparatory sites around Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. To locate a site, call 376-8293.

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