CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County College is using classroom computers to teach General Equivalency Development students and prepare them for a new, computerized version of the GED test that goes into effect Jan. 1.
The test will replace the current paper-and-pencil version of the GED test, which expires at the end of 2013.
Besides a new format, the test will include a longer writing time – 90 minutes instead of 45 – and will cost students $120 instead of the current $50.
To better prepare current GED students who are used to taking paper-and-pencil tests, the college added a computer lab to the GED program last summer, MCC’s Dean of Adult Education Rick Clute said in a news release.
“We’re getting our GED students used to computers because they didn’t have that access before,” Clute said. “We’re finding out a lot of our students have access to a computer or smartphone, but they are not used to taking a test on the computer.”
The current test contains five parts that can be taken separately, but must all be passed to receive a high school credential.
With the new test version less than a year away, Clute said his office is alerting students who are enrolled or planning to enroll in GED classes this year to finish the existing test by October.
On average, 300 students enroll in GED classes each year at McHenry County College. For this spring’s semester, 188 are enrolled.
The enrollment includes a growing number of Spanish-speaking students. At MCC, Spanish-speaking GED enrollment at has grown from 92 in the 2008 school year to 138 this spring semester, so far.
The GED Testing Service is part of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education.