Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Clock Is Ticking For GED Students

This story can also be read in the November 23 edition of the Tempe Republic

Blair Liddicoat, Associate Dean
College Bridge Pathways
The GED test is changing! The Department of Education is releasing a new GED exam with stricter requirements and a much higher fee effective January 1.

Currently, students are allowed to take the five-part exam over time in their choice of paper-based or computer-based format. The new test has four sections and will only be available in a computer-based format. Students taking the new test will not receive credit for sections passed under the old testing process.

"As of January, the new 2014 GED tests will be required and at that time, test scores for the current GED tests will become invalid," said Blair Liddicoat, Rio Salado College Associate Dean of College Bridge Pathways. "This means students will have to start over with the new tests."

According to Liddicoat, students should not wait until the last minute if they want to finish their GED before the changes take effect.

"All students who are pursuing their GED diploma need to remember that they only have until the end of December to take the current GED tests," Liddicoat said. "Additionally, some test centers may be closed over Thanksgiving and during the holiday week in December, so it's important to plan ahead."

As the largest provider of adult basic education in Arizona, including GED classes and college pathway programs, Rio Salado College has noticed a significant increase in the number of students showing up to complete their GED tests.

“We’ve already seen an increase in the first two weeks of November and are expecting even higher demand as the holidays approach,” said Linda Lukey, director of testing and prior learning assessment at Rio Salado. “We want to make everyone aware that wait times may increase as we near the deadline. We also want to remind students that Rio Salado College testing centers will be closed during the college’s annual winter break.”

Rio Salado testing centers are available at the following locations:
  • RSC Tempe
  • RSC Northern
  • RSC Avondale
  • RSC Southern
  • RSC Thomas
  • RSC Luke
  • Communiversity at Surprise
Test centers at RSC Northern and RSC Tempe will remain open during the college’s winter break for online GED testing only.

Walk-in, paper-based testing is available only at the Northern location and only until November 26. All other locations require an appointment for paper-based testing. Wait times for walk-in testing can be significant, and students are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Computer-based testing is available at all test center locations. Students must register for the exam 24 hours before testing through

All Rio Salado College test centers are approved to offer the computer-based 2014 GED tests as of January. For more details about GED Testing services and hours of operation, or call 480-517-8000.