GED 2014 Primer: Understanding The Exam’s New Logic
With the GED test changing “drastically” as of January 2, 2014, many students are feeling the pressure. The new exam is designed to operate as both a high school equivalency benchmark and as a springboard into furthering one’s education so that it will become easier to earn a livable wage. Instead of being broken in to five parts, the new exam will consist of four with more time being spent on the literacy portion that will consist of reading and writing portions. Math, science, and social studies, will continue at the same length. All tests will be computer-based and more challenging, which has caused criticism that it’s an attack on poorer students.
There are a lot of new things to remember, and over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a look at many of the more specific things but today we wanted to start by introducing you to the logic of the exam, how it has changed, and where you can go to become more familiar with studying expectations.
Regardless of what you think about it, the GED 2014 is coming, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it. Here are some of the key changes that you’ll notice right away.
A Reliance On Common Core
Common Core education policies have been quite controversial since first being released in 2010. These education initiatives pertain to what all K-12 students should know in English and math at the end of each grade.
The initiatives are sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association (NGA). The main purpose: to establish conformity in education standards across the states. While some states are reluctant to concede this power to a national entity, the GED has embraced it for the new version. Full details can be found at corestandards.org, but here are a few of the highlights:
Numbers and quantities
Link here for the full standards: http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSN/introduction
Statistics and probability
The evolution of numbers and quantities is important for foundational purposes. According to the website, this begins with extending the numeric concept from basic counting — “1, 2, 3, …” — to incorporating zero to fractions, division of fractions, decimal representations, and using negative fractions to form rational numbers.
“In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers,” the Core Standards explain. “In high school, students will be exposed to yet another extension of number, when the real numbers are augmented by the imaginary numbers to form the complex numbers.”
The site continued: “Although the notion of number changes, the four operations stay the same in important ways [from kindergarten to graduation]. The commutative, associative, and distributive properties extend the properties of operations to the integers, rational numbers, real numbers, and complex numbers. Extending the properties of exponents leads to new and productive notation; for example, since the properties of exponents suggest that (51/3)3 = 5(1/3)·3 = 51 = 5, we define 51/3 to be the cube root of 5.”
English Language Arts Standards
These are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to guide states in creating “the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school,” the website explains, adding that Standards “set requirements not only for ELA but also for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects.”
In other words, everything else not related to math.
Here are some key links if you’re wondering of where to start. Clearly, 12 years is a bit much for us to cover in a blog post, so make sure you check out these and bookmark them as an ongoing guide.
Reading: Literature (Grades 6 through 12)
Reading: Informational Texts (6-12)
Reading: Foundational Skills (Universal)
Speaking and listening (6-12)
History/Social Studies (6-12)
Science and technical subjects
Writing For History/SS, Science, Tech (6-12)
How GED 2014 Could Actually Be Better For Students
Changes are hard, and few of us like them. Don’t believe that? Just take a look at the comments whenever Facebook changes its design. But eventually, we get used to the new standard and it can even lead to improvements in the overall experience.
While time will tell whether the new version is as rigorous as educational experts are saying — and we have no reason to think they’re not — the one certainty is that the old way of doing things is no longer “working” (if it ever did). A student needs more than a high school diploma (or equivalency), period. Too many are getting passed through the system without knowing key functions of being able to compete on a global marketplace.
College doesn’t have to be the next step in a student’s development, but a trade or some other form of continuing education is vital to survival. The new test — for any faults that it may have — is trying to get students to see beyond the mindset that a high school diploma is any kind of special achievement.
Today, it’s a bare minimum. Pat yourself on the back for finishing it, but get ready for that next chapter of life as soon as possible. The world isn’t slowing down for anyone, and if the new GED test emphasizes this better to students, then it will be an important step in making the United States more globally competitive.
[Image via NewReadersPress.com]