GED tests will change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

GED tests will change

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

At McKinley Community School for Adults, Paul Onomura was the first person to take all his GED tests on the computer.

"It made me proud of myself. I feel like I can do anything," he said.

His test run on the new system helped the school prepare for the on-line version that will become the standard version nationwide.

"Currently we're doing paper and pencil until December of 2013. But come January 2, 2014, that will no longer be an option," principal Helen Sanpei said.

Some educators believe the updated GED tests will be more difficult. The last change was in 2002.  Students in the system this year must finish all their tests by the end of the year. Nothing carries over.

"If a student has not completed the battery of five tests successfully then that student will have to start all over," GED counselor Yoon Won said.

An advantage for the computer tests is that results will be instantaneous instead of taking days.

"For some of them it's really urgent, especially if they need to get a job," Sanpei said. "They can give an unofficial transcript to the employer. In that way they can get employed even quicker."

"In case they were to ask, I can show them I have the diploma and I pulled it off," Onomura said.

Last year nearly 3,000 high school dropouts and others enrolled for a GED in Hawaii.

"Many of them have families to raise or their priorities were to get a job and to support their families, so they did not have time to complete their education. This is a great opportunity for them to do so," Sanpei said.

Onomura, 41, passed all of his tests and got his certificate.

"I made a shirt that says, 'I went to McKinley School for Adults, took my GED and passed.' I made my shirt just for that," Onomura said.

Some GED test officials said the online tests will be closer to college and career prep than the present version. That version will be the old test when the new year starts.

To learn more about enrolling for a GED in Hawaii, go to the McKinley Community School for Adults web site at http://mcsa.k12.hi.us/.

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