Passing Score For The GED® Test Recalibrated

Two Performance Levels Added To More Fully Measure Learners' Skills

Jan 26, 2016, 06:45 ET from GED Testing Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today GED Testing Service announces a recalibration to the GED test passing score and the addition of two new performance levels. In most states* the passing score for high school equivalency is moving from 150 to 145. The GED program will also include two optional levels above high school equivalency to signify college readiness, and for some test-takers the opportunity to earn college credits. The scoring enhancement is driven by a detailed analysis of educational outcomes of GED program graduates compared to high school graduates over the past 18 months.

As always, the passing score of the GED test will continue to be used to measure high school equivalency and to award a state's GED credential. The two additional performance levels will be called GED College Ready, used to signify readiness to enter credit-bearing college courses; and GED College Ready + Credit, which may qualify students for up to ten hours of college credit.

The GED College Ready and GED College Ready + Credit levels will apply to any student who has taken a GED test since January 1, 2014. GED Testing Service also recommends that states apply retroactively the 145 passing score to test-takers who have tested since January 1, 2014. When a state approves applying the passing score retroactively, students who earned scores between 145-149 on the new GED test launched in January of 2014 would be eligible for their state's high school equivalency credential.

"The scoring enhancements are based on an extensive analysis of test-takers' performance data from the past 18 months, conversations with state policymakers and elected officials, and external validation with experts," said GED Testing Service President Randy Trask. "This is part of our ongoing commitment to make data-based decisions, and continually improve the efficacy of the GED program."

After collecting and analyzing extensive data on test-taker performance and early outcomes, the GED program can now measure the full spectrum of a typical graduating high school class. A graduating class represents a range of ability and performance, from those meeting the minimum requirements to those demonstrating college readiness, and those who may even earn college credits during high school.

"When we looked at Oregon community college students who had earned GED credentials, we found that for both the 2013 and 2014 GED earners, they were less likely to place into remedial coursework than community college students who recently graduated from high school. Though preliminary, these are promising findings for GED earners in Oregon," said Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Research Director Patrick Crane.

"The GED program continues to be much more than a high school equivalency test. These scoring changes, coupled with the new support systems such as the recently released career pathways tools, or the other extensive resources available through MyGED, mean more adult learners will be prepared for the next step in their career pathway," said GED Testing Service President Randy Trask.

"As a state director for adult education, there are two things about a high school equivalency exam that are most important to me. First, that we provide the best prep possible to our students by making sure we have well-trained instructors with accessible free class locations. Second, that the exam is a validated credible measure of high school equivalency, so that Georgia's employers and colleges know they're getting employees and students with the true competence of a high school graduate. I believe that GED Testing Service has taken the time and effort necessary to ensure the GED test and recalibrated passing score meet that goal," said Beverly Smith, Assistant Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia.

GED Testing Service will continue to work tirelessly with our state partners to help increase our nation's educational attainment goals and economic competitiveness. The organization will continue to build partnerships with employers (like the recently announced GEDWorks) and apprenticeship programs, and work with colleges and state agencies to strengthen the connections between the GED credential and jobs that pay a living wage.

For more information, please visit: There you will find answers to frequently asked questions, graphics explaining the new scoring system, audio clips discussing the changes, and more.

*Many states are able to implement these enhancements immediately. We are also working closely with those that require additional state approval or rule changes to implement GED Testing Service's recommendations.

About GED Testing Service
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942. The GED test is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma. GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education and Pearson.

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SOURCE GED Testing Service