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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at

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Online GED testing being piloted in two Virginia counties

The Virginia Board of Education this morning announced that Chesterfield and Augusta counties will be pilot sites for online GED testing. The plan is to shift to online-only testing in 2014. Below are details from the state.

Two Locations Launch Computer-Based GED Testing

Two school divisions — Chesterfield County and Augusta County — will be the first in Virginia to offer online GED testing for adult learners seeking the high school credential. The computer-based GED test will be available at the Chesterfield Technical Center beginning June 25 and at Augusta County’s Valley Vocational Technical Center starting June 26.

GED, developed by the American Council on Education, allows adults who have not graduated from high school to demonstrate their knowledge in five content areas — reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics — typically associated with completion of a high school program of study.

The computer-based GED tests the same content currently offered on paper. Benefits to GED computer testing include:

  • Simpler online test registration and scheduling available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • More flexible appointments for test takers
  • Score reports immediately after completion of four of the five content areas
  • Enhanced test security
  • Utilizes basic keyboarding and computer skills found in many job applications, work places and training programs

While paper tests will continue to be offered, the online GED tests are being piloted at these two locations in anticipation of 2014 when the computer-based format will be the only option for GED testing.

As a result of the GED 21st Century Initiative, a new, more rigorous GED test will be given also beginning in 2014. The new test, aligned with the Common Core Standards, is designed to measure high school equivalency and will also allow adult learners to earn an endorsement indicating career and college readiness.

When the new test launches in 2014, anyone with an incomplete or non-passing GED status will be required to start the test over because their scores will not transfer to the new assessment.  Adult education programs will be offering classes and workshops to assist these people with instruction, and GED testing centers will soon offer additional dates for GED testing to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to complete the test before the end of 2013.