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Paper GED test soon to be a thing of the past

Oklahomans wanting to take the General Educational Development test or GED, on paper will need to do so soon. After this year, the test will only be available online — and will cost almost twice as much.

According to an email from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the current 2002 Series GED test is set to expire by the end of 2013 and the 2014 GED will be available only online.

“As far as I know, we’re just going to move from paper-based to computer,” said OCCC GED and Testing Programs Coordinator Brian Nguyen.

“We do both [paper and online]right now,” Nguyen said. “It looks like we’re going to continue to do the paper [version] until the end of November or even the first week of December or so. Then after that, that’s it — no more paper version for OCCC.”

Nguyen said this will be the case for the entire state when January comes around.

“Starting next year, I don’t think it will be possible to take the paper test anywhere in the state of Oklahoma,” he said.

“I think that the majority of [test takers] will be happier,” he said. “I think it is a lot easier, more convenient, and all of the above.”

Nguyen said one thing test takers may not be happy about is the new fee OCCC will have to charge.

OCCC currently sets its own fee for the GED test, charging $75, he said.

The online test will be done through Pearson, a commercial testing company and education publisher. It will have a set fee of $140.

Briana Blair took the current written test on June 12 at OCCC. She said she was unaware there was an online version currently available but said she prefered the paper test anyway.

“I think it should still be an option for people,” Blair said. “I’m better with writing rather than with computers. For some people who are like me, it would be easier to still have a written test.”

Test taker Korri Pierce agreed with Blair.

“I think it can make it difficult for older people … “ she said. “They may not be used to something like [a computer test].”

Blair said the increase in fees also could make it more difficult for some people to take the test.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing because most people that drop out of school usually don’t have a really good job.

“If they can’t afford it, they won’t be able to take it,” she said.

Overall, Nguyen said, he expects the volume of testers will go down due to the fee increase.

“But if you need to take it for a job or to go to school and have financial aid, you have to do it,” he said.

For more information, call 405-682-1611, ext. 7428.