GED testing scores reevaluated

Staff Writer

The company that administers GED testing for multiple states—including Mississippi—has lowered the score it takes to pass each subject area from 150 to 145.

Data showed students taking the GED test were being held to a higher academic standard than their counterparts in high school, officials with GED Testing Service said.

The state adopted the lower test score format effective immediately, according to an email to community college educations last week.

Test administrators have recommended states grant a GED to students who have taken the test since January 2014, and scored at least 145 in each subject area.

Officials at East Mississippi Community College said staff is working to identify students who passed all portions of the test under the new guidelines, according to an EMCC news release. So far, eight students have been identified that now qualify to receive their diploma, with more on the way, according to Jim Bearden, EMCC adult basic education director.

On the test, students must earn a passing 145 score in: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science and social studies.

Students who earned a 145 or higher in any of the four test areas will not need to retake that portion of the test, Bearden said.

"The pressing need right now is to get the word out so people who have passed part of the test will not be rescheduling to take that part again," he said. "We want students who have taken the test to review their account, so they don't pay to retake a portion of the test if they do not need to do so."

Nationwide, GTS estimates more than 25,000 adults will be eligible to receive their GED diploma under the new guidelines, and more than 100,000 now have a passing score in one or more GED test subject areas, officials said.

Updated grades will be released and reflected on student documents March 1. Students who have moved should update their address on their account, GTS said.

"There are a lot of people who took the practice test and could not quite get over the hump, scoring a 147 or 148," Bearden said. "We want to encourage students who have been holding off, thinking they weren't quite ready, to renew preparations to take the test now that the passing score has been lowered."