CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The number of West Virginians taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED®) test is on the rise.
West Virginia saw the number of candidates taking the high school equivalency test increase about 1 percent from 5,166 in 2006 to 5,215 in 2007, according to the 2007 GED Testing Program Statistical Report. West Virginia also saw the percentage of test takers who passed the exam increase from 64 percent in 2006 to about 67 percent in 2007.
“The GED plays an important role in adult basic education, work force development and the state’s economy so it is good news when we see improvement,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “But even with the increase in testing numbers and pass rates, there are still many challenges ahead as we move forward with 21st century learning. We must work to make sure we keep kids in school so they can be better prepared to compete in today’s digital world.”
West Virginia’s improvements on the GED test are part of a national trend that saw the total number of adults across the country who took the exam in 2007 rise to nearly 729,000. At the same time, nearly half a million adults passed the test, the most since 2001.
“This report demonstrates real progress in our efforts to serve more adults who do not have a traditional high school diploma and to increase the opportunities for adults to enter into the national work force through continuing education,” said Sylvia E. Robinson, American Council on Education assistant vice president and executive director of the GED Testing Service.
The 2000 U.S. Census shows that more than 30 million adults, 16 percent of the U.S. population, did not graduate from high school. In West Virginia, about 25 percent of about 1.8 million residents do not have a high school credential.
West Virginia is poised to see greater increases in the number of test takers as well as improve its passing rate in coming years because of new legislation that went into effect July 1 . The changes allow residents to take the GED test for free. In addition, the West Virginia Board of Education updated state policy to require all GED candidates to pass the GED practice test before taking the GED test.
If the GED candidate is unable to pass the practice test, free adult basic education classes are located throughout West Virginia to help. Instructors will work with the candidate to meet the individual needs and to improve skills necessary to pass the GED tests.
“With these changes to GED testing, it is possible for West Virginia to be among the top states in 2009,” said Debra Dillon Kimbler, West Virginia’s state GED administrator.
The 2007 GED Testing Program Statistical Report is available at www.GEDtest.org.
For more information contact Debra Dillon Kimbler at (304) 558-6315 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.