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New GED test goes digital, costs more

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- The new GED test for 2014 launched and El Pasoans will start taking the test Jan. 13.

The new test is 100 percent digital and can only be taken online.

El Pasoans must now go online to register at either at home or at the GED testing center at 9050 Viscount in El Paso.

Testing managers at the GED testing center at El Paso Community College said that the benefits of taking it online include immediate test results, a readily available practice test and more flexible testing times.

This year the test will include four exams instead of five.

Each exam will measure higher levels of critical thinking and problem solving, which is fully aligned with college and career readiness.

"We have noticed that the old GED and the old curriculum from the high school weren't really preparing students for the post-secondary education or to work," said Maria del Carmen Casavantes, manager of Workplace Literacy Programs at El Paso Community College.

But with a new test comes a new fee. GED test takers will now pay a $135 fee instead of $90.

Testing managers said the benefits are worth the higher cost.

"Nowadays a high school diploma or a GED opens up doors but we need to move further to a higher level," said Cindy Compean, GED testing manager at El Paso Community College. "We need to go on and get our associates, our bachelor's and our master's. It will help us to support our families. Not only that but we'll be better citizens of the community overall."

Twenty-three-year-old Ruben Holguin took his GED test when he was 17 years old.

"I decided to get my general education right away," Holguin said. "Everywhere you go, whether it's fast food or whatever, they always ask for a general education."

Now he's working as a machine operator in Midland, Texas, a job he's not sure hed have if he hadnt got his GED.

"It does help me advance to a lot of places," Holguin said. "Stay in school, that's one of the best ways to go. Otherwise you'll be struggling.

For more information on how to register, go to the El Paso Community College's GED testing center at 9050 Viscount, Building B, Room 156, or call their office at 915-831-2072.



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