If you, a friend or family member did not complete your High School diploma requirements you should know that now might be the time to get it. Starting January 1, 2014 the GED (General Educational Development) will no longer be the High School equivalency diploma exam recognized by New York State. Used since 1926 in NYS this pen and paper instrument was offered free to individuals in the State. The State paid the $60 fee the GED publishers had been charging. After Jan. 1, 2014 the cost was going to be raised to $120 for the 2014 version of the GED. That price increase came after Pearson purchased the former not-for-profit publisher of the GED.
Personally, I find that a ridiculous price increase as did the officials in the NYS Education Department. The change to the TASC comes at a time when NYS was already looking to have a equivalency exam that matches the new State educational standards, could be administered on a computer in a phased approach and was cost effective. The TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) fits the bill and is going to cost the State $54 per application. The TASC is going to be developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill.
Recognizing that the change will be a bit dramatic for students currently desiring to obtain their equivalency diploma NYS is allowing individuals to take the GED up to three times this year. This is especially important for individuals who have passed parts of the GED since they will only have until Dec 31 to pass the other parts or they will have to take the entire TASC starting in 2014.
One of the best ways to prepare for the GED is to talk to your local school districts counseling center or BOCES. They can offer advice and often have material for your use. Some even have classes you can attend to brush up on your skills. Other options include books and tutoring. Usually all these options have pre-tests that allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses thus allowing you to focus your study.
Note: New York State Law prohibits charging people to take the high school equivalency exam and there are currently only 269 NYS Educational Department testing sites.