Students rush to get their GEDs

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The GED is changing and thousands of students in the Piedmont, close to 1 million nationwide, may have to start the testing process all over if they do not finish the series of tests before the end of the year.

The GED will change for the first time since 2002 in January. The new test will cost $120 instead of $35, it will be administered all online, and it will consist of 4 parts instead of 5.

Because the test will be electronic, students who have only taken a few parts of the old test, will have to start the process over again if they do not complete and pass the current GED by the end of this year.

At Forsyth Tech there are just over 2000 students with only one part of the test left to take.

"We are trying to encourage them to continue to persist," said Michael Harris, Dean of Forsyth Tech's Adult Literacy Programs. "To get your life to move to another level you need to attain your GED," said Harris.

While some fear the cost will deter students, those who have gotten their GED and moved on to college say the benefits are worth it.

Arthur Saunders finished his GED a few months ago. "The doors that it opens is so overwhelming you have a chance to pick and choose what you want. You have control of your destiny."

Saunders said he rushed to finish so he would not feel the pressure of the new test and cost, but now as a full time student with graduation in sight he knows, "the end result is going to far outweigh any cost, any money. I would pay $500 if I had to because it's just that important."

The GED Test Administration said the changes in the test reflect changes in the high school curriculum.

Forsyth Tech will offer it's last test under the old set the week of Dec. 10.  The new GED, online tests, will start in January.

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