It’s 2016, and the world of adult education continues to fluctuate! Obtaining a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma is the goal of most adult education students. But what does it really take to earn that credential?
Starting in 2014, the GED Test changed significantly to align with the Common Core standards and skills of high school graduates. We now have two additional HSE exams–TASC and HiSET–which are changing each year to gradually become more computer-based and aligned to the Common Core standards.
So in five minutes or less, what are the key things you need to know about recent test changes as of January 2016?
I’ll start with HiSET because their content change is perhaps the most drastic. The HiSET Language Arts, Writing Essay is keeping its 6-point scoring, but changing the prompts and rubric. Test takers are now required to read TWO passages on a topic, and use evidence from both sources to create an argumentative essay.
With this change, all three HSE Tests now require that test takers correctly use evidence from a given passage to support an argument. Regardless of the test(s) available in your state, prospective test takers and adult educators need to focus on developing these skills.
This exam underwent two notable recent changes:
- In 2015, CTB (the company that produces TASC) switched hands from McGraw Hill to Data Recognition Company (DRG). The switch resulted in staff changes, contract changes at the state level, changes for testing centers…all things that impact where and when test takers can access the exam. As more states add multiple tests, this actually may result in more people taking the TASC test.
- In 2016, TASC introduced short answer items. The Language Arts, Writing Part 1 exam now includes short answer responses that ask the test taker to do one of two things:
- Combine two sentences into one new sentence.
- Write an appropriate concluding sentence for a paragraph.
I saved the largest HSE Test for last because this is actually a recent announcement of a future change. Starting March 1, GED Testing Service is changing its cut scores. Depending on each state, this may result in 25,000-30,000 previous GED Test Takers who scored between 145-149 to earn their HSE diploma! Read full details at Education Week.
This graphic sums up the changes nicely: