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TitleArkansas GED® Pass Rate Up in 2010
Date02/15/2011
DivisionAdult Education
Event TypeNews
DescriptionState Likely Above National Average for 10th Straight Year LITTLE ROCK – A full 85.8 percent of Arkansans who took the General Educational Development (GED) passed the test in 2010, up from 84 percent in 2009. When the nationwide statistics for 2010 are released later this year, Janice Hanlon, the state’s GED administrator with the Arkansas Department of Career Education, fully expects it to mark the 10th consecutive year that Arkansas has exceeded the national pass rate. Arkansas’s average pass rate from 2001-2009 was 84.0 percent vs. a national pass rate for that same period of 70.7 percent. In 2010, 8,783 Arkansans were tested and 7,539 passed, the highest number to both take and pass the GED since 2001 when 11,205 were tested and 9,141 passed (81.6 percent). 2001 was also the year before significant changes were made to the GED test series. Hanlon sees three keys to the state’s success rate on the test. “The Arkansas GED program requires examinees to pass an official practice test before they take the real test,” she says. “Also, Arkansas is one of the few states that offers the test at no charge. Many states charge from $35 to $150 per test, and that’s prohibitive for many.” Arkansas also has a well-established network of adult education centers in each county. Those seeking an Arkansas High School Diploma, which is what one earns when successfully passing the GED exam, may begin by going straight to a practice exam, or they can enroll in GED preparation classes at the adult education centers. A complete list of adult education centers, by county, is available here: http://ace.arkansas.gov/ged.htm or by calling the Department of Career Education at 501-682-1980. The GED exam was developed and is regulated by the American Council on Education. Information about testing eligibility, exam components and testing regulations can be found at http://www.acenet.edu or by contacting a local adult education center. The highest possible score on the GED exam is 800, and “the top Arkansas score in 2010 was 768 and was earned by two examinees – a tie,” Hanlon proudly reports. Many of Arkansas’ two-year colleges and some four-year institutions have scholarships with application criteria that accept and acknowledge GED diplomas, some even specifying a minimum GED-score requirement. Admissions offices at Arkansas institutions can be contacted for scholarship details, or a state-wide list of GED-eligible scholarships is available from the ACE GED office. Call 501-682-1980. Dispelling the notion that earning a GED is an easy way to get a high school diploma, Hanlon says, “The test isn’t easy. It is designed so that only 60 percent of graduating high school seniors could pass it the first time. We don’t encourage any traditional high school student to drop out of school in order to take the GED test. It is just another option for people who have already dropped out, are home schooled, or want the GED documentation so they can apply for a better job.” In fact, “to qualify for a better job” is the second most common reason examinees give for pursuing a GED credential. Many who have been laid off, have otherwise lost their job or want a better one have found a high-school diploma or a GED is usually a mandatory application requirement. What’s the number one most common reason people take the GED? “Personal satisfaction,” says Hanlon. “Whether simply a teenager who recently dropped out of high school or an over-50 adult who has had passing the GED as a life-long goal, passing the test is something they primarily do for themselves, and we’re happy to help them.”