Dec 30, 2013 2:48 PM by Cody Proctor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last month, the Montana Office of Public Instruction announced it would move from traditional GED testing to the new HiSET Test, available starting January 2nd.
Last year, around 300 students in the Great Falls Adult Education Program sought their General Education Development certificates.
But December 21st was the last day for GED testing in Montana and come next month, the new High School Equivalency Exam (HiSET) will be used.
Great Falls GED Testing Center chief examiner Jodi Hicks says the change has some students worried, despite the fact that the two tests are very similar.
"A lot of fear it's going to be really, really hard and they're not going to be able to pass it and the cost they've heard...the differences and how much it's going to cost them. They're not going to be able to afford it."
The state OPI announced the move back in November after GED tests costs bumped up to $120. Previously it wsa at $55, with retakes costing $7-$14.
The HiSET will cost about $50, with at least two free retakes available during a test year.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says, "It really is an economic benefit to people who want to get a high school equivalence exam in our state and have that piece of paper that will help them become economically successful."
One other difference between the GED and the HiSET is testers could take the GED exam on paper, while the HiSET offers paper and computer portions.
In the end, Hicks says the HiSET will still result in students getting their high school equivalency certificates.
"I feel like we make a difference in people's lives. It's amazing to see what they decide to do when they have a small amount of success."
Eight other states adopted the HiSET test: Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Wyoming.