Get your GED before the test changes

January 24, 2012

Big changes are in store for the General Educational Development (GED) certificate, according to the American Council on Education.  Moreover, a sense of urgency is coming with those changes.

“Now is the time to get your GED certificate,” said Terry Lucas, Southeastern Illinois College’s ABE/GED coordinator.  “New GED testing procedures will go into effect in 2014, so enrolling in one of our free GED classes now will help you obtain your GED before the proposed changes take place.” 

The new changes include eliminating the current pencil and paper exam, adopting a computer-based testing (CBT) format, increasing the cost of the test from $50 to $120, and creating an all new GED test that will add trigonometry to the exam’s math sequence.

In addition, students who have not completed all parts of the current test by 2014 will have to start over.

According to Donna Hearn, SIC’s Community Outreach Advisor and GED Chief Examiner, a GED certificate has a significant impact on one’s life.

“To show the importance of passing the GED’s high school equivalency tests, research indicates that a person who has obtained a GED certificate earns, on average, an additional $403,000 in his or her lifetime compared to someone who does not earn a GED or high school diploma,” said Hearn.

More than 15 million people have received a GED credential since the program began in the early 1940s. One in every seven Americans with high school credentials received the GED, as well as one in 20 college students.

Current SIC student Sonia Bishop knows all too well the importance of the GED program at SIC.  “Even before I started college, my GED helped me get jobs I couldn’t get before,” said Bishop.  “And once I started at SIC, I discovered that I didn’t have to take certain classes because I had my certificate.”

Bishop will graduate with an associate in arts degree in May and plans to work on a bachelor’s degree in English at a four-year institution.

Free GED instruction begins at SIC on Jan. 23, to help those interested in taking the test to succeed.  Instruction includes all classes, materials and practice tests at no charge.  Students may register during the first class session.

In addition to offering GED classes on its main campus at 3575 College Rd. in Harrisburg, the College will offer free classes at the following locations: WADI in Harrisburg (begins Feb. 7); WADI in Shawneetown (begins Jan. 30); Hardin County Golden Circle (begins Jan. 30); Pope County High School (begins Jan. 31); and SIC’s White County location, the David L Stanley Center (begins Jan. 23).  Morning, afternoon or evening classes are available at various locations to fit students’ schedules.

For further details about SIC’s free GED classes, visit or contact Terry Lucas at 618-252-5400, ext. 2641, toll free at 866-338-2742 or