All High School Equivalency Programs are Not Created Equal

In the competition for middle-skill jobs, adults deserve a fighting chance. GED Testing Service delivers the only nationally available and recognized high school equivalency program that is learner-centric, aligned with career and college-readiness expectations, and connected to better outcomes for adult education -- and that means better outcomes for you and your community.

See how the GED® program stacks up by clicking the topics below.

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Adults asked for a simple, one-stop resource for adult education. They want to know exactly what the steps are, what they should study, and how they can transition to college or a better job. And they want it all on the go.

GED® Program ETS HiSET™ CTB TASC™
MyGED™ online portal gives students one place to go for information about testing policies, eligibility, registration, scheduling and support Students have to navigate through a variety of online resources, manual processes and paperwork to get information, register and schedule Students have to navigate through a variety of online resources, manual processes and paperwork to get information, register and schedule
MyGED™ online portal supports students from preparation through transition to college and careers Online registration does not provide preparation or transition support No online system developed, requesting investment from states to build it (as referenced in MO response to RFP)
Computer-based testing scores typically available in 3 hours or less Computer-based testing scores available in 3-7 business days; Paper-based testing scores available in 5-10 business days Computer-based testing scores available between 1-10 days (writing parts); Paper-based testing available within 10 days
GED Ready™ practice test uses same format as real test; tells student if they are ready to pass the real test; provides a publisher-specific study plan Practice test initially on paper only; no prescriptive study data available. CBT practice test available sometime in 2014 Practice test in paper and computer; no prescriptive study data available
Score report provides skill strengths, areas for improvement, and study plans linked to publisher products for targeted studying and improvements Score report doesn’t address skills and areas for improvement; no publisher-specific study plans included No score report information available
17+ publishers providing online and print study products aligned and tailored for 2014 GED® test Recommending use of 2002 Series GED® Test instructional materials Unknown
Price to test taker determined by state but usually $30 each subject or $120 for entire test. Pay as you go - $30 to take the first subject. No hidden fees. Price to test taker determined by state. For example, State of Missouri: $60 up-front cost to register + $7 for each of the 5 subjects = $95 for entire test. Pay $67 to take the first subject. Price to test taker determined by state. Student level cost not available.
MyGED™ online portal is mobile and tablet friendly No mobile or tablet information available No mobile or tablet information available

 

The GED® test is and will continue to be available nationally. Start in Georgia, finish in Mississippi, and transition to that great job in Florida. When your program is available and recognized nationally, and your credential is transferable from one state to another, there’s no barrier to the next great opportunity.

GED® Program ETS HiSET™ CTB TASC™

97% of colleges and employers understand and recognize a GED® transcript for purposes of admission or job applications

Transcript likely only recognized in states that use the HiSET™ as their equivalency test. No evidence/history of acceptance by colleges and employers.

Transcript likely only recognized in states that use the TASC™ as their equivalency test. No evidence/history of acceptance by colleges and employers.

Available nationally and portable (start in one state and finish in another if you move)

Not portable. Available only in select states. Not portable. Available only in select states.

Over 70 years serving adult learners with national high school equivalency testing program

New test with no history of acceptance, recognition, or proven outcomes for high school equivalency

New test with no history of acceptance, recognition, or proven outcomes for high school equivalency
19 million success stories and counting  No graduates to date No graduates to date

 

Employers and colleges have asked for credentials that show graduates have problem-solving, critical-thinking and computer skills. When those are basic requirements for jobs and community college courses, why provide anything less?

GED® Program ETS HiSET™ CTB TASC™

Test aligned in 2014 with college and career readiness (CCR) standards for adult education in all 4 content areas to measure problem-solving and critical thinking skills

• Evolving. Initially described as a two phase program – phase 1 (2014) aligned to the 2002 Series GED® Test with phase 2 at a future data aligned to CCSS. Initial phase allows current instructional material to be used (see press release)

• Now purports “some” alignment to CCSS although no detail is provided about how specific indicators are mapped to CCSS. And now indicates that a CCR indicator will be available in the score report.

• No information available about alignment with college and career readiness (CCR) standards for adult education in 2014

• Will measure foundational Common Core State Standards (grades K-5) in 2014

Test to change every year from 2014-2016 to develop standards-aligned test (paper test will not be consistent with computer)

 • No information available about alignment with college and career readiness (CCR) standards for adult education in 2014

Uses 7 different item types required to assess depth of knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for career and college success

Uses only 2 different item types, limits ability to assess skills and knowledge

Uses only 3 different item types, limits ability to assess skills and knowledge

Smart transcript gives one-click access for employers and colleges to see meaning behind scores, content of tests passed

No transcript information available No transcript information available

Uses computer-based testing like leading college and career-ready tests (Texas, PARCC, Smarter Balanced)

Provides paper-based testing which cannot measure college and career readiness (CCR)

Provides paper-based testing which cannot measure college and career readiness (CCR)

 

Improvements in adult education lead to improvements everywhere in society: reduced tax dollars for unemployment and prisons, an increase in skilled workers, greater educational support for children. Think about it.

GED® Program ETS HiSET™ CTB TASC™
GED® graduates will have skills needed to get into better jobs resulting in increased tax base and reduced dependency on tax payer-funded support Unclear if HiSET™ graduates will qualify for needed training and jobs Unclear if TASC™ graduates will qualify for needed training and jobs
GED Analytics™ provides on-demand customizable reports at local, state, and national level to measure and improve outcomes No detail available on reporting tools No detail available on reporting tools
MyGED™ online portal supports instant eligibility certification based on state rules; one-click access to approve exceptions Unclear process to manage eligibility criteria and exceptions Eligibility handled through multi-step manual process; unclear process for handling exceptions
Score Report provides personalized feedback linked to publisher products. Feedback allows educators to target their instruction to skills students need to improve on. Score report doesn’t address skills and areas for improvement; no publisher study plans included No score report information available
17+ publishers providing online and print study products aligned to the 2014 GED® test to ensure students have the tools they need to perform on the test Unclear if preparation materials are available and aligned to test; advising use of existing 2002 GED® test prep materials Unclear if preparation materials are available and aligned to test

$80 cost to state for all programs and services (cost does not include compensation to test centers)

Up to $75 cost to state for test and scoring services (cost does not include compensation to test centers) $54 cost to state for test and scoring + $951,000 in costs for registration and data system and reporting costs (cost does not include compensation to test centers.) There is also a $519/test site charge for technology readiness survey

 

All content retrieved from company websites and publicly available or presented information.

GED® Program ETS HiSET™ CTB TASC™

Joint venture owned by non-profit, ACE, and leading education company, Pearson

Large non-profit with annual revenues of nearly $1B, over half of which comes from for-profit subsidiaries and investments

For-profit education company now owned by private-equity firm, Apollo