HOUSTON – Michael and Larry Newman planned and worked hard to get their GED
The General Educational Development) test is a group of four subject tests which, when passed, certify that the test taker has high school-level academic skills.
“Nothing is hard if you are ready for it,” said Michael, 22, who currently works at a furniture factory in Vardaman.
“The test really was not that hard, but I had a good teacher,” said Michael. “She kept us working on our lessons and pushed us to get this.”
Both Michael and Larry were homeschooled. Michael started homeschooling about the third grade and Larry went all 12 years.
“I think the writing portion of the test was the hardest for me,” said Larry. “We were told if we didn’t graduate this spring we would have to take the new test that has four essays that you have to write.”
Mike said the math was his hardest subject and he did best on the reading comprehension test.
Both men took the test at Itawamba Community College’s Belden Campus. Both have already gotten their diplomas.
Mike said earning his GED has not helped him get a job or improved his pay, yet.
“A high school diploma doesn’t mean much on the line,” said Mike. “But I do hope it will payoff in the future when they start looking for a supervisor. And you can never tell when you might get laid off or need to look for a new job.”
Larry is currently running a landscaping service and hopes to use his mechanical skills to land a job in maintenance or open his own auto shop.
Mary Newman, their mother, said she got her GED in 2005.
“I was teaching the boys and realized they would need a GED,” she explained. “I’m glad I went back and got mine.”
Newman said people drop out of school for a lot of reasons and the GED route to a high school diploma is not easy.
“Anna Jo Eldridge helped us when they were younger,” said Newman. “She was so excited to hear they had gotten their GED.”
There are more than 3,200 Official GED Testing Centers in the United States and Canada. Testing centers are most often in adult-education centers, community colleges, and public schools. The WIN Job Center in Houston helps students get their GED.
“So far this year, I have had 20 students get their GED in my daytime classes,” said Julia Puckett, and ICC GED instructor at the Houston Office. “Of these graduates, 13 have gotten new jobs, four have retained or improved the job that they already had and 12 have begun college at ICC, Northwest, Holmes or other specialty colleges.”
Puckett also said the GED is an option for those with a goal and not a reason to drop out of school.
“A lot of people say ‘I’ll drop out and just get my GED,’” said Puckett. “It’s not that easy. The test has gotten harder and people who don’t finish high school don’t always finish their GED.”
Official GED Testing Centers are controlled environments. All testing sessions take place in person according to very specific rules and security measures are enforced.
The typical fees are $120 for all four tests, or $30 for each of the four subject tests. Exact costs can be obtained by calling WIN Job Center at 456-1561.
Although the “GED” initialism is frequently mistaken as meaning general education degree or general education diploma. The American Council on Education, which owns the GED trademark, coined the initialism to identify “tests of general educational development” that measure proficiency in science, mathematics, social studies, reading, and writing.