Despite some delays, Cleveland State Community College has continued its progress toward becoming a testing center for the brand new high school diploma alternative.
Judy Nye, the college’s director of testing services, said a new test, called the High School Equivalency Test and known as HiSet for short, should be available near the end of the month.
At the same time the college is preparing to offer the HiSet test to local students, the more well-known GED test will be undergoing some changes.
Nye said the staff at Cleveland State have been preparing to offer both the HiSet test and the new version of the GED.
Those facilitating the HiSet must undergo online training to be certified to give it, and special software must be downloaded for students to take the test on computers.
In addition, Nye said contracts that are set to create an agreement between the state and the test’s creator, Educational Testing Services, are still pending.
The HiSet has been billed as a “more accessible and more affordable” alternative to the more well-known GED test on the website of its creator, the Educational Testing Service.
It is a relatively new test and is currently only offered in a handful of states — Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Wyoming. Each state handles the test differently. Nye said the test is set to be on equal ground with the GED test in Tennessee.
Like the GED test designed by the American Council on Education and Pearson Vue, the HiSet is taken in sections based on individual subject areas — language arts-reading; language arts-writing; mathematics; science; and social studies. However, the HiSet includes one more section than the GED does.
Meanwhile, 2014 marked the beginning of a newly revamped GED test. It tests on four different subject areas: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science and social studies.
According to the test’s website, the new version focuses more on “reasoning skills” than it did previously.
Though there were some changes to the test itself, Nye said the biggest change was simply that the test will now only be offered on computers at testing centers — not on paper. This also changed how the test is structured.
The HiSet, on the other hand, will be available either on the computer or as a paper test, depending on a student’s preference.
Nye added the GED test will continue to integrate current school standards as they evolve over the years, just as Common Core changed the way GED questions were presented.
Because of that, she also encouraged those who have been out of school for a while and want to take the GED to do so sooner rather than later.
The GED test costs $120 to take, according to the test’s website. However, the cost of the HiSet is $50 for the test that covers the “full battery” of subjects, according to the HiSet website. Individual HiSet subject tests are also available for $15 each.
When registering to take the test at Cleveland State, Nye said local test takers must go through the REACH Adult Education Center in Cleveland. Students can begin studying for either test through the local adult education center, and the tests are offered at Cleveland State.
She said she expected the college would not likely see any test takers come through its doors until February, because those who were studying for the GED may have to “start fresh,” and the HiSet is new to everyone.
“If they have to prepare, it probably will be a month,” Nye said.
For more information about registering for adult education classes or either of the high school equivalency tests, call 473-8473.