Currently, the GED® test is the primary vehicle used to achieve a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma. With the changes in administration and content of the GED® test, beginning in January 2014, as well as the increased cost of the test, the Board of Regents directed that the department issue an RFP for a new HSE test to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards over three years (2014 to 2016). On March 7, 2013 Commissioner King announced the award of a three-year contract to CTB/McGraw Hill for the development of a new test, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). It should be noted that New York State is not “buying” the test, and that CTB/McGraw Hill plans to make the test available on a national basis.
In planning for the transition from the GED to the TASC, please consider:
• Timing is important. Students who have passed parts but not the entire GED® test have until December 31, 2013 to finish taking the test or they will have to retake the entire new test. Also, October 1, 2013 is the last day to apply for test accommodations for the current GED® test; and after November 1, 2013 there will not be enough time for additional retesting due to the 60 day requirement. Important: Questions regarding the GED® should be e-mailed to Patricia Mooney, of the State Education Department, at email@example.com.
• For the TASC, test centers may offer only paper based tests, only computer based tests, or offer both but any candidate will be offered the test in the format they require. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith expects that, for 2014, the tests will be administered almost entirely by paper/pencil.
• Compared to the current GED®, the content of the new TASC is expected to change the most in in mathematics, and only slight changes are anticipated for science and social studies. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith advises, “Don’t throw away your instructional materials. They will still be helpful, including math materials.”
• In 2014, the TASC will use multiple choice items in reading, science, and social studies, complemented by gridded response items in math, and an essay in writing. Constructed-response and technology enhanced items will be added in 2015 and 2016. The test will be available in English, Spanish, braille, large print and audio versions for the visually impaired. Note: accommodations and procedures for requesting accommodations on the TASC will be set by CTB/McGraw Hill. This information is not currently available.